As Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered the 2018 commencement address at Duke University, North Carolina, yesterday, he spoke of immigration, #MeToo and encouraged fearlessness.
Cook opened by expressing his excitement to be back at Duke. He thanked his former professors for the impact they had on him while he was a student. He used his address to challenge students to “think differently” rather than just accept the status quo, commenting that they should leave the world better than they found it.
“I was lucky to learn from someone who believed this deeply. Someone who knew changing the world starts with following a vision, not following a path. He was my friend, my mentor, Steve Jobs. Steve’s vision was that the great idea comes from a restless refusal to accept things as they are.”
He spoke of global warming, inequality, and Apple’s commitment to the environment.
“Our planet is warming with devastating consequences, and there are some who deny that it’s even happening. Our schools and communities suffer from deep inequality. We fail to guarantee 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.”
He also spoke of one of his own personal heroes: Robert Kennedy.
“Kennedy gave the students a call to action. When you look across this country, and when you see people’s lives held back by discrimination and poverty, when you see injustice and inequality, he said you should be the last people to accept things as they are. Let Kennedy’s words echo here today.”
Cook left to a standing ovation, thanking the Apple founder, Steve Jobs, for his vision.