Prof. Aseem Prakash and colleague Prof. Nives Dolšak on the Forbes web site write about the world's third-richest woman, MacKenzie Scott, and how she is using her money and for which organizations, compared to Jeff Bezos.
The donations by Scott and Bezos raise important questions about the responsibilities of the wealthy in an increasingly unequal society. Scott is sensitive to the widespread economic and social disruption caused by COVID-19. Her philanthropy delivers immediate relief to the
underprivileged (though she also funds capacity building). She spreads her donations across a large number of organizations, many of them relatively unknown. These organizations view social inequities as structural problems and not as technological ones.
Unlike Scott, Bezos is a believer in technology. He funds big projects undertaken by visible actors with high access to philanthropic capital. His philanthropy also has an instrumental dimension because it coheres with Amazon’s recent climate initiatives.