Bono is no longer a rock star, but a “factivist,” according to what he told audience members at his TED talk Tuesday.
The U2 frontman told the Long Beach audience about his past and future efforts to eradicate “extreme poverty” around the world.
“I thought, forget the rock opera, forget the bombast, the only thing I would be singing today is the facts,” Bono said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “For I have truly embraced my inner nerd. So, exit the rock star. Enter the evidence activist. The ‘factivist.’” (Get it? It’s a play on the words “fact” and “activist.”)
Bono ran through some bummer statistics about children living in poverty, but shared some good news that the rate of “extreme” and “soul crushing poverty” (those making $1.25 per day or less) has declined from 43% in 1990 to 21% in 2010, according to the Times.
“The rate is still too high,” Bono said. “There’s still work to do. But it’s mind-blowing stuff.”
Bono suggested that if the poverty rate continues to decline at this rate, it could reach zero by 2030.
“That’s the zero zone,” the factivist said, then told a disturbing fact about what turns him on. “For numbers crunchers like us, that’s the erogenous zone. It’s fair to say I’m sexually aroused by the collating of data.”
“2030 is just around the corner, Bono said. “It’s about three Rolling Stones farewell concerts away.”