Bono Sees the Light, Applauds Capitalism

Capitalism is no longer a four-letter word for U2 frontman Bono.

The Irish rocker told a tech conference in Dublin last week he has a new appreciation for open markets thanks to his charitable work co-founding the One campaign, a movement to end disease and hunger in Africa.

[Bono] said it had been “a humbling thing for me” to realize the importance of capitalism and entrepreneurialism in philanthropy, particularly as someone who “got into this as a righteous anger activist with all the cliches.”

“Job creators and innovators are just the key, and aid is just a bridge,” he told an audience of 200 leading technology entrepreneurs and investors at the F.ounders tech conference in Dublin. “We see it as startup money, investment in new countries. A humbling thing was to learn the role of commerce.”

Bono also shared why he leans on enlightened minds from both the Left and the Right for his charitable missions.

“People go, ‘Huh? Why?’” said Bono. “Our single idea is that normally these issues we fret about, which are seen as left-wing subject matter, we figure, ‘Why divide our audience in half?’ So we work with left and right.”


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