Watch Tech CEOs take the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS awareness


The “Ice bucket challenge” is the new social media sensation on the internet, thanks to celebrities dumping ice cold water on their heads. But this is one of the very few times that a video concept has gone viral for a good cause. The cause is creating awareness for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a neurodegenerative disease that affects a lot of Americans. Also known as the Lou Gehrig’s disease, it currently affects 30,000 in the US, but not many had or have the awareness of the aforementioned disease which, by affecting the brain, paralyses the whole body, eventually leading to death in 2-3 years, in severe cases. So, a lot of celebrities, including tech CEOs like Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and CEO-turned-philanthropist Bill Gates have joined in on this trend, to create awareness and donate money for ALS.

The challenge

The challenge, made popular by Pete Frates, was very simple. Dump ice cold water on your head, nominate others to do the same on video within 24 hours, else donate 100$ to the ALS association.

Satya Nadella

Microsoft’s current CEO takes the Ice Bucket Challenge, with help from the company’s hackathon winners. Steve Gleason, a former NFL player who is diagnosed with the same disease, took up the challenge in a separate video. But he was also a part of the hackathon where some of the participating employees had created the eye-gaze technology that lets Steve talk. Satya Nadella highlighted this, and asked his closest cloud competitors, Jeff Bezos and Larry Page to take up the challenge as well.

Jeff Bezos

Upon Satya’s request, Jeff Bezos took the challenge as well –

Xiaomi’s Lei Jun

The challenge has even reached China, with Xiaomi’s CEO and co-founder, Lei Jun taking up the challenge –

Mark Zuckerberg

Another high profile tech CEO who participated in this challenge was Mark Zuckerberg, who was challenged by Chris Christie to take it up. Zuckerberg took it up and nominated Bill Gates, Sheryl Sandberg and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to do the same, and dumped a bucket of ice cold water on his head.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft, but has devoted a lot of time since the early 2000s to creating awareness and raising money for social causes, as a part of his philanthropy related work in Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Watching the Zuckerberg video on his Surface Pro 3, Bill brings quirkiness with a custom built contraption that dumps ice on his head. Watch the video –

Bill Gates too has challenged more people to do this, and we are sure we’ll be getting to see more videos around this, for quite a while. But, it looks like the ALS association has already raised 13.3 million USD for the necessary research and progress needed for finding a permanent cure for the disease. The whole point of these videos is aptly described by Mr. Frates, who himself is diagnosed with ALS –

The story right now goes: You’ve got ALS, have it for a little while, a long while, but either way, the end is always the same. ALS always wins. So in order to rewrite the end of it, we need to raise awareness, money.

Author: Bharadwaj Chandramouli

Bharadwaj is a content creator who has been obsessed with technology since the early days of smartphones. He loves talking about tech, is a fan of good design and photography. You can follow him on Twitter @gadgetbuff_ to know what he's upto!