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Chan-Zuckerberg initiative to ‘change the world’
Facebook has been getting all sentimental on us recently. First they launched their new ‘On This Day’ feature, which – as well as dredging up embarrassing memories from days of yore – assures its users that the company “care about you and the memories you share here”.
Now, becoming a parent has prompted its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to commit to donate 99% of his shares in the company (that’s roughly 45 billion dollars) to charity over the course of his lifetime.
This will be managed through the newly created Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, a joint venture between the King of Facebook (sorry, we mean Mark) and his wife Priscilla Chan. The couple welcomed their first child last week, and the move was announced today on Zuckerberg’s Facebook page in a touching letter addressed to his new daughter.
In the letter, Zuckerberg states that the aim of the new company will be to “to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation”.
From a business perspective, creating the image of a philanthropic company culture can only strengthen Facebook’s position as the familiar, friendly and caring social network – a safe place where you go to meet your friends. Kind of like your favorite cafe of the social media world.
In his letter, Zuckerberg sets out some of the current challenges to human advancement across the globe and concludes “today your mother and I are committing to spend our lives doing our small part to help solve these challenges”. It seems that parenthood has bought out a new side to the tech giant that is very different to the one portrayed in his biopic, The Social Network.
This new commitment to work towards the greater good is admirable in itself, but coming from a man who has already succeeded in significantly changing the world forever, we can’t help but feel this new venture will be just as historic.