Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, plans to donate a tiny part of his $160 billion fortune, and continue building with the rest.
Yesterday, Bezos announced The Day One Fund, committing (only) $2 billion or 1.25% of his fortune to family homeless shelters and Montessori-style preschools in underserved communities. Amazon and the tech giants are partially responsible for the homeless problem in and around Silicon Valley and other tech hubs.
This philanthropic endeavor is of course tiny compared to Bill Gates ($50+ billion), Warren Buffett (plans to give his whole fortune), and Mark Zuckerberg ($45+ billion).
Bezos explains that he is seeking long-term impact through ventures like his space exploration company Blue Origine.
“I’m going to give away a lot of money in a non-profit model, but I’m also going to invest a lot of money in something that most investors might say is a terrible investment — like Blue Origin — but that I think is important.” — Bezos in Washington, DC, last night
We have two choices as humans, he said: stop growing now, and keep population and energy consumption constant, or move into outer space and further colonies the solar system.
Bezos likes option 2. And he dreams of his company Blue Origine being the one to get you there.
So this puts him in a similar boat as Elon Musk with SpaceX. A plan B. To mitigate existential risk of the inevitable. An undesired and overlooked side effect of technology fueled by human greed.
Elon & Bezos. Pioneers to save the human race?
What do you think?