Tim Cook discusses immigration ban, Steve Jobs’ influence at ‘Fireside Chat’

During Tim Cook’s visit to the University of Glasgow yesterday, the Apple CEO participated in a “Fireside Chat” with staff and students of the university, fielding questions on a number of topics, including politics, the environment, and Apple’s design philosophy. The University posted a number of photos and short video clips on its Twitter account, and one attendee posted a video of the full hour-long event on YouTube. The video was recorded from within the audience using an iPhone 7 Plus as dedicated cameras were not permitted at the event, so while it’s not an official video, it covers the entire event, including Cook receiving his honorary degree as well as the chat that occurred afterward.
Several key points that Cook made during the Fireside Chat included his strong opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration ban, his views on activism, Apple’s commitment to the environment, the importance of finding fulfillment in one’s vocation, and the legacy of Steve Jobs and how his philosophy remains a key part of Apple’s DNA. Regarding the immigration ban, Cook noted that “Apple would not exist without diversity,” possibly referring not only to Apple’s diverse staff base but also the fact that Steve Jobs’ father was a Syrian immigrant, and went on to say, “I personally believe that the wealthier countries have the responsibility to accept people that are fleeing civil war. It’s a reasonable argument for people to have about to what degree. It’s also very reasonable for people to say that we’re not doing enough for people in our country today. And I think that’s also true. I just don’t think that it’s a trade, one for the other. I think the U.S. can do both.” Cook also noted that he does not view Apple as an “activist” company, but that Apple tries to make its voice heard in specific areas where the company can add a valuable voice based on its collective knowledge and experience.

Responding to a question from an attendee about whether the Apple Pencil signals the company is moving away from Steve Jobs’ design philosophies, Cook explained that the Apple Pencil is not intended to be a “stylus” in the traditional sense, but is a creative tool aimed specifically at designers and artists so that the iPad Pro can provide all of the features of a digital sketchbook. Citing the example of a designer of very high-end dresses that he met with on Monday in Paris, Cook explained that this professional now designs “totally on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil” and has replaced a “box full of crayons and marker pencils” with the single Apple Pencil for his creative work. Cook added that Jobs’ philosophy is still very much a core part of Apple and will remain so, noting that “Steve is deeply embedded in the company. We celebrate him and we celebrate his philosophy. His philosophy will be at Apple 100 years from now. The philosophy is sort of passed down with every generation.” [via 9to5Mac]