Internet inventor (unknowingly) talks Chimp at Davos

Research | January 31, 2012

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting was just held in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, and one of the discussions really caught our attention. It was the Philanthropy Roundtable hosted by Victor Pinchuk and moderated by Chelsea Clinton.

Panelists included Google’s Eric Schmidt; Napster’s (and Facebook’s) Sean Parker; Yuri Milner, a Russian internet investor; and Alec Ross, who oversees technology for the U.S. State Department. These are the highlights we read about and thought were the most interesting:

  • Parker doesn’t “believe that a non-profit would be able to develop the technological tools necessary to create efficient social movements.” (So he’s created a for-profit social network called Causes, which has yet to really take off.)
  • Schmidt says “the one percent rule, whereby a firm gives away 1% of annual profits, 1% of its equity and 1% of its employees’ time, pioneered by and adopted by Google, is now the norm for Silicon Valley start-ups.”
  • Schmidt and Ross “predict that the mobile phone will be the most philanthropic (in the broadest sense) of all the new technologies.”
  • Tim Berners Lee, who is credited as being the inventor of the world wide web, sat in the audience, and he “suggested a radical approach to improving the effectiveness of philanthropy through extreme charity: it should become a routine activity.”

We’re pumped by every point, but it’s the last one that really has us buzzing, because what he describes is pretty much our intention through Chimp. Our vision, after all, is “to make giving part of everyday living.” Exciting times in e-philanthropy.

The quotes are excerpts from an Economist article, which you can find in full here. If you’re interested in more highlights from the meeting, Time also has a great overview of the “5 Things Everyone’s Talking About” at Davos, and The Guardian looks at how top delegates (including Bill Gates) answered some big questions on global wellbeing.

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