In his commencement address to Harvard, his sort-of alma mater, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg pitched ideas including online voting and universal basic income and urged the class of 2017 to tackle a number of societal challenges, including climate change and disease.
“How about stopping climate change before we destroy the planet and getting millions of people involved manufacturing and installing solar panels?” he asked. “How about curing all diseases and asking volunteers to track their health data and share their genomes? Today we spend 50x more treating people who are sick than we spend finding cures so people don’t get sick in the first place. That makes no sense. We can fix this. How about modernizing democracy so everyone can vote online, and personalizing education so everyone can learn?”
Zuckerberg started his remarks by musing that he’s an unlikely choice, as he dropped out of Harvard. (He’s now Dr. Zuckerberg, thanks to the honorary degree conferred up on him).
He challenged graduates to find purpose and to think big.
“We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things,” he said. “We’re going to change jobs many times, so we need affordable childcare to get to work and healthcare that isn’t tied to one company. We’re all going to make mistakes, so we need a society that focuses less on locking us up or stigmatizing us. And as technology keeps changing, we need a society that focuses more on continuous education throughout our lives.”