Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley leaders have formally launched a new political group.
Zuckerberg announced the formation of Fwd.us (pronounced "forward us") in an article in The Washington Post, aimed at revamping immigration policy, boosting education and encouraging investment in scientific research.
In it, he said the US needs a new approach to these issues if it is to get ahead economically including higher standards and accountability in schools and increased focus on learning about science, technology, engineering and math.
“The economy of the last century was primarily based on natural resources, industrial machines and manual labor (sic),” he wrote.
“Many of these resources were zero-sum and controlled by companies. If someone else had an oil field, then you did not. There were only so many oil fields, and only so much wealth could be created from them.
“Today’s economy is very different. It is based primarily on knowledge and ideas; resources that are renewable and available to everyone. Unlike oil fields, someone else knowing something doesn’t prevent you from knowing it, too.
“In fact, the more people who know something, the better educated and trained we all are, the more productive we become, and the better off everyone in our nation can be.
“This can change everything. In a knowledge economy, the most important resources are the talented people we educate and attract to our country. A knowledge economy can scale further, create better jobs and provide a higher quality of living for everyone in our nation.”
He also called for more investment in breakthrough discoveries in scientific research and assurance that the benefits of the inventions belong to the public and not just to the few.
“That’s why I am proud to announce FWD.us, a new organization founded by leaders of our nation’s technology community to focus on these issues and advocate a bipartisan policy agenda to build the knowledge economy the United States needs to ensure more jobs, innovation and investment,” he said.
Mr Zuckerberg, whose great-grandparents were immigrants, also said he wants "comprehensive immigration reform that begins with effective border security, allows a path to citizenship and lets us attract the most talented and hardest-working people, no matter where they were born".
"We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants," Mr Zuckerberg wrote. "And it's a policy unfit for today's world."
The move comes as a bipartisan Senate group is expected to roll out a comprehensive immigration bill in the coming days and Mr Zuckerberg's goal echoes the proposed legislation.
Also backing the group are tech leaders such as LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman, venture capitalists John Doerr and Jim Breyer, as well as Ruchi Sanghvi of Dropbox, who was Facebook's first female engineer. Joe Green, founder of Causes.com, a social network for community organising, serves as the group's president and founder.
Major financial contributors include Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and former Groupon CEO Andrew Mason.
Mr Zuckerberg is not the only high-ranking Facebook executive to use his role to advance social causes. Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg launched LeanIn.org, a non-profit aimed at arming women with the tools and guidance they need to keep moving forward in the workforce.