Pretty much from the day that people read headlines that Mark Zuckerberg was giving away all of his $45 billion dollar empire, the posts started popping up. You know exactly which posts I am talking about. The “Mark Zuckerberg will give you a million dollars if you share this post” posts. It’s always kind of scary for me to see EXACTLY how gullible people are. I mean, it’s like getting a glimpse at the collective intelligence of the entire internet, and that is a scary sight. But, thankfully the internet recovered like it always does, and we ended up with the “Mark Zuckerberg is giving away a golden unicorn that farts skittles and glitter. Like and share for your chance to win” posts. I love how self-correcting the internet can be.
So now that we’ve established what Zuckerberg is and isn’t giving away, Let’s talk about what he is really doing. Zuckerberg and his wife Pricilla have joined up with Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and a who’s who list of billionaire entrepreneurs, investment fund managers, tech CEOs, governments, and universities from around the world called the Breakthrough Energy Coalition (BEC).
The BEC’s mission is simple: to bring together the right investors, scientists, governments, and agencies needed to further research and development of renewable energy technology. According to their website:
“Technology will help solve our energy issues. The urgency of climate change and the energy needs in the poorest parts of the world require an aggressive global program for zero-emission energy innovation. The new model will be a public-private partnership between governments, research institutions, and investors. Scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs can invent and scale the innovative technologies that will limit the impact of climate change while providing affordable and reliable energy to everyone. The existing system of basic research, clean energy investment, regulatory frameworks, and subsidies fails to sufficiently mobilize investment in truly transformative energy solutions for the future. We can’t wait for the system to change through normal cycles.”
Zuckerberg said in a facebook post, “[P]rogress towards a sustainable energy system is too slow, and the current system doesn’t encourage the kind of innovation that will get us there faster. We already invest in renewable and clean energy for our Facebook facilities today, but we believe that building a positive future for the next generation also means investing in long-term projects that companies and governments don’t fund.”
Read: Mark Zuckerberg has Pledged 99% of his Facebook Holdings to Charity in a Touching Letter to his Newborn Daughter
Tackling a task as big as changing how the entire world produces power is jus the kind of thing that fuels guys like Zuckerberg. Another member of the BEC, Bill gates said, “I am optimistic that we can invent the tools we need to generate clean, affordable, reliable energy that will help the poorest improve their lives and also stop climate change. I hope even more governments and investors will join us.”
So, I know you really wanted that golden unicorn, but I think what Zuckerberg is actually doing with his money is a little more important. I honestly think that groups like the BEC have the ability to change the world, let’s hope that they do.