Priscilla and I are so happy to welcome our daughter Max into
For her birth, we wrote a letter to her about the world we hope
she grows up in. It's a world where our generation
can advance human potential and promote equality ‒ by curing
disease, personalizing learning, harnessing clean energy,
connecting people, building strong communities, reducing
poverty, providing equal rights and spreading understanding
across nations. We are committed to doing our
small part to help create this world for all children. We will
give 99% of our
Facebook shares ‒ currently about $45 billion ‒ during
our lives to join many others in improving this world for the
Thank you to everyone in this
community for all your love and support during the pregnancy.
You've given us hope that together we can build this world for
Max and all 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
Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours
While headlines often focus on what's wrong, in many ways the world
is getting better.
Health is improving. Poverty is shrinking.
Knowledge is growing. People are connecting. Technological progress
in every field means your life should be dramatically better than
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.
We believe all lives have equal value, and that includes the many
more people who will live in future generations than live today. Our
society has an obligation to invest now to improve the
lives of all
those coming into this world, not just those already here.
But right now, we don't always collectively direct our resources at
problems your generation will face.
Consider disease. Today we spend about 50 times more as a society
treating people who are sick than we invest in research so you won't
get sick in the first place.
Medicine has only been a real science for less than 100 years, and
we've already seen complete cures for some diseases and good
progress for others. As technology accelerates, we have a real shot
at preventing, curing or managing all or most of the rest in the
next 100 years.
Today, most people die from five things
‒ heart disease, cancer,
stroke, neurodegenerative and infectious diseases ‒ and we can make
faster progress on these and other problems.
Once we recognize that your generation and your children's
generation may not have to suffer from disease, we collectively have
a responsibility to tilt our investments a bit more towards the
future to make this reality. Your mother and I want to do our part.
Curing disease will take time. Over short periods of five or ten
years, it may not seem like we're making much of a difference. But
over the long term, seeds planted now will grow, and one day, you or
your children will see what we can only imagine: a world without
suffering from disease.
There are so many opportunities just like this. If society focuses
more of its energy on these great challenges, we will leave your
generation a much better world...