ATHENS, Greece — Pope Francis met the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, who was dressed in a black tie suit, together with his wife, Priscilla Chan at the Santa Marta residence, the guest house in Vatican city in which Pope Francis lives. The reason for the meeting was to discuss how the evolution of technology can provide help as a means to reduce poverty worldwide.
From the beginning, the atmosphere was informal as they both started chatting and smiling to each other. According to Vatican spokesperson, Greg Burke, the meeting’s topics of discussion included analysis of how the use of communication technologies can be a significant tool to eliminate poverty, develop a philosophy of encounter and formulate a message of hope for people who need help.
During the meeting, Zuckerberg and Pope Francis exchanged opinions and mutual thoughts about poverty, the different ways of communications and what it means for each one of them alongside with the development of a model airplane. Both discussed the empowered solar vehicle that the young founder with his wife uses in order to provide the Internet to people in remote areas. Zuckerberg gave Pope Francis a Facebook drone aimed to expand the Internet to the developing countries and facilitate the communication.
Afterwards, Zuckerberg shared his experience and thoughts through his official account on Facebook. He explained and shared with his millions of followers that it was an honor to meet Pope Francis. He further stated that he and his wife admire Pope Francis for the messages of pure love he conveys to people, in addtion to the way he manages to approach people with different faiths and religion around the world. Both also analyzed the importance of connections through social media, especially the use of technology for connection in poor countries with no Internet access. Zuckerberg confessed that he gave Pope Francis a type of Aquila, the solar-power aircraft that will form internet access to countries that lack access to it.
The young entrepreneur announced his trip to Italy after the overwhelming earthquake the country experienced. According to Zuckerberg, he possessed a strong desire to meet Pope Francis and revisit Rome for several reasons including former studies and love he developed for the city after honeymooning there with Priscilla.
Pope Francis, has demonstrated his modern side of everyday life since he has become familiar with the use and the evolution of technology. He has officially joined Instagram, Twitter and has an official Facebook-owned site with more than 3.1 million followers.
Based on the couple’s experience it was a meeting that they will not forget. Zuckerberg has founded the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative that helps people around the world, gives feedback and live Q&As with politicians and organizations. Technology has the potential and the power to help people and Zuckerberg tries to prove this advantage once again.
– Eliza Karabetian-Nikotian