The best way to understand a problem is to talk to the people closest to it. So, most years, I spend a lot of time on the road meeting with people who have firsthand experience with the issues I work on. I always think it’s the best and most important part of the job.Melinda Gates
In 2020, those face-to-face conversations became a lot more difficult, so I settled for the next best thing: screen-to-screen. I’ve learned a lot about video calls and had my fair share of technical blunders (ask me about the time I accidentally took control of someone else’s slide presentation.) But I’m grateful I’ve had the chance talk to experts, advocates, and activists who are determined to keep progress moving forward even in this most difficult year.
Here are five of the most interesting conversations I had this year—conversations that made me think, helped me learn, and gave me hope that we will emerge from this pandemic into a brighter, more inclusive future. I hope they do the same for you.