By Kelly Puente, Staff Writer
LONG BEACH - Global activist and U2 lead singer Bono took to the TED stage Tuesday with an inspiring message about the fight against poverty.
The rate of those living in extreme poverty - living on less than $1.25 a day - is rapidly declining as the world makes gains in technology, noted the Irish musician, who refers to himself as an activist and "factivist."
The number of those living in poverty has been cut in half in the past two decades, dropping from 43 percent in 1990 to 21 percent in 2010.
"Have you read anything, anywhere in the last week that is as remotely as important as that number? It's great news, and it drives me nuts most people don't know this," he said. "The rate is still too high and there's still work to do, but it's heart-stopping, mind-blowing stuff."
Bono is one of dozens of speakers scheduled this week at the annual TED conference at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. The sold-out invitation-only conference, whose name stands for technology, entertainment, design kicked off Monday and will run through Friday for its fifth and final year in Long Beach. The conference will move to Vancouver, Canada, next year.