*Image credit: Mark Zuckerberg | Facebook
On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, published a Facebook note entitled, “A letter to our daughter” and shared it on their personal profiles. This announcement was just days after welcoming their firstborn into their new family home, and after a well documented 37-week pregnancy. This note has since captured over 1.5 million “Likes”, hundreds of thousands of “Shares” and sparked “Comment” conversations with folks such as Melinda Gates, Shakira, Richard Branson, Martha Stewart and many others. One would expect a short and sweet note written to their newborn, Maxima Chan Zuckerberg, but this particular love letter goes far beyond the traditional Hallmark card poem. Mark and Priscilla gave a love letter, a dream and $45 billion.
The love letter, the dream and the money all come together to create the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative – an organization set out to make the world a better place for Maxima and many generations to come.
Here are the two core principles of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative:
Advance human potential
What if we could be more, do more, experience more and learn more? Can we cure even more diseases and increase life expectancy? Can we share every idea and opportunity amongst ourselves? What about clean renewable energy sources? How about an entrepreneurial focus on solving problems to generate more peace and prosperity? These are the questions that Mark and Priscilla are asking to push the boundaries of what we truly think is possible.
What if poverty and hunger were no longer societal issues? What if everyone was provided with basic healthcare? Could we build communities that are more welcoming and inclusive? How about a peacefulness between people of all nations? Full equality for everyone. Mark and Priscilla are asking this generation to shift investments to these areas, and see these advancements take place in our lifetime.
When equality is withheld from someone, it is hard for them to reach their full human potential. Mark and Priscilla feel a great responsibility to begin working towards these goals. They will start in the areas of personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is well capitalized. In fact, Mark and Priscilla (over the course of their lifetime) have committed to giving 99% of their personal Facebook shares. This amounts to a present day value of around $45 billion.
In the world today where so many things are pulling us apart, we saw this love letter and it reminded us that there are still some trying to connect us all in harmony. Thank you, Mark, Priscilla and Maxima!
Call to action: What do you commit yourself to today to make the world a better place? Please comment below or share your thoughts @StarterNoise.