Top takeaways from Zuckerberg’s grad speech | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 09, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:11 PM, June 10, 2017

Top takeaways from Zuckerberg’s grad speech

Our favourite Silicon Valley dropout has finally graduated. To be more precise, Mark Zuckerberg was invited to his alma mater last month to receive his degree and give the commencement speech for the class of 2017. We highlight the top three takeaways from his triumphant return to Harvard.

1. Take on big, meaningful projects together

The advent of automation spells frightening consequences: tens of millions of people will eventually get replaced by autonomous tech, so whatever your big, crazy idea is, make it a point to be inclusive. Zuckerberg advises, “How about stopping climate change before we destroy the planet and getting millions of people involved manufacturing and installing solar panels? How about curing all diseases and asking volunteers to track their health data and share their genomes?” Great things come when we work together, and not on the off-chance you are struck by genius.

2. Give everyone the freedom to pursue their purpose

We live in a world that measures progress by economic metrics like GDP, but how many of us have a role we find meaningful? But having the freedom to pursue your purpose requires having the freedom to fail. Facebook wasn't the first thing Zuckerberg built. Games, chat systems, study tools, and music players all came before. And since not everyone has a cushion to fall back on if they fail, Zuckerberg believes people like him should pay for it. But it doesn't just have to be money. “If you take an hour or two a week, that's all it takes to give someone a hand, to help them reach their potential,” he said.

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3. Build community across the world

Quoting a survey asking millennials around the world what defined their identity, the most popular answer was “citizen of the world,” said Zuckerberg. Now when there are so many problems at home, it's hard to think about poverty, disease, or war anywhere else. But our generation has grown up connected, he argues. There's a Bangladeshi in Harvard with friends back home. That's why the communities we build can span countries, cross borders, and overcome differences.

Communities give us meaning and the sense that we're part of something bigger—that we are not alone and that we have the strength to expand our horizons. Change starts small and local, in your bedroom or a classroom at university, but whether we achieve our biggest opportunities comes down to making connections.


The writer is In-charge of the career publication of The Daily Star.

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