good fortune can grow into flourishing institutions that sustain excellent work in vital fields. Foundations can encourage and enable the development of good science and imaginative uses of technology throughout the world.

In closing, let me emphasize how dependent we are on people such as you and institutions such as the National Academy of Engineering. Foundations generally have small staffs, predominantly composed of generalists. We need the ideas of the engineering and scientific communities about the best approaches to the problems that concern us all. We must turn to other institutions to help realize these ideas. We need your experience and wisdom to help evaluate our efforts, discard what is not working, and reinforce that which is.

I hope that we can continue to be partners in these important endeavors. The problems we face are too important to receive less than the best efforts of us all. We have not yet solved most of them, but we must keep trying in the spirit of a pretty good engineer named Thomas Edison, who said, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”


The World Bank. 1994. World Development Report 1994: Infrastructure for Development. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.

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