Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla have welcomed a baby girl – and pledged to make the world a better place for her. In an open letter, the internet entrepreneur has revealed he and his wife will give away a huge chunk of their fortune, as a gift to future generations.
Most parents lament the world their children are growing up in, and Facebook’s chairman and chief executive is no different. But Mark Zuckerberg and his wife have used the birth of their daughter, Max, to spell out just how they plan to address the world’s problems.
In a Facebook post this morning, Zuckerberg announced that he and Priscilla are “so happy” to have welcomed their daughter, and penned her a letter detailing the world they hope she grows up in. In what Zuckerberg calls playing a “small part” in helping create a better world for all children, he says the couple will give 99 per cent of their Facebook shares (which currently equates to about US$45 billion) during their lives.
In a poignant and detailed letter, Zuckerberg begins with the same sentiments we all have for our newborn children.
“Your mother and I don’t yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future. Your new life is full of promise, and we hope you will be happy and healthy so you can explore it fully. You’ve already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in. Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today.”
The letter is full of hope and promise – of a world that is improving, but still has a long way to go. And of course, the new father insists technology is doing plenty of good in the modern world, “Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today.
“Many of the greatest opportunities for your generation will come from giving everyone access to the internet. People often think of the internet as just for entertainment or communication. But for the majority of people in the world, the internet can be a lifeline.”
The parents reveal that advancing human potential and promoting equality is what they hope their daughter’s generation will focus on. But he admits that the time is now, and for the world to keep improving, the parents of today have to commit to playing their part.
“Today your mother and I are committing to spend our lives doing our small part to help solve these challenges. I will continue to serve as Facebook’s CEO for many, many years to come, but these issues are too important to wait until you or we are older to begin this work. By starting at a young age, we hope to see compounding benefits throughout our lives.”
In the letter, Zuckerberg announces the creation of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which aims at promoting equality for all children, initially focusing on, “learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities”, which will be funded through Facebook shares.
The letter ends with words that many of us have said to our own children:
“We wish you a life filled with the same love, hope and joy you give us. We can’t wait to see what you bring to this world.”
The post is being applauded worldwide, with many high-profile business people and celebrities congratulating the couple on the arrival of baby Max, and their commitment to the world’s future generations.
(Image via Mark Zuckerberg Facebook)