Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg believes deeply that making the Internet more social will, in turn, make society more democratic. “People sharing more — even if just with their close friends or families — creates a more open culture and leads to a better understanding of the lives and perspectives of others,” Zuckerberg wrote in his company’s IPO prospectus. In this respect, Zuckerberg is an idealist of the first order. He’s not alone. Increasingly, young entrepreneurs, particularly in technology, are looking to create businesses that contribute to the public good as well as make money. In 2010, Zuckerberg was named TIME’s person of the year.
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The 28-year-old Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook in his Harvard dorm room, is worth an estimated $13 billion. Facebook has become a global phenomenon, with over one billion users. But despite massive hype, Facebook’s initial public offering failed to live up to expectations. The company’s shares opened at $38 last May — and haven’t returned to that level since. Now, Zuckerberg is trying to bolster his influence in Washington, D.C. with a new lobbying group pushing for immigration reform.