Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have just welcomed their baby daughter Max. And they’ve announced that they are going to follow the example of Bill and Melinda Gates by setting up a foundation to give away 99% of their Facebook shares over the course of their lifetime.
In a 2000 word open letter to their daughter, the Zuckerbergs explained their desire, “like all parents”, to see their daughter “grow up in a world better than ours today”.
We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.
They’ve set up the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative for this purpose. Facebook filed a Form 8K report with the Securities and Exchange Commision yesterday outlining that, for the next three years, “he plans to sell or gift no more than $1 billion of Facebook stock each year”, and that “he intends to retain his majority voting position in [Facebook] stock for the foreseeable future”.
In his open letter on Facebook, Zuckerberg says that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will focus on two ideas: advancing human potential and promoting equality. The two are linked, he explains, because inequality of opportunity means that many people do not get a chance to contribute fully to society.
Today we are robbed of the potential so many have to offer. The only way to achieve our full potential is to channel the talents, ideas and contributions of every person in the world.
Zuckerberg’s announcement also coincides with the news this week that he has joined Gates and others in the Breakthrough Energy Coalition to invest in Zero-Carbon energy.