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Despite all of the bad things happening on Earth each day, there are lots of good things happening, too. I imagine that those who sit on the Nobel Peace Prize committee face a daunting challenge when trying to decide whom to select as the current year's Nobel Peace Prize winner. There are so many worthy individuals, organizations, and causes from which to choose. And, in a sense, all of the Nobel nominees are winners. Regrettably, they all cannot be selected.

A personal favorite candidate of mine to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize is none other than one of my contemporary idols, Mr. Stevie Wonder, who has been an inspiration to me throughout my lifetime. Another favorite pick of mine is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. One of the most impressive things about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is its focus on measurable results, or its insistence on getting the most bang for the buck, so to speak, rather than wasting money on ill-conceived and hastily put together non-crisis types of charitable projects. Obviously, it is not for me to decide who should win any of these kinds of awards. So, being a committee of one, I have decided to create my own rather subjective selection of an annual award winner. It hereby is called the Annual Bruessard Award. This annual award is only meant for World Wide Web recognition. It does not contain any type of monetary prize and does not have any type of trophy attached to it.

You may have heard of Time magazine's now-famous yearly selection of its "Person of the Year." To be sure, possibly following Time magazine's lead, each December, it has become something of a USA tradition for popular newspapers, magazines, and television programs to summarize the year's top events or to announce their picks for the year's most notable movers and shakers in various fields of endeavor. Continuing with this USA end-of-year tradition, I have decided to recognize my personal favorite person(s), place(s), thing(s), idea(s), or event(s) of the year. The announcement of the Annual Bruessard Award winner will be made each year on this page during the month of December.

Had I begun this annual announcement in 2014, I most likely would have selected Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) as my choice for 2014's winner. Doctors Without Borders deeply impressed me. While many others were trying to run away from, escape, or otherwise avoid the Ebola epidemic, Doctors Without Borders courageously, boldly, and heroically was the first of note to step forward and run towards the Ebola epidemic. They put on their protective gear, rolled down their sleeves, and went to work eradicating the rather horrific and rather scary Ebola epidemic. Theirs was the ultimate expression of courage, selflessness, and personal sacrifice in the face of adversity and danger. There was no fame or fortune awaiting these doctors and other Ebola workers once they completed their war-on-Ebola missions in Africa. To be sure, some of them were scorned when they returned home.


With that being said about my unofficial 2014 selection, I now wish to turn my attention to 2015. Please join me in congratulating the husband-and-wife Team of Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan as the first official recipients of the Annual Bruessard Award. They are being recognized for their unparalleled generosity in service to Earth and humanity.

I was deeply touched when, on 01-December-2015 in tandem with the birth of their daughter, Mark and Priscilla announced that, during the course of their lifetimes, they would be donating 99% of their shares in Facebook stock to various charitable causes with a focus on "personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities."

Watch (Mark Zuckerberg announces the birth of his daughter along with a major children's initiative on Facebook)

What an amazing act of selflessness, kindness, and philanthropy. The donation, in total, is equivalent to approximately $45 billion (USD) as of 2015. That's a staggering and mind-boggling sum of money for anyone to commit to giving away. For one person or one family to give away such an astonishing amount of money for the greater benefit of Earth and humanity, well, it is something that you normally do not witness every day.

Mark and Priscilla's rather colossal monetary gift most definitely got my attention—and the attention of many others, too—which inspired me to create this "Announcement" page to honor them—and to honor future trailblazing person(s), place(s), thing(s), idea(s), or event(s). For, in the words of Vice President Joe Biden, their pledge was a big bleeping deal. One thing is certain about Mark and Priscilla, and it is this: Nobody can ever accuse them of not sharing and spreading their wealth for the betterment of humanity in support of some very worthwhile and needy causes. Many lives will be changed for the better as a result of their super generous donation. On behalf of all humans, I wish to take this moment to say, "Thank you, Mark and Priscilla."

To be sure, Mark and Priscilla do not stand alone in their generosity. Some other wealthy but generous humans can be found here. Charitable giving runs the gamut from GlobalGiving to GoFundMe. Perhaps two things that distinguish Mark and Priscilla from some of the other wealthy donors are the enormity of their donation and the swiftness in which Mark and Priscilla are moving from pledge to action.

Winner's Circle: 2015

List of Winners: The Annual Bruessard Award
Year Winner Reason for Selection Bio Links
2015 Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, MD They pledged to donate 99% of their shares in Facebook stock to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a charitable foundation to support various charitable causes with a focus on "personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities." Mark Zuckerberg
Priscilla Chan

I have selected Stevie Wonder's song titled Feeding Off The Love Of The Land to coronate Mark and Priscilla's selection as the first recipients of the Annual Bruessard Award. This tribute song, by the way, originally was written and performed to raise money for another very worthwhile charitable cause.

Watch (Stevie Wonder, Feeding Off The Love Of The Land)


May many years of love, happiness, and joy lie ahead for this young, thoughtful, generous, industrious, and caring family—and I think most of you would agree that they already have gotten the "prosperity" part of life covered. Congratulations, again, Mark and Priscilla, for being the first recipients of the Annual Bruessard Award. Keep up the good work. Your actions and deeds are manifestations of the best of humanity.

And, one final thing: Welcome to the world of parenthood. Good luck and best wishes.

A letter to our daughter


Dear Max,

Your mother and I don't yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future. Your new life is full of promise, and we hope you will be happy and healthy so you can explore it fully. You've already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in.

Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today.

While headlines often focus on what's wrong, in many ways the world is getting better. Health is improving. Poverty is shrinking. Knowledge is growing. People are connecting. Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today.

We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.

We believe all lives have equal value, and that includes the many more people who will live in future generations than live today. Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world, not just those already here.

But right now, we don't always collectively direct our resources at the biggest opportunities and problems your generation will face.

Consider disease. Today we spend about 50 times more as a society treating people who are sick than we invest in research so you won't get sick in the first place.

Medicine has only been a real science for less than 100 years, and we've already seen complete cures for some diseases and good progress for others. As technology accelerates, we have a real shot at preventing, curing or managing all or most of the rest in the next 100 years.

Today, most people die from five things -- heart disease, cancer, stroke, neurodegenerative and infectious diseases -- and we can make faster progress on these and other problems.

Once we recognize that your generation and your children's generation may not have to suffer from disease, we collectively have a responsibility to tilt our investments a bit more towards the future to make this reality. Your mother and I want to do our part.

Curing disease will take time. Over short periods of five or ten years, it may not seem like we're making much of a difference. But over the long term, seeds planted now will grow, and one day, you or your children will see what we can only imagine: a world without suffering from disease.

There are so many opportunities just like this. If society focuses more of its energy on these great challenges, we will leave your generation a much better world.

•   •   •

Our hopes for your generation focus on two ideas: advancing human potential and promoting equality.

Advancing human potential is about pushing the boundaries on how great a human life can be.

Can you learn and experience 100 times more than we do today?

Can our generation cure disease so you live much longer and healthier lives?

Can we connect the world so you have access to every idea, person and opportunity?

Can we harness more clean energy so you can invent things we can't conceive of today while protecting the environment?

Can we cultivate entrepreneurship so you can build any business and solve any challenge to grow peace and prosperity?

Promoting equality is about making sure everyone has access to these opportunities -- regardless of the nation, families or circumstances they are born into.

Our society must do this not only for justice or charity, but for the greatness of human progress.

Today we are robbed of the potential so many have to offer. The only way to achieve our full potential is to channel the talents, ideas and contributions of every person in the world.

Can our generation eliminate poverty and hunger?

Can we provide everyone with basic healthcare?

Can we build inclusive and welcoming communities?

Can we nurture peaceful and understanding relationships between people of all nations?

Can we truly empower everyone -- women, children, underrepresented minorities, immigrants and the unconnected?

If our generation makes the right investments, the answer to each of these questions can be yes -- and hopefully within your lifetime.

•   •   •

This mission -- advancing human potential and promoting equality -- will require a new approach for all working towards these goals.

We must make long term investments over 25, 50 or even 100 years. The greatest challenges require very long time horizons and cannot be solved by short term thinking.

We must engage directly with the people we serve. We can't empower people if we don't understand the needs and desires of their communities.

We must build technology to make change. Many institutions invest money in these challenges, but most progress comes from productivity gains through innovation.

We must participate in policy and advocacy to shape debates. Many institutions are unwilling to do this, but progress must be supported by movements to be sustainable.

We must back the strongest and most independent leaders in each field. Partnering with experts is more effective for the mission than trying to lead efforts ourselves.

We must take risks today to learn lessons for tomorrow. We're early in our learning and many things we try won't work, but we'll listen and learn and keep improving.

•   •   •

Our experience with personalized learning, internet access, and community education and health has shaped our philosophy.

Our generation grew up in classrooms where we all learned the same things at the same pace regardless of our interests or needs.

Your generation will set goals for what you want to become -- like an engineer, health worker, writer or community leader. You'll have technology that understands how you learn best and where you need to focus. You'll advance quickly in subjects that interest you most, and get as much help as you need in your most challenging areas. You'll explore topics that aren't even offered in schools today. Your teachers will also have better tools and data to help you achieve your goals.

Even better, students around the world will be able to use personalized learning tools over the internet, even if they don't live near good schools. Of course it will take more than technology to give everyone a fair start in life, but personalized learning can be one scalable way to give all children a better education and more equal opportunity.

We're starting to build this technology now, and the results are already promising. Not only do students perform better on tests, but they gain the skills and confidence to learn anything they want. And this journey is just beginning. The technology and teaching will rapidly improve every year you're in school.

Your mother and I have both taught students and we've seen what it takes to make this work. It will take working with the strongest leaders in education to help schools around the world adopt personalized learning. It will take engaging with communities, which is why we're starting in our San Francisco Bay Area community. It will take building new technology and trying new ideas. And it will take making mistakes and learning many lessons before achieving these goals.

But once we understand the world we can create for your generation, we have a responsibility as a society to focus our investments on the future to make this reality.

Together, we can do this. And when we do, personalized learning will not only help students in good schools, it will help provide more equal opportunity to anyone with an internet connection.

•   •   •

Many of the greatest opportunities for your generation will come from giving everyone access to the internet.

People often think of the internet as just for entertainment or communication. But for the majority of people in the world, the internet can be a lifeline.

It provides education if you don't live near a good school. It provides health information on how to avoid diseases or raise healthy children if you don't live near a doctor. It provides financial services if you don't live near a bank. It provides access to jobs and opportunities if you don't live in a good economy.

The internet is so important that for every 10 people who gain internet access, about one person is lifted out of poverty and about one new job is created.

Yet still more than half of the world's population -- more than 4 billion people -- don't have access to the internet.

If our generation connects them, we can lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. We can also help hundreds of millions of children get an education and save millions of lives by helping people avoid disease.

This is another long term effort that can be advanced by technology and partnership. It will take inventing new technology to make the internet more affordable and bring access to unconnected areas. It will take partnering with governments, non-profits and companies. It will take engaging with communities to understand what they need. Good people will have different views on the best path forward, and we will try many efforts before we succeed.

But together we can succeed and create a more equal world.

•   •   •

Technology can't solve problems by itself. Building a better world starts with building strong and healthy communities.

Children have the best opportunities when they can learn. And they learn best when they're healthy.

Health starts early -- with loving family, good nutrition and a safe, stable environment.

Children who face traumatic experiences early in life often develop less healthy minds and bodies. Studies show physical changes in brain development leading to lower cognitive ability.

Your mother is a doctor and educator, and she has seen this firsthand.

If you have an unhealthy childhood, it's difficult to reach your full potential.

If you have to wonder whether you'll have food or rent, or worry about abuse or crime, then it's difficult to reach your full potential.

If you fear you'll go to prison rather than college because of the color of your skin, or that your family will be deported because of your legal status, or that you may be a victim of violence because of your religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, then it's difficult to reach your full potential.

We need institutions that understand these issues are all connected. That's the philosophy of the new type of school your mother is building.

By partnering with schools, health centers, parent groups and local governments, and by ensuring all children are well fed and cared for starting young, we can start to treat these inequities as connected. Only then can we collectively start to give everyone an equal opportunity.

It will take many years to fully develop this model. But it's another example of how advancing human potential and promoting equality are tightly linked. If we want either, we must first build inclusive and healthy communities.

•   •   •

For your generation to live in a better world, there is so much more our generation can do.

Today your mother and I are committing to spend our lives doing our small part to help solve these challenges. I will continue to serve as Facebook's CEO for many, many years to come, but these issues are too important to wait until you or we are older to begin this work. By starting at a young age, we hope to see compounding benefits throughout our lives.

As you begin the next generation of the Chan Zuckerberg family, we also begin the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation. Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.

We will give 99% of our Facebook shares -- currently about $45 billion -- during our lives to advance this mission. We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others.

We'll share more details in the coming months once we settle into our new family rhythm and return from our maternity and paternity leaves. We understand you'll have many questions about why and how we're doing this.

As we become parents and enter this next chapter of our lives, we want to share our deep appreciation for everyone who makes this possible.

We can do this work only because we have a strong global community behind us. Building Facebook has created resources to improve the world for the next generation. Every member of the Facebook community is playing a part in this work.

We can make progress towards these opportunities only by standing on the shoulders of experts -- our mentors, partners and many incredible people whose contributions built these fields.

And we can only focus on serving this community and this mission because we are surrounded by loving family, supportive friends and amazing colleagues. We hope you will have such deep and inspiring relationships in your life too.

Max, we love you and feel a great responsibility to leave the world a better place for you and all children. We wish you a life filled with the same love, hope and joy you give us. We can't wait to see what you bring to this world.


Mom and Dad


Source for Letter: Facebook | A letter to our daughter



Intellectual Property Disclosures: All videos and songs (as well as many of the images) referenced or spotlighted throughout this website are the legal and intellectual properties of others. All content and opinions on this website ( are those of the author (Edward Bruessard) exclusively and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the contributors, creators, owners, and distributors of these referenced videos, songs, and images. The author holds no legal interest or financial stake in any of these referenced videos, songs, and images. The contributors, creators, owners, and distributors of these referenced videos, songs, and images played no role at all regarding the appearance of said videos, songs, and images throughout this website; they had no clue that this website would be spotlighting their works.

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