Amazon's Jeff Bezos turns to Twitter for philanthropy ideas

Also the founder of Blue Origin, Bezos is used to thinking big and long term.

Mr Bezos, an infrequent tweeter, started asking for ideas after the New York Times inquired about his level of giving, according to an article by the newspaper.

"If you have ideas, just reply to this tweet with the idea". "This tweet is a request for ideas", Bezos said, explaining that he wants his philanthropic work to be less focused on the long term and more "at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact".

Bezos, who is now worth $83.7 billion, isn't a big name in philanthropy, at least not yet. Bezos is already invested in various long-term personal plans in non-profit companies such as Blue Origin space firm and The Washington Post, a contrast to his latest appeal for "helping people in the here and now". As reported by The Verge, Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, have donated tens of millions to scientific research.

For philanthropy, Bezos has supported a foundation run by his parents that focuses on education.

Still, Bezos has yet to make charity a cornerstone of his work, like Microsoft Corp's Bill Gates or Facebook Inc's Mark Zuckerberg have. He also previously donated to fund to Clock of the Long Now, a clock created to keep time for 10,000 years. Bezos has not joined them and 167 other of the world's richest people in pledging to give more than half of their fortunes to philanthropy.

Naturally Twitter responded within minutes with a wide range of suggestions including affordable housing, pitches to fund women's health care and food programs for children, tackling homelessness, helping military veterans and prison inmates, and easing student and medical debts. "Forests are the best carbon capturing tech we have".

  • Zachary Reyes