Work in Progress RR300

‘There is no time to rest’: Prioritizing work opportunities that could move millions out of poverty

A conversation with Ryan Rippel, U.S. director of economic mobility and opportunity, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In this episode of Work in Progress, I’m joined by Ryan Rippel, the U.S. director of economic mobility and opportunity for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to discuss how the Gates Foundation is addressing barriers to economic opportunity for vulnerable individuals

Recently, the Gates Foundation announced more than $100 million dollars in new partnerships and investments in economic mobility with the mission of improving the lives of more than 50 million people experiencing poverty in the U.S.

Rippel says the Gates Foundation uses “200% of the federal poverty line, not as the only measure, but as a really important one…to tell a story of who is facing some of the greatest vulnerability in the country.”

“It is disproportionately people of color, individuals who identify as female, but it’s a population that is in every corner of our country,” he adds. “It is in urban areas, it is in small towns and mid-sized towns. It is in rural areas. And so it is a challenge that is not isolated to any one community but is present in all of our communities and is therefore a challenge for all of us.”

The Gates Foundation’s strategy to lift up this vulnerable population includes three pillars:

  • making lives better now by focusing on the safety net and work opportunities,
  • supporting small- and medium-sized businesses in creating good jobs,
  • and working with local governments to prioritize economic mobility issues.

Rippel goes into detail about the Foundation’s recent investments and partnerships, which he says have the ultimate goal of creating momentum and tangible improvements in people’s lives, while also fostering a movement to address economic mobility challenges in the long term.

Rippel tells me, “There is no time to rest. This is a critical moment in the course of history for our country and my children and my generation and what’s going to be true 10, 20, 30 years from now. We have to be at work at it in new ways, in bolder ways, and in more collaborative ways.”

To learn more about the important work the Gates Foundation is doing to increase economic mobility for millions, you can listen to the full podcast here, or download it wherever you get your podcasts, including on our new Work in Progress YouTube channel.

Episode 300: Ryan Rippel, U.S. director of economic mobility and opportunity, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Host & Executive Producer: Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Theme Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4
Transcript: Download the transcript for this episode here
Work in Progress Podcast: Catch up on previous episodes here