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Stay Angry, Think Differently and Act Urgently. These were the key figurative ‘apps’ I offered to ambitious Chinese youth in my online TV interview in China watched by hundreds and thousands of the students across China and overseas.
The interview (22 May) lasted for 90 minutes and a shorter version of 30 minutes was broadcast online. The interviewer was curious to know about my journey from a small village to the world-renowned Indian Institute of Technology ( IIT) and then into the United Nations, the topmost international organization in the world.
There were important caveats in my messages.
Stay Angry with yourself-not with others to cross the boundaries and raising the bars of your ambitions. Think differently to innovate for societal benefits. And Act urgently for accelerated transformation to save our environment.
Staying angry with self will push you to go an extra mile in whatever you are doing. Channelize your anger to get you aggressive yet constructive in thought processes brings one out of complacency. Good is the first step. Better is next . and the Best is the next best.
Find a path. Beaten paths are good to walk on. But taking the path not taken by others or even carving different path leads to exploration for innovations. We cannot solve the problem by using the same methods that led us to the problem in the first place. Most discoveries and inventions in the world are the result of ‘ thinking differently ’.
We have to ‘ run the talk’ and not just ‘walk the talk’ as the world needs urgent and accelerated actions. Environmental degradation and climate change are poised to threaten our very life. The successful recovery of the ozone layer has demonstrated that early and fast action are the keys.
By empowering students to achieve their potential, build self-confidence, and develop a global vision encompassing both traditional Chinese values and modern thinking, the New Oriental group plans to groom the new generation of business and community leaders.
The interview was organised by New Oriental Education & Technology Group which is the largest provider of private educational services in China, mainly with the aim to provide inspirational messages to motivate Chinese students. The interview was recorded and broadcast online on
New Oriental Education and Technology Group’s mission is to inspire Chinese students of all ages to improve their lives and expand their horizons through a lifelong commitment to learning. By empowering students to achieve their potential, build self-confidence, and develop a global vision encompassing both traditional Chinese values and modern thinking. Since its inception in 1993, ( when coincidently I visited China for the first time), many business and government leaders and top executives have emerged from New Oriental Group.
New Oriental has till today built 67 short-time language educational schools, 20 bookstores, 771 learning centres, and more than 5,000 third-party bookstores in 56 cities in China. It has had over 26.6 million student enrolments, including over 1.3 million enrolments in first quarter 2017. The company is registered in New York stock exchange and its present market capitalization is more than USD 14 billion.
It, in recent years, has been investing heavily in online education.
Interviewer focussed on my personal and professional achievements. I talked about the lessons I learnt in my childhood from my mother who always used to teach me things in a different way, from my farmer-friends in living with nature, from people who respected the environment, from my private sector experience and from my work in the United Nations.
My story that travels from small village community into highly ranked IIT -Bombay through extremely tough competitive examination and then landing into the international organisation -United Nations fascinated the audience, as I learned later. The tremendous feedback from Chinese students can be found in Chinese on the site of New Oriental.
The interview proceeded by engaging listeners ( youth and their parents and friends ) on my life-long turns on the way I was groomed and the process of honing my professional and personal skills. The questions were framed by the interviewer to broaden the perspectives of Chinese youth and evoking in them the urgency for action towards the Sustainable Development and enhancing the momentum for change, in view of the challenges of climate change, poverty and inequality.
Rural background, top education performance, graduation from IIT-Bombay, quality experience in private sector like Tatas, international experience in United Nations, were considered by the interviewer as hallmarks of my career and extraordinary drivers for inducing inspiration in aspiring future leaders of China.
A global role that I played in the protection of ozone layer and as coordinating lead author in IPCC ( Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ) that shared Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore in 2007 and the Nobel Peace prize Certificate that was awarded to him was hailed as an extraordinary achievement by New Oriental. Many Chinese students reacted to these achievements as ‘awesome’, ‘wow’ and ‘cool’.
My meritorious rise to the top diplomatic position in United Nations, particularly for addressing the global environmental issues like Ozone Layer Protection and Climate Change was considered as motivating elements for the Chinese youth.
Later there were two hours of direct interaction with Chinese youth.
The interview lasted for more than 90 minutes. The shorter version of 30 minutes was broadcast online. The interview is also available in short clips as Q and A. END