Apple CEO Tim Cook tells Duke grads that technology has made this 'the best time in history to be alive'

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a commencement speech to new graduates of Duke University on Sunday.
  • He says that despite major issues like inequality, climate change, and political division, technology has made this ‘the best time in history to be alive.’
  • Cook also encouraged Duke grads to be ‘fearless,’ like the women of the #MeToo movement or the survivors of the Parkland school shooting.

Apple CEO Tim Cook touched on hot-button political issues, including climate change and economic inequality, as he gave a commencement speech at Duke University on Sunday.

Despite the many big issues of the day, including rising political division, he said that technology still makes the present day “the best time in history to be alive” – striking an optimistic tone for graduating students in North Carolina.

“Our country is deeply divided, and too many Americans refuse to hear any opinion that differs from their own. Our planet is warming, with devastating consequences, and there are some that even deny it’s even happening. Our schools and communities suffer from deep inequality. We fail to guarantee the every student the right to a good education. And yet, we are not powerless in the face of these problems. You are not powerless to fix them,” Cook said.

“No generation has ever had more power than yours. And no generation has had a chance to change things faster than yours can. The pace at which progress is possible has accelerated dramatically. Aided by technology, every individual has the tools, the potential and reach to build a better world,” he continued.

“That makes this the best time in history to be alive.”

During the commencement speech, Cook also praised Parkland High School students and the “Me Too” movement as examples of being “fearless,” a quality he encouraged the recent graduates to emulate.

“Fearless, like the students of Parkland, Florida, who refused to be silent about the epidemic of gun violence and have rallied millions to their cause,” he said.

“Fearless, like the women who say “me too” and “times up.” Women who cast light onto dark places and move us to a more just and equal future,” Cook continued. “Duke graduates, be fearless!”

Cook has a strong connection to Duke. He graduated from Duke’s business school, Fuqua, with an MBA in 1988, and remains a committed fan of Duke’s basketball team. Since graduating, Cook has made good: He’s been named as one of the most respected CEOs, and Apple has grown prodigiously since he took over in 2011.

You can watch the entire speech below:

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