Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wants to spend sometime outside his hoodie-infested Silicon Valley bubble in the new year. The famous nerd announced (on Facebook, obviously) that his “personal challenge” for 2017 would be “to have visited and met people in every state in the US by the end of the year.”
Zuckerberg has previously challenged himself to run more, read books, learn Mandarin, and build a simple AI system for his home. Fun!
But this year’s challenge will require Zuckerberg to venture out into unfamiliar territory: Donald Trump’s America. The tech guru said that, in order to accomplish his challenge, he’ll “need to travel to about 30 states,” given the “significant time” he has already spent in others states, presumably the ones along the coasts.
Zuckerberg hopes his travels will help him to better understand common folk. “After a tumultuous last year, my hope for this challenge is to get out and talk to more people about how they’re living, working and thinking about the future,” he wrote on Facebook. “Recently, I’ve traveled around the world and visited many cities, and now I’m excited to explore more of our country and meet more people here.”
The Zuck’s travels will take a variety of forms, he said in the post, including road trips with his wife, visits to college campuses, meetings with scientists, and “trips to fun places you recommend along the way.”
In many cases, traveling across the country to visit average Americans in small towns is viewed as a sign that a person is planning to run for political office. Is Zuckerberg considering a future in politics?
Emails published by WikiLeaks revealed that Zuckerberg reached out to Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in August 2015 because he wanted to become more engaged in the political process.
Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg told Podesta that the tech guru was “hungry to learn” about politics, and was eager to “meet folks who can inform his understanding about effective political operations to advance public policy goals on social oriented objectives.”
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