Zuckerberg finally bags that Harvard degree

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg finally has that Harvard diploma he missed out on when he instead decided to work on a rival to Myspace, Bebo and Friendster back in 2004.

All in all, it was a decision that probably paid off. He now sits fourth in the Forbes rich list, and Facebook seems to be doing pretty well for itself – which is more than can be said for Myspace, Bebo and Friendster.

But Zuckerberg didn’t just pop by to pick up his degree and then head back to the office. Instead, he stuck around long enough to give the commencement address to this year’s set of graduates. “If I get through this speech, it’ll be the first time I actually finish something at Harvard,” he began.

He used his speech to discuss ideas he’s backed before, most prominently the need to consider a universal basic income in a world where automation is going to change the world of work beyond all recognition. “We should have a society that measures progress not by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas,” he said.

The Facebook founder also took the opportunity to repeat his vision for an open world connected by the internet, pushing back at a time when many are calling for closed borders and introversion. “There are people left behind by globalisation across the whole world. And it’s tough to care about people in other places when we don’t first feel good about our lives here at home. There’s pressure to turn inwards,” he said.

“This is the struggle of our time. The forces of freedom, openness and global community against the forces of authoritarianism, isolationism and nationalism. Forces for the flow of knowledge, trade and immigration against those who would slow them down. This is not a battle of nations. It’s a battle of ideas.”

You can watch the full speech – including the most awkward hug ever to be televised – in the video below.

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