Late last month Tim Cook announced to the world that he would be joining the Giving Pledge. The Giving Pledge is a commitment by some of the most wealthy individuals in the world to give the majority of the wealth they’ve accumulated over their lives to charity either during their lives or after they pass. Some notable people that have signed the Giving Pledge are Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison and Mark Zuckerberg. Those four alone have $239 billion dollars.
Tim Cook’s wealth, which is estimated at $800 million, pales in comparison to those names but it is important nonetheless. More and more billionaires and business leaders are joining the Giving Pledge. Tim Cook had to replace the most adored CEO in history, Steve Jobs. His pledge along with other tech leaders shows that they believe civil society and philanthropy plays an important role in our future.
As government has grown, many have looked to it to solve social problems. But government, though good at some things, is not known for innovative problem solving. So Cook now joins the increasing number of tech and business leaders that see the effectiveness of philanthropy and non profits.
As a new industry is disrupted everyday by technology, the world is changing at a rapid pace and often government can’t keep up and can definitely not innovate. College, for example, has always been the staple of American education and has historically received millions in donations and government support. But even it’s future is questionable. High rates and lower cost and arguably more effective solutions are popping up left and right.
Tim Cook joining the Giving Pledge lends even more credence to importance of giving and further alienates people like Carlos Slim who adhere to the more traditional way of thinking – that businesses can solve society’s woes.