You might have seen leaders of your favourite companies pouring buckets of ice water over their heads recently. And if you haven't yet, you will soon.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is officially viral. Everyone from Mark Zuckerberg, CEO at Facebook, to Martha Stewart, a lifestyle guru and media mogul, have posted videos and photos online of themselves getting extremely wet and cold. They're pouring ice water on themselves not just because it's amusing for others to watch but because it raises awareness for ALS, a neurodegenerative disease with no known cure.
ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It's also referred to as motor neurone disease, Charcot disease, and, in the US, Lou Gehrig's disease. The median survival time from onset to death is around 39 months, and only 4 per cent survive longer than 10 years. Physicist Stephen Hawking however has lived with the disease for more than 50 years.
Still, in an effort to raise awareness for the ALS, technology executives and celebrities alike have participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge in recent weeks. Their videos and photos are gaining a lot of coverage and will hopefully help organisations such as ALS foundation find a cure for the disease.
Keep reading if you want to learn more about the challenge or simply want to see Zuckerberg and others get drenched in ice water.
How does the Ice Bucket Challenge work?
To do the Ice Bucket Challenge, follow these steps: Dump a bucket of ice water over your head, then post a video or photo online of what you just did as proof, and nominate others to do the same by both vocally naming and tagging them in your post. Those who are nominated must also post videos or photos of themselves doing the Ice Bucket Challenge within 24 hours of being nominated...or else they have to donate $100 to an ALS foundation.
Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, recently nominated US President Barack Obama to take the challenge. He passed but still donated $100. Check out the round-up below for examples of notable executives in the technology industry who have participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge within the last few days. We've also included a few other non-technology people you might recognise.
Who's done the Ice Bucket Challenge so far?
Here's a selection of tech executives who recently posted proof that they've done the Ice Bucket Challenge:
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO at Facebook
Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook
Jeff Bezos, CEO at Amazon.com
Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft
Dick Costolo, CEO at Twitter
Phil Schiller, SVP of Worldwide Marketing at Apple
Tim Cook, CEO at Apple
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, cofounders of Google
Bill Gates, philanthropist and former CEO at Microsoft
John Legere, CEO at T-Mobile USA
Ralph de la Vega, CEO at AT&T Mobility USA
Spencer Rascoff, CEO at Zillow
Non-tech famous people
Here's a selection of celebrities and politicians who aren't in the technology industry but recently participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge: Justin Timberlake, The Rock, Jimmy Fallon, Matt Lauer, Martha Stewart, Governor Chris Christie, Lance Bass, Conan O'Brien, and The Voice 2014 cast.
Keep checking back to see who else does the Ice Bucket Challenge this week. Pocket-lint plans to update this article regularly. In addition, let us know in the comments if you have seen other notable tech executives (not already listed here) participate in raising awareness for ALS.
Awareness vs Donations
While raising awareness for diseases and other afflictions is a trendy thing to do online, especially through challenges on social networks, there are people who argue against it and believe such causes would benefit more from actual donations rather than chain emails or viral competitions. Check out this guy's video response, for instance, to the Ice Bucket Challenge on Facebook. (Warning: He briefly uses foul language in the video.)
If you want to help the ALS awareness effort in a more tangible way, you could donate to organisations such as the ALS Association. Your gift will support research to find a cure for ALS and provide much-needed services to patients and their families.
Keep in mind the ALS Association said it has recieved $9.5 million in donations, compared to $1.6 million during the same period last year (29 July to 15 August), largely because of the Ice Bucket Challenge spreading awareness.