Mark Zuckerberg plans to do a lot of traveling in the New Year.
The Facebook (fb) CEO and Fortune’s pick for 2016’s Businessperson of the Year, said Tuesday that he plans to visit roughly 30 states in 2017—presumably ones where he's never been before—to achieve the goal of meeting with people in every U.S. state. The interstate road trip is Zuckerberg’s latest annual personal challenge that he undertakes for personal growth.
Last year, Zuckerberg built for his home a crude-version of Amazon's popular voice-controlled digital assistant Alexa that can turn on house lights and play music on command. He's also pledged in past years to learn Mandarin Chinese, eat only meat from animals that he personally killed, and read a new book every other week.
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Zuckerberg said that his new personal challenge would help him “get out and talk to more people about how they're living, working and thinking about the future” in light of a “tumultuous last year,” which he did not elaborate on. This is a popular theme, particularly following Donald Trump's unexpected ascendancy to president and the feeling among some elites that they have lost touch with a large swath of America.
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Here’s Zuckerberg’s full post via Facebook:
Every year I take on a personal challenge to learn new things and grow outside of my work. In recent years, I've run 365 miles, built a simple AI for my home, read 25 books and learned Mandarin.
My personal challenge for 2017 is to have visited and met people in every state in the US by the end of the year. I've spent significant time in many states already, so I'll need to travel to about 30 states this year to complete this challenge.
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.
Priscilla and I have enjoyed taking road trips together since we started dating. 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.
Going into this challenge, it seems we are at a turning point in history. For decades, technology and globalization have made us more productive and connected. This has created many benefits, but for a lot of people it has also made life more challenging. This has contributed to a greater sense of division than I have felt in my lifetime. We need to find a way to change the game so it works for everyone.
My work is about connecting the world and giving everyone a voice. I want to personally hear more of those voices this year. It will help me lead the work at Facebook and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative so we can make the most positive impact as the world enters an important new period.”
My trips this year will take different forms -- road trips with Priscilla, stops in small towns and universities, visits to our offices across the country, meetings with teachers and scientists, and trips to fun places you recommend along the way.
I've enjoyed doing these challenges with our community and I'll post tomorrow about how everyone around the world can join in. I'm looking forward to this challenge and I hope to see you out there!