Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg new solution may stop rising housing costs, people moving to cities for jobs

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Updated: January 12, 2020 6:46 PM

Despite focusing for more than a decade on changing the way people connect and interact with each other globally, Facebook has been unable to bring a generational change in addressing critical issues.

Over the next decade, Facebook will focus more on funding and giving a platform to younger entrepreneurs.

Mark Zuckerberg hopes of leveraging augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) in the new decade to let people be present anywhere they want to be without being physically there. “Instead of having devices that take us away from the people around us, the next platform will help us be more present with each other and will help the technology get out of the way,” Zuckerberg said in his new year Facebook post on Friday. This hinted towards Facebook building a new AR/VR platform for people to be virtually able to reach anywhere where technology allows.

The ability to be present in a place without actually being there will, in fact, help resolve social issues currently such as rising housing costs and inequality of opportunity by geography. Telepresence via AR/VR could help people to work remotely and also solve the problem of affordable housing in densely populated cities. “Today, many people feel like they have to move to cities because that’s where the jobs are. But there isn’t enough housing in many cities, so housing costs are skyrocketing while the quality of living is decreasing. Imagine if you could live anywhere you chose and access any job anywhere else,” Zuckerberg wrote. Even as it looks like a scene from a sci-fi movie, Facebook head believed this should be closer to becoming reality by 2030 “if we deliver on what we’re building.”

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Despite focusing for more than a decade on changing the way people connect and interact with each other globally, Facebook has been unable to bring a generational change in addressing critical issues that Mark Zuckerberg said he thought it would bring in 2010s. This change is something more than just empowering people of his generation and Zuckerberg thinks it will happen in the 2020s — to solve issues younger generation faces such as climate change, runaway costs of education, housing and healthcare. “By the end of this decade, I expect more institutions will be run by millennials and more policies will be set to address these problems with longer-term outlooks,” said Zuckerberg.

For this, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative — the technology-led philanthropy arm founded by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan in 2015 — will focus on investing in curing, preventing and managing all diseases in today’s children’s lifetimes, or making primary education more personalized to students needs. “Over the next decade, we’ll focus more on funding and giving a platform to younger entrepreneurs, scientists, and leaders to enable these changes,” he said.

Zuckerberg in his annual new year post said instead of taking annual personal challenges like previous years such as learning Mandarin, read more books, run more etc. he would take a longer-term focus this year and how life would like in 2030 in order to focus on them. “We’ll have the technology to feel truly present with another person no matter where they are, and scientific research will have helped cure and prevent enough diseases to extend our average life expectancy by another 2.5 years.”

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