00:00:22
President Faust, Board of Overseers, faculty, alumni, friends, proud parents, members of the ad board, and graduates of the greatest university in the world. I’m honored to be with you today because, let’s face it, you accomplished something

00:00:52
I never could. If I get through this speech, it’ll be the first time I actually finish something at Harvard.

00:01:03
Class of 2017, congratulations! I’m an unlikely speaker, not just because I dropped out, but because we’re technically in the same generation.

00:01:21
We walked this yard less than a decade apart, studied the same ideas and slept through the same Ec10 lectures. We may have taken different paths to get here, especially if you came all the way from the

00:01:35
Quad, but today I want to share what I’ve learned about our generation and the world we’re building together. But first, the last couple of days have brought back a lot of good memories.

00:01:49
How many of you remember exactly what you were doing when you got that email telling you that you got into Harvard? I was playing Civilization and I ran downstairs, got my dad, and for some reason, his reaction

00:02:12
was to video me opening the email. That could have been a really sad video. I swear getting into Harvard is still the thing my parents are most proud of me for.

00:02:32
What about your first lecture at Harvard? Mine was Computer Science 121 with the incredible Harry Lewis. I was late so I threw on a t-shirt and didn’t realize until afterwards it was inside out

00:02:59
and backwards with my tag sticking out the front. I couldn’t figure out why no one would talk to me—except one guy, KX Jin, he just went with it.

00:03:12
We ended up doing our problem sets together, and now he runs a big part of Facebook. And that, Class of 2017, is why you should be nice to people. But my best memory from Harvard was meeting Priscilla.

00:03:36
I had just launched this prank website Facemash, and the ad board wanted to “see me”. Everyone thought I was going to get kicked out. My parents came to help me pack.

00:03:53
My friends threw me a going-away party. As luck would have it, Priscilla was at that party with her friend. We met in line for the bathroom in the Pfoho Belltower, and in what must be one of the

00:04:09
all-time romantic lines, I said: “I’m going to get kicked out in three days, so we need to go on a date quickly.” Actually, any of you graduating can use that line.

00:04:29
I didn’t end up getting kicked out—I did that to myself. Priscilla and I started dating. And, you know, that movie made it seem like Facemash was so important to creating Facebook.

00:04:42
It wasn’t. But without Facemash I wouldn’t have met Priscilla, and she’s the most important person in my life, so you could say it was the most important thing I built in my time

00:04:54
here. We’ve all started lifelong friendships here, and some of us even families. That’s why I’m so grateful to this place.

00:05:16
Thanks, Harvard. Today I want to talk about purpose. But I’m not here to give you the standard commencement about finding your purpose.

00:05:30
We’re millennials. We’ll try to do that instinctively. Instead, I’m here to tell you finding your purpose isn’t enough.

00:05:42
The challenge for our generation is creating a world where everyone has a sense of purpose. One of my favorite stories is when John F. Kennedy visited the NASA space center, he saw a janitor carrying a broom and he walked over and asked what he was doing.

00:06:00
The janitor responded: “Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon.” Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for.

00:06:18
Purpose is what creates true happiness. You’re graduating at a time when this is especially important. When our parents graduated, purpose reliably came from your job, your church, your community.

00:06:35
But today, technology and automation are eliminating many jobs. Membership in communities is declining. Many people feel disconnected and depressed, and are trying to fill a void.

00:06:50
As I’ve traveled around, I’ve sat with children in juvenile detention and opioid addicts, who told me their lives could have turned out differently if they just had something to do, an after-school program or somewhere to go.

00:07:03
I’ve met factory workers who know their old jobs aren’t coming back and are trying to find their place. To keep our society moving forward, we have a generational challenge—to not only create

00:07:17
new jobs, but create a renewed sense of purpose. I remember the night I launched Facebook from my little dorm in Kirkland House. I went to Noch’s with my friend KX.

00:07:37
I remember telling him I was excited to connect the Harvard community, but one day someone would connect the whole world. The thing is, it never even occurred to me that someone might be us.

00:07:49
We were just college kids. We didn’t know anything about that. There were all these big technology companies with resources.

00:07:56
I just assumed one of them would do it. But this idea was so clear to us—that all people want to connect. So we just kept moving forward, day by day.

00:08:09
I know a lot of you will have your own stories just like this. A change in the world that seems so clear you’re sure someone else will do it. But they won’t.

00:08:21
You will. But it’s not enough to have purpose yourself. You have to create a sense of purpose for others.

00:08:31
I found that out the hard way. You see, my hope was never to build a company, but to make an impact. And as all these people started joining us, I just assumed that’s what they cared about

00:08:44
too, so I never explained what I hoped we’d build. A couple years in, some big companies wanted to buy us. I didn’t want to sell.

00:08:54
I wanted to see if we could connect more people. We were building the first News Feed, and I thought if we could just launch this, it could change how we learn about the world.

00:09:07
Nearly everyone else wanted to sell. Without a sense of higher purpose, this was the startup dream come true. It tore our company apart.

00:09:18
After one tense argument, an advisor told me if I didn’t agree to sell, I would regret the decision for the rest of my life. Relationships were so frayed that within a year or so every single person on the management

00:09:35
team was gone. That was my hardest time leading Facebook. I believed in what we were doing, but I felt alone.

00:09:46
And worse, it was my fault. I wondered if I was just wrong, an imposter, a 22 year-old kid who had no idea how the world worked.

00:09:59
Now, years later, I understand that is how things work with no sense of higher purpose. It’s up to us to create it so we can all keep moving forward together. Today I want to talk about three ways to create a world where everyone has a sense of purpose:

00:10:20
by taking on big meaningful projects together, by redefining equality so everyone has the freedom to pursue purpose, and by building community across the world. First, let’s take on big meaningful projects.

00:10:39
Our generation will have to deal with tens of millions of jobs replaced by automation like self-driving cars and trucks. But we have the potential to do so much more together.

00:10:50
Every generation has its defining works. More than 300,000 people worked to put a man on the moon—including that janitor. Millions of volunteers immunized children around the world against polio.

00:11:02
Millions of more people built the Hoover Dam and other great projects. These projects didn’t just provide purpose for the people doing those jobs, they gave our whole country a sense of pride that we could do great things.

00:11:06
Now it’s our turn to do great things. I know, you’re probably thinking: I don’t know how to build a dam, or get a million people involved in anything.

00:11:18
But let me tell you a secret: No one does when they begin. Ideas don’t come out fully formed. They only become clear as you work on them.

00:11:32
You just have to get started. If I had to understand everything about connecting people before I began, I never would have started Facebook.

00:11:43
Movies and pop culture get this all wrong. The idea of a single eureka moment is a dangerous lie. It makes us feel inadequate since we haven’t had ours.

00:11:55
It prevents people with seeds of good ideas from getting started. Oh, you know what else movies get wrong about innovation? No one writes math formulas on glass.

00:12:07
That’s not a thing. It’s good to be idealistic. But be prepared to be misunderstood.

00:12:25
Anyone working on a big vision will get called crazy, even if you end up right. Anyone working on a complex problem will get blamed for not fully understanding the challenge, even though it’s impossible to know everything upfront.

00:12:39
Anyone taking initiative will get criticized for moving too fast, because there’s always someone who wants to slow you down. In our society, we often don’t do big things because we’re so afraid of making mistakes

00:12:55
that we ignore all the things wrong today if we do nothing. The reality is, anything we do will have issues in the future. But that can’t keep us from starting.

00:13:11
So what are we waiting for? It’s time for our generation-defining public works. How about stopping climate change before we destroy the planet, and getting millions of

00:13:22
people involved manufacturing and installing solar panels? How about curing all diseases and asking volunteers to track their health data and share their genomes?

00:13:37
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.

00:13:50
We can fix this. How about modernizing democracy so everyone can vote online, and personalizing education so everyone can learn?

00:14:06
These achievements are within our reach. Let’s do them all in a way that gives everyone in our society a role. Let’s do big things, not only to create progress, but to create purpose.

00:14:28
So taking on big meaningful projects is the first thing we can do to create a world where everyone has a sense of purpose. The second is redefining equality to give everyone the freedom they need to pursue purpose.

00:14:46
Many of our parents had stable jobs throughout their careers. Now we’re all entrepreneurial, whether we’re starting projects or finding or role. And that’s great.

00:14:57
Our culture of entrepreneurship is how we create so much progress. Now, an entrepreneurial culture thrives when it’s easy to try lots of new ideas. Facebook wasn’t the first thing I built.

00:15:12
I also built games, chat systems, study tools and music players. I’m not alone. JK Rowling got rejected 12 times before publishing Harry Potter.

00:15:24
Even Beyonce had to make hundreds of songs to get “Halo.” The greatest successes come from having the freedom to fail. But today, we have a level of wealth inequality that hurts everyone.

00:15:49
When you don’t have the freedom to take your idea and turn it into a historic enterprise, we all lose. Right now our society is way over-indexed on rewarding success and we don’t do nearly

00:16:06
enough to make it easy for everyone to take lots of shots. Let’s face it. There is something wrong with our system when I can leave here and make billions of dollars

00:16:18
in 10 years while millions of students can’t afford to pay off their loans, let alone start a business. Look, I know a lot of entrepreneurs, and I don’t know a single person who gave up on

00:16:38
starting a business because they might not make enough money. But I know lots of people who haven’t pursued dreams because they didn’t have a cushion to fall back on if they failed.

00:16:56
We all know we don’t succeed just by having a good idea or working hard. We succeed by being lucky too. If I had to support my family growing up instead of having time to code, if I didn’t know

00:17:11
I’d be fine if Facebook didn’t work out, I wouldn’t be standing here today. If we’re honest, we all know how much luck we’ve had. Every generation expands its definition of equality.

00:17:30
Previous generations fought for the vote and civil rights. They had the New Deal and Great Society. Now it’s our time to define a new social contract for our generation.

00:17:49
We should have a society that measures progress not just by economic metrics like GDP, but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new

00:18:05
things. We’re going to change jobs many times, so we need affordable child care to get to work and health care that aren’t tied to one company.

00:18:19
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 to focus more on continuous education throughout

00:18:37
our lives. And yes, giving everyone the freedom to pursue purpose isn’t free. People like me should pay for it.

00:18:51
Many of you will do well and you should too. That’s why Priscilla and I started the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and committed our wealth to promoting equal opportunity.

00:19:13
These are the values of our generation. It was never a question of if we were going to do this. The only question was when.

00:19:26
Millennials are already one of the most charitable generations in history. In one year, three of four US millennials made a donation and seven out of ten raised money for charity.

00:19:39
But it’s not just about money. You can also give time. I promise you, if you take an hour or two a week—that’s all it takes to give someone

00:19:52
a hand, to help them reach their potential. Maybe you think that’s too much time. I used to.

00:20:03
When Priscilla graduated from Harvard she became a teacher, and before she’d do education work with me, she told me I needed to teach a class. I complained: “Well, I’m kind of busy.

00:20:18
I’m running this company.” But she insisted, so I taught a middle-school program on entrepreneurship at the local Boys and Girls Club.

00:20:32
I taught them lessons on product development and marketing, and they taught me what it’s like feeling targeted for your race and having a family member in prison. I shared stories from my time in school, and they shared their hope of one day going to

00:20:53
college too. For five years now, I’ve been having dinner with those kids every month. One of them threw me and Priscilla our first baby shower.

00:21:07
And next year they’re going to college. Every one of them. First in their families.

00:21:19
We can all make time to give someone a hand. Let’s give everyone the freedom to pursue their purpose—not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because when more people can turn their dreams into something great,

00:21:31
we’re all better for it. Purpose doesn’t only come from work. The third way we can create a sense of purpose for everyone is by building community.

00:21:52
And when our generation says “everyone,” we mean everyone in the world. Quick show of hands: How many of you are from another country? Now, how many of you are friends with one of these folks?

00:22:13
Now we’re talking. We have grown up connected. In a survey asking millennials around the world what defines our identity, the most

00:22:26
popular answer wasn’t nationality, religion or ethnicity, it was “citizen of the world”. That’s a big deal. Every generation expands the circle of people we consider “one of us.”

00:22:42
For us, it now encompasses the entire world. We understand the great arc of human history bends towards people coming together in ever greater numbers—from tribes to cities to nations—to achieve things we couldn’t

00:23:00
on our own. We get that our greatest opportunities are now global—we can be the generation that ends poverty, that ends disease.

00:23:10
We get that our greatest challenges need global responses too—no country can fight climate change alone or prevent pandemics. Progress now requires coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global

00:23:26
community. But we live in an unstable time. There are people left behind by globalization across the world.

00:23:37
It’s hard to care about people in other places if we don’t feel good about our lives here at home. There’s pressure to turn inwards.

00:23:49
This is the struggle of our time. The forces of freedom, openness and global community against the forces of authoritarianism, isolationism, and nationalism.

00:24:02
Forces for the flow of knowledge, trade and immigration against those who would slow them down. This is not a battle of nations, it’s a battle of ideas.

00:24:17
There are people in every country for global connection and good people against it. This isn’t going to be decided at the UN either. It’s going to happen at the local level, when enough of us feel a sense of purpose

00:24:33
and stability in our own lives that we can open up and start caring about everyone. The best way to do that is to start building local communities right now. We all get meaning from our communities.

00:25:20
Whether our communities are houses or sports teams, churches or music groups, they give us that sense we are part of something bigger, that we are not alone; they give us the strength to expand our horizons.

00:25:33
That’s why it’s so striking that for decades, membership in all kinds of groups has declined as much as one-quarter. That’s a lot of people who now need to find purpose somewhere else.

00:25:48
But I know we can rebuild our communities and start new ones because many of you already are. I met Agnes Igoye, who’s graduating today.

00:26:02
Where are you, Agnes? She spent her childhood navigating conflict zones in Uganda, and now she trains thousands of law-enforcement officers to keep communities safe.

00:26:28
I met Kayla Oakley and Niha Jain, graduating today, too. Stand up. Kayla and Niha started a nonprofit that connects people suffering from illnesses with people

00:26:43
in their communities willing to help. I met David Razu Aznar, graduating from the Kennedy School today. David, stand up.

00:27:04
He’s a former city councilor who successfully led the battle to make Mexico City the first Latin American city to pass marriage equality—even before San Francisco. This is my story too.

00:27:26
A student in a dorm room, connecting one community at a time, and keeping at it until one day we connect the whole world. Change starts local.

00:27:41
Even global changes start small—with people like us. In our generation, the struggle of whether we connect more, whether we achieve our biggest opportunities, comes down to this—your ability to build communities and create a world where

00:28:01
every single person has a sense of purpose. Class of 2017, you are graduating into a world that needs purpose. It’s up to you to create it.

00:28:24
Now, you may be thinking: Can I really do this? Remember when I told you about that class I taught at the Boys and Girls Club? One day after class I was talking to them about college, and one of my top students

00:28:45
raised his hand and said he wasn’t sure he could go because he’s undocumented. He didn’t know if they’d let him in. Last year I took him out to breakfast for his birthday.

00:28:59
I wanted to get him a present, so I asked him and he started talking about students he saw struggling and said, “You know, I’d really just like a book on social justice.” I was blown away.

00:29:17
Here’s a young guy who has every reason to be cynical. He didn’t know if the country he calls home—the only one he’s known—would deny him his dream of going to college.

00:29:34
But he wasn’t feeling sorry for himself. He wasn’t even thinking of himself. He has a greater sense of purpose, and he’s going to bring people along with him.

00:29:50
It says something about our current situation that I can’t even say his name because I don’t want to put him at risk. But if a high-school senior who doesn’t know what the future holds can do his part

00:30:05
to move the world forward, then we owe it to the world to do our part too. Before you walk out those gates one last time, as we sit in front of Memorial Church, I am reminded of a prayer, Mi Shebeirach, that I say whenever I face a challenge, that I

00:30:56
sing to my daughter thinking about her future when I tuck her into bed. It goes:”May the source of strength, who blessed the ones before us, help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing.”

00:31:16
I hope you find the courage to make your life a blessing. Congratulations, Class of ’17! Good luck out there.

00:00:00
[Music] you I love this place thank you all for

00:00:17
coming out in the rain the pouring rain we're gonna make this worth it for you president Faust Board of Overseers

00:00:25
faculty friends alumni proud parents members of the ad board and graduates of the greatest university in the world

00:00:40
I am honored to be here with you today because let's face it you accomplished something I never could if I get through

00:00:57
this speech today it'll be the first time I actually finished something here at Harvard class of 2017 congratulations

00:01:12
now I'm an unlikely speaker today not just because I dropped out but because we're technically in the same generation

00:01:20
we walk this yard less than a decade apart we studied the same ideas and slept through the same act 10 lectures

00:01:29
we may have taken different roads to get here especially if you came all the way from the quad but today I want to share

00:01:38
what I've learned about our generation and the world we're all building together but first this is the last

00:01:46
couple of days to brought back a lot of good memories how many of you remember exactly where you were and what you were

00:01:53
doing when you got that email telling you you got into Harvard I was playing I was playing the video

00:02:06
games civilization and I ran downstairs and got my dad and for some reason his first reaction was to video me opening

00:02:14
the email that could have been a really really sad video but I swear getting into Harvard is the thing my parents are

00:02:25
most proud of me for my mom is nodding you'll know what I'm talking about look guys it's tough to beat this you'll see

00:02:34
when you get out there how many of you remember your first lecture here at Harvard mine was computer science 121

00:02:46
with the incredible Harry Lewis Harry I was running late for class so I throw in a t-shirt and I didn't realize until

00:02:57
afterwards as I put it on inside out and backwards my tag was sticking out the front I couldn't figure out why no one

00:03:04
in class would talk to me except for this one guy K X Jin he just went with it we started doing our problem sets

00:03:13
together and now he runs a big part of Facebook and that class of 2017 is why you should be nice to people

00:03:21
[Laughter] but my best memory from Harvard is meeting Priscilla

00:03:33
I had just launched this prank website Facemash and the ad board wanted to see me everyone thought I was gonna get

00:03:48
kicked out my parents drove up here to help me pack my stuff my friends threw me a going-away party

00:03:55
who does that as luck would have it Priscilla was at that party with her friends and we met in line for the

00:04:05
bathroom in the pfoho bell tower and then what must be one of the all-time most romantic lines I turned her and

00:04:12
said I'm getting kicked out in three days so we need to go on a date quickly [Laughter]

00:04:18
actually any of you graduating today can use that line I'm getting kicked out today we need to go on a date fast I

00:04:28
didn't end up getting kicked out I did that to myself Priscilla and I started dating and you know that movie made it

00:04:37
seem like Facemash was so important to starting Facebook it wasn't but without Facemash I never would have met

00:04:45
Priscilla and Priscilla is the most important person in my life so you could still say it was the most important

00:04:53
thing I built in my time here we have all started lifelong friendships here and some of us even families that's

00:05:12
why I'm so grateful to this place thanks Harvard today I want to talk about purpose but I'm not here to give

00:05:27
you the standard commencement about finding your purpose we're Millennials we try to do that

00:05:33
instinctively instead I'm here to tell you that finding your purpose isn't enough the challenge for our generation

00:05:43
is to create a world where everyone has a sense of purpose one of my favorite stories is when JFK went to go visit the

00:05:55
NASA Space Center and he saw janitor holding a broom and he asked him what he was doing and the janitor replied mr.

00:06:01
president I'm helping put a man on the moon purpose is that feeling that you are a part of something bigger than

00:06:11
yourself that you are needed and that you have something better ahead to work for purpose is what creates true

00:06:19
happiness and you are graduating at a time when this is especially important when our parents graduated that sense of

00:06:29
purpose reliably came from your job your church your community but today technology and automation are

00:06:37
eliminating many jobs membership and a lot of communities has been declining and a lot of people are feeling

00:06:45
disconnected and depressed and are trying to fill a void in their lives as I've traveled around I've sat with

00:06:52
children and juvenile detention and opioid addicts who've told me that maybe their lives would have turned out

00:06:58
differently if they just had something to do and after school program or somewhere to go I've met factory workers

00:07:05
who know their old jobs aren't coming back and are just trying to find their path ahead for our society to keep

00:07:12
moving forward we have a generational challenge to not only create new jobs but

00:07:19
create a renewed sense of purpose I remember that night I launched Facebook from that little dorm in Kirkland house

00:07:29
I went to Noakes with my friend kayaks and I remember telling him clearly that I was excited to help connect the

00:07:40
Harvard community but one day someone would connect the whole world the thing is it never even occurred to me that

00:07:48
that someone might be us we were just college kids we didn't know anything about that there were all these great

00:07:54
big technology companies with all these resources and I just assumed one of them would do it but this idea was so clear

00:08:00
to us that all people want to connect so we just kept working on it day after day after day and I know that a lot of you

00:08:10
are gonna have your own stories just like this a change in the world that seems so clear that you are sure someone

00:08:18
else is going to do it but they're not you will but it's not enough to have that purpose yourself you also have to

00:08:27
create a sense of purpose for others and I found that out the hard way you see my hope was never to build a company I

00:08:36
wanted to have an impact and as all these people started joining us I just assumed that that's what they wanted to

00:08:43
do too so I never took the time to explain what it was that I hoped we'd build a couple years in some big

00:08:51
companies wanted to buy us I didn't want to sell I wanted to see if we could connect more people and we were building

00:08:58
the first version of newsfeed at the time and I thought if we could just launch this it could change how we all

00:09:04
learn about the world nearly everyone else wanted to sell without a sense of higher purpose

00:09:12
this was their startup dream come true and it tore our company apart after one particularly tense argument one of my

00:09:20
closest advisors told me if I didn't agree to sell the company right now I would regret that decision for the rest

00:09:26
of my life relationships were so afraid that within a year or so every single person on our management

00:09:34
team was gone that was my hardest time meeting Facebook I believed in what we were doing but I felt alone and worse it

00:09:47
was my fault I wondered if I was just wrong an impostor a 22 year old kid who had no idea how things actually worked

00:09:59
now years later I understand it that is how things work when there's no sense of higher purpose so it's up to all of us

00:10:07
to create it so we can all keep moving forward together and today I want to talk about three ways that we can create

00:10:16
a world where everyone has a sense of purpose by taking on big meaningful projects together by redefining equality

00:10:26
so everyone has the freedom to pursue their purpose and by building community all across the world so first let's take

00:10:36
on big meaningful projects our generation is going to have to deal with tens of millions of jobs replaced by

00:10:43
automation like self-driving cars and trucks but we have the potential to do so much more than that

00:10:49
every generation has its defining works more than three hundred thousand people work to put that man on the moon

00:10:56
including that janitor millions of volunteers immunize children around the world against polio and millions of more

00:11:02
people built the Hoover Dam and other great projects and now it's our generations turn to do great things

00:11:10
now I know maybe you're thinking I don't know how to build a dam I don't know how to get a million people involved in

00:11:16
anything well let me tell you a secret no one does when they begin ideas don't come out fully formed they only become

00:11:29
clear as you work on them you just have to get started if I had to know everything about connecting people

00:11:37
before I got started I never would have built Facebook movies and pop culture just get this all wrong

00:11:46
the idea of a single Eureka moment is a dangerous lie it makes us feel inadequate because we feel like we

00:11:53
haven't had ours yet and it prevents people with seeds of good ideas from ever getting started in the first place

00:12:00
oh and you know what else movies get wrong about innovation no one writes math formulas on glass okay all right

00:12:10
that's not a thing okay it's really good to be idealistic but be prepared to be misunderstood

00:12:24
anyone working on a big vision is gonna get called crazy even if you end up right anyone taking on a complex problem

00:12:32
is gonna get blamed for not fully understanding it even though it's impossible to know everything up front

00:12:38
anyone taking initiative will always get criticized for moving too fast because there's always someone who wants to slow

00:12:46
you down in our society we often don't take on big things because we're so afraid of making mistakes that we ignore

00:12:55
all the things wrong today if we do nothing the reality is anything we do today is gonna have some issues in the

00:13:05
future but that can't stop us from getting started so what are we waiting for it is time for our generation

00:13:15
defining great works how about stopping climate change before we destroy the planet and getting millions of people

00:13:22
involved manufacturing and installing solar panels how about curing all diseases and getting people involved by

00:13:32
asking volunteers to share their health data track their health data and share their genomes you know today our society

00:13:39
spends more than 50 times as much treating people who are sick as we invest in finding cures so people get

00:13:46
sick in the first place it makes no sense we can fix this how about modernizing democracy so everyone can

00:13:55
vote online and how about personalizing education so everyone can learn these achievements

00:14:06
are all within our reach let's do them all in a way that gives everyone in our society a role let's do big things not

00:14:17
just to create progress but to create purpose so taking on big meaningful projects together is the first thing we

00:14:31
can do to create a world where everyone has this a sense of purpose the second is redefining our idea of

00:14:38
equality so everyone has the freedom to pursue their purpose now many of our parents had stable jobs throughout their

00:14:48
careers but in our generation we're all a little entrepreneurial whether we're starting our own projects or finding our

00:14:53
role in another one and you know that's great because our culture of entrepreneurship is how we create so

00:15:00
much progress an entrepreneurial culture thrives when it is easy to try lots of new ideas Facebook wasn't the first

00:15:10
thing I built I also built chat systems and games study tools and music players and I'm not alone JK Rowling got

00:15:19
rejected 12 times before she finally wrote and published Harry Potter even Beyonce had to make hundreds of songs to

00:15:28
get halo the greatest successes come from having the freedom to fail now today we have a level of wealth and

00:15:45
equality that hurts everyone when you can't when you don't have the freedom to take your idea and turn it into a

00:15:55
historic enterprise we all lose and right now today our society is way over indexed on rewarding people when they're

00:16:04
successful and we don't do nearly enough to make sure that everyone can take lots of different shots now

00:16:11
let's face it there is something wrong with our system when I can leave here and make billions of dollars in ten

00:16:19
years while millions of students can't even afford to pay off their loans let alone start a business look I know a lot

00:16:34
of entrepreneurs and I don't know a single person who gave up on starting a business because they were worried they

00:16:40
might not make enough money but I know too many people who haven't had the chance to pursue their dreams because

00:16:47
they didn't have a cushion to fall back on if they failed we all know you don't get successful just by having a good

00:16:59
idea or working hard you get successful by being lucky - if I had to support my family growing up instead of having the

00:17:08
time to learn how to code if I didn't know that I was gonna be fine if Facebook didn't work out then I wouldn't

00:17:15
be standing up here today and if we were honest we all know how much luck we've had to get to this point in our lives

00:17:24
every generation expands its definition of equality previous generations fought for the vote and civil rights they had

00:17:34
the New Deal and Great Society and now it's time for our generation to define a new social contract

00:17:48
we should have a society that measures progress not just by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a

00:17:57
role we find meaningful we should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure that everyone has a

00:18:03
cushion to try new ideas we're all gonna change jobs and roles many times so we need affordable childcare to get to work

00:18:14
and healthcare that's not tied to just one employer and we're all gonna make mistakes so we need a society that's

00:18:25
less focused on locking us up and stigmatizing us when we do and as our technology keeps on evolving we need a

00:18:33
society that is more focused on providing continuous education through our lives and yes giving everyone the

00:18:45
freedom to pursue purpose isn't going to be free people like me should pay for it and a lot of you are going to do really

00:18:53
well and you should too that is why Priscilla and I started the Chan Zuckerberg initiative and committed

00:19:07
our wealth to promoting equal opportunity these are the values of our whole generation it was never a question

00:19:21
of if we were gonna do this the only question was when Millennials are already one of the most charitable

00:19:28
generations in history in just one year more than three and four u.s. Millennials donated to charity and more

00:19:37
than seven and ten raise money for another one but it's not just about giving money you can also give time and

00:19:45
I promise you if you just take an hour to a week that's all it takes to give someone a hand and help them reach their

00:19:53
potential now maybe you're thinking that's a lot of time I'm not sure if I have that much time I used to think that

00:20:02
you know when Priscilla graduated from Harvard she became a teacher and before she'd do education work with me she told

00:20:09
me that I needed to get my own experience teaching a class at first I complained you know I'm kind of busy

00:20:17
running this company but she insisted so I taught an after-school program at the local Boys and Girls Club on

00:20:28
entrepreneurship I taught those kids lessons on product development and marketing and they taught me what it was

00:20:38
like growing up feeling targeted for your race and what it's like having a family member in prison

00:20:45
I shared stories of my time in school and they shared their hope that one day they would get to go to college - for

00:20:56
five years I've had dinner with those students every month one of them even through Priscilla and me our first baby

00:21:05
shower and next year they're going to college every one of them first generation and

00:21:16
their families we can all make time to give someone a hand let's give everyone the freedom to pursue purpose not just

00:21:26
because it's the right thing to do but because when more people can turn their dreams into something great we are all

00:21:31
better for it purpose doesn't only come from work the third way we can create a sense of

00:21:48
purpose for everyone is by building community and in our generation when we say purpose for everyone we mean

00:21:56
everyone in the world now quick show of hands how many of you here are from another country I now keep your hands up

00:22:08
how many of you are friends with one of these folks now we're talking see we have we have grown up connected in a

00:22:20
recent survey of Millennials around the world asking what most defines our identity the most popular answer wasn't

00:22:27
nationality ethnicity or religion it was citizen of the world that's a big deal

00:22:36
every generation expands the circle of people we consider one of us and in our generation that now includes the whole

00:22:45
world we understand that the great arc of human history bends towards people coming together in ever greater numbers

00:22:55
from tribes to cities to nations to achieve things that we could not on our own we get that our greatest

00:23:03
opportunities are now global we can be the generation that ends poverty that ends disease and we get that our

00:23:11
greatest challenges need global responses to no country can fight climate change alone or prevent

00:23:18
pandemics progress now requires coming together not just as cities or nation but also as a global community but we

00:23:29
live in an unstable time there are people left behind by globalization across the whole world and it's tough to

00:23:38
care about people in other places well we don't first feel good about our lives here at home there's pressure to turn

00:23:46
inwards this is the struggle of our time the forces of freedom openness and global community against the forces of

00:23:57
authoritarianism isolationism and nationalism forces for the flow of knowledge trade and immigration against

00:24:07
those who would slow them down this is not a battle of Nations it is a battle of ideas there are people in every

00:24:18
country for more global connection and there are good people against it and this isn't gonna be decided at the UN

00:24:25
either it's gonna happen at the local level when enough of us feel a sense of purpose and stability and our own lives

00:24:35
that we can start to open up and care about everyone else - and the best way to do that is to start building local

00:24:44
communities right now we'll get a lot of meaning from our communities who hears from Elliot house

00:25:03
how about Lowell I know you guys found community because you literally live right on top of each other and Mather

00:25:14
I'll just leave that there whether our communities are houses or sports teams churches or acapella groups they give us

00:25:25
that sense that we were a part of something bigger that we are not alone they give us the strength to expand our

00:25:32
horizons and that's why it's so striking that over the past few decades membership in all kinds of communities

00:25:40
has declined by as much as one quarter that's a lot of people who now need to find a sense of purpose somewhere else

00:25:48
but I know that we can rebuild these communities and start new ones because many of you already are

00:25:55
I met Agnes ps-aguié who's graduating today Agnes where are you agnus spent her childhood navigating

00:26:10
conflict zones with human trafficking in Uganda and now she's trained thousands of law enforcement officials to keep

00:26:18
communities safe I'm at Kayla Oakley and Neha Jain graduating today to stand up guys

00:26:35
Kayla Nia started a nonprofit that connects people suffering from chronic illnesses with people in their

00:26:43
communities who are willing to help out and I met David Rosner who's graduating from the Kennedy School today David

00:26:59
stand up David is a former city councilor who fought to make Mexico City the first Latin American city to pass

00:27:12
marriage equality even before San Francisco and this is my story - a student in a dorm connecting one

00:27:29
community at a time and keeping at it until one day we can connect the whole world change starts local even Global

00:27:42
Change starts small with people like us in our generation the struggle of whether we connect more whether we

00:27:51
achieve our greatest opportunities comes down to this your ability to build communities and create a world where

00:28:00
every single person has a sense of purpose class of 2017 you are graduating into a

00:28:18
world that needs purpose and it's up to you to create it now maybe you're asking yourself can I really do this well

00:28:33
remember when I told you about that class I taught at the Boys & Girls Club one day after class I was talking to my

00:28:41
students about going to college and one of my top students raised his hand and said that he wasn't sure he could go to

00:28:48
college because he's undocumented he wasn't sure if they'd take him last year I took him out to breakfast

00:28:56
for his birthday and I wanted to get him a gift so I asked him what he wanted and he just started talking about struggles

00:29:05
that he saw other students in his class facing and finally said you know I'd really just like a book on social

00:29:12
justice I was blown away here is a young guy who has every reason to be cynical he wasn't sure if the country he calls

00:29:26
home the only one he's known was gonna deny him his dream of going to college but he wasn't feeling sorry for himself

00:29:37
he wasn't even thinking of himself he has a greater sense of purpose and he's gonna bring people along with him it

00:29:50
says something about our situation today that I can't even say his name because I don't want to put him at risk but if a

00:29:59
high school senior who doesn't know what the future holds for him can do his part to move the world forward then we owe it

00:30:08
to the world to do our part to so before you walk out those gates one last time

00:30:41
and as we sit here in front of Memorial Church I'm reminded of a prayer Misha Barak that I say whenever I face a big

00:30:54
challenge that I sing to my daughter thinking of her future when I tuck her in at night and it goes may the source

00:31:05
of strength whose blessed the ones before us help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing I hope you

00:31:17
find the courage to make your life a blessing congratulations class of 2017 good luck out there

00:31:24
[Applause] [Music] [Music]

Recent Videos You Can Read...

ENGLISH SPEECH | STEVE JOBS: Stanford Commencement ...

Read Now

The next outbreak? We’re not ready | Bill Gates

Read Now

Top 2020 Marketing Strategies That Will Help Your ...

Read Now

Visualizing the Marketing Funnel - Whiteboard Frid ...

Read Now

How to Sell An Online Course Without A Following | ...

Read Now

Lazy Way To Make $500 Online TODAY (NO WORK) | Pas ...

Read Now

ENGLISH SPEECH | AAMIR KHAN: For a Better India (E ...

Read Now

LEARN ENGLISH | BILL GATES: Harvard Commencement A ...

Read Now

3X Your Email Results By Applying These Frameworks ...

Read Now

Learn English via Conversation with Barack Obama, ...

Read Now

Best Long Term Portfolio Stocks for Investment Ind ...

Read Now

ENGLISH SPEECH | SUNDAR PICHAI: You Will Prevail ( ...

Read Now

How to Think About Marketing and Social Media in 2 ...

Read Now

ENGLISH SPEECH | SELENA GOMEZ: Trust Yourself (Eng ...

Read Now

LEARN ENGLISH | MARK ZUCKERBERG: Find Your Purpose ...

Read Now

LEARN ENGLISH | WILL SMITH: How to Face Fear (Engl ...

Read Now

LEARN ENGLISH | ANGELINA JOLIE: What We Stand For? ...

Read Now