We’re seven months into 2017 and the Facebook CEO is well on his way to completing his New Year’s resolution: He wants to have met and spoken with people in every U.S. state by the end of the year. By his estimation, that means he has about 30 states to hit in 2017. (He’s already been to 20, apparently.)
So far we’ve seen Zuckerberg at a Texas rodeo, on the streets of New Orleans for Mardi Gras and chatting with towering college basketball players from Duke and North Carolina. (Click on the map points to get more info.)
Update July 18: Traveling in Montana over the weekend, Zuckerberg toured Glacier National Park with some National Park Service Rangers. He met a service dog that keeps away bears and discussed how climate change is affecting the park and its glaciers.
Zuckerberg also visited the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, and in a Facebook post he discussed the tribal council, business development and the number of social ills facing the reservation, including a meth epidemic.
Update July 12: Zuckerberg went live from a research facility a mile under the earth in South Dakota on Wednesday, then had lunch on a 2,500 acre cattle ranch.
Visiting Williston, North Dakota, Zuckerberg learned about fracking and the myriad issues surrounding the process, including social concerns that have arisen from a transient oil boom town as well as residents’ thoughts on climate change.
“One person told me the night the [Dakota Access] pipeline was approved, people lit fireworks and rode trucks with American flags down Main Street to celebrate,” Zuckerberg said. “It's interesting to see this perspective when science overwhelmingly suggests fossil fuels contribute to climate change, which is one of the great challenges our generation will have to deal with.”
Update July 5: Zuckerberg spent the weekend before the Fourth of July holiday in beautiful Alaska, where he caught and cleaned local salmon and met with “Native Alaskans.” He left impressed with the state’s Permanent Fund Dividend, which pays residents a portion of the state’s annual revenue from harvesting oil.
“Seeing how Alaska put this dividend in place reminded me of a lesson I learned early at Facebook: organizations think profoundly differently when they're profitable than when they're in debt,” he wrote. “Alaska's economy has historically created this winning mentality, which has led to this basic income. That may be a lesson for the rest of the country as well.”
Update June 24: Zuckerberg is expanding his tour of the Midwest starting with the Facebook Communities Summit in Chicago, where he announced Facebook’s updated mission: “Bringing the world closer together.” So far this trip he’s added Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska to his list of states.
Update May 23: Zuckerberg is making his way through the American Northeast, including stops in Rhode Island, Maine and Massachusetts (where he went to college and where his wife, Priscilla, grew up). Zuckerberg has also offered another lengthy update on his progress thus far, and another declaration that he is not running for public office.
Update May 1: In late April, Zuckerberg powered through another four states: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin. Thankfully he brought his photographer along so we could see this image of him driving a tractor for the first time.
In total, Zuckerberg has visited at least 23 states on his tour: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. He also made a pit stop to Redmond, Wash., home of Microsoft, for a visit to the Oculus research lab. (We’ll count the Washington stop, though it wasn’t necessarily billed as a get out and meet people kind of trip.)
You can follow along on this map to see Zuckerberg’s stops, and what he has shared about each one on his Facebook page.
When he announced his plans for the trip, Zuckerberg said he wanted to “get out and talk to more people about how they’re living, working and thinking about the future.” When we spoke with Zuckerberg earlier this month, we asked him: What have you learned so far?
“I think the commonality is that in every community, there are certain entrepreneurs or leaders who really organize and get people motivated to go do stuff,” Zuckerberg said. “A lot of our groups and communities products today were developed to be very flat, so for families, things where there’s not a leader. But a lot of communities in the world, whether it’s a church or a sports team or a company or all kinds of local organizations — good organizations have good leaders who motivate people and inspire them and take care of them and all of that. And I think we need to shift the focus of the product a little bit more to empower those community leaders around the world.”