12.10.2020
2020 Ripple of Hope Award: Dan Springer’s Remarks

Good evening. So to dispense with the obvious question on all of your minds; no, my mother was not on the selection committee for this wonderful award. But I would like to thank all of those who were involved for considering me, especially Kerry Kennedy.

Now back to my mom. She’s clearly the biggest reason I was in a position to be so overly, generously recognized tonight. As a single mom, she made her top priority the creation of opportunities for her children. And that is why I like to say I won the ovarian lottery. Further to that, my good fortune was accelerated when I ended up in Silicon Valley during the greatest wealth creation boom in history. And acknowledging that I ended up on the lucky side of the opportunity divide, it feels necessary and appropriate to devote a significant amount of my time, talent, and treasure to curing the greatest social ill in our society today—income and wealth inequality. There are a number of dramatically important issues that our society needs to address, many of which are championed by Ripple of Hope recipients tonight. But I firmly believe, without economic opportunity, our other freedoms are fundamentally weakened. But my personal goal is not so lofty as curing income inequality but rather a modest redistribution so that those without all the opportunities people like me have had will still have the ability to earn a liveable wage. 

Quoting Robert Kennedy, “It’s not enough to understand or to simply see clearly. The future will be shaped in the arena of human activity by those willing to commit their minds and their bodies to the task.” So the requirement to be on the right side of this issue is therefore the application of one’s time and treasure. My model is to ask you all to simply do the following: 1) Serve on at least one board for an organization committed to improve the human welfare of our least fortunate citizens and 2) When you have enough, stop accumulating wealth. By all means, keep creating it but spread it around. My specific call is for CEOs and executives to give 100 percent of all their new equity, once they have sufficient capital for themselves and their family. I started this pledge last year and it’s really quite easy to do, especially because as a public company CEO, my compensation is by definition unconscionable. If you’re interested in how I’ve structured this approach, please call me as I’d be thrilled to help you do the same. Thank you so much.

Contact

Minhee Cho
Media Relations Associate
mcho@rfkhumanrights.org

Dan Springer’s 2020 Ripple of Hope Remarks