However, according to the group’s founders, it has a broader horizon than just the current legislation. Dubbed FWD.US, the group plans to advocate for comprehensive immigration and education reform as well as support for scientific research well beyond 2013.
In a Washington Post Op-Ed piece Wednesday, co-founder Mr. Zuckerberg wrote that today’s “economy is based primarily on knowledge and ideas – resources that are renewable…. In a knowledge economy, the most important resources are talented people.”
Beyond helping to nudge the current debate, according to a statement released on Wednesday, the group’s goal is to “organize and engage the tech community in the issues where we can contribute to the national debate, on issues of vital importance to America’s ability to compete in the global knowledge economy.”
Says co-founder Joe Green, a former college roommate of Zuckerberg’s with long involvement in social activism and entrepreneurship, in the same release, “We view this as one of the key challenges to improving our country’s economic future – ensuring that we have as many people as possible in the workforce who have the skills to participate.”
What this means right now is leveraging the group’s collective knowledge of marketing and social media in support of a more immigrant-friendly environment, particularly when it comes to skilled labor.
But whether that marketing and social media expertise will be effective depends on how the group is perceived politically, both in Washington and by the general public.
In that sense, the politics of the Silicon Valley cohort – a coalition of industry heavyweights just came down on the side of same-sex marriage – could hobble the group’s effectiveness, suggests presidential scholar Charles Dunn, a professor of political science at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA.