(Shantou and Hong Kong, 30 June 2016) Honorary Chairman of the Shantou University (STU) Council, Mr Li Ka-shing, today urged STU graduates to become innovative solution providers and strategic visionaries amid a climate of sociopolitical and economic uncertainty.
Delivering a speech to the graduates during this morning’s congregation, Mr Li also pointed out the key to excellence is to stay curious and humble and be compassionate in their pursuit of success.
Founder of the Yao Foundation, Yao Ming, excited the graduates as guest of honour at the congregation. Mr Yao shared with them his experience and said everyone can overcome intimidating new environments as long as they have clear goals and the courage to take responsibilities, adding that one earns his stripes through every setback and defeats make victories ever more satisfying. “Throughout your life, residence may change, nationality may change, but your education record will never change,” he said.
Beware of the toxic combo
Mr Li reckoned a myriad of technological forces is surging forward into every corner of life, thus necessitating the need to reimagine and reshape established models and conventions. He urged everyone to consider whether we are facing opportunities or considerable challenges when the past is no longer and the future is not just yet. He also stressed that there is no place for the rigid and unimaginative, and a grand vision without solutions can be damaging – such behaviour is a toxic combo that lays waste to valuable resources and time.
Take on challenges and brace the storm
“Without question, this is an era where creativity and knowledge bring on opportunities that previous generations haven’t had. That said, our world is a troubled place: unsustainable, unequal, unjust and conflicted,” he said.
Mr Li urged the students to brace the storm the world faces and use the fear these forces generate to their advantage, to motivate and guide them to become who they aspire to be — the fearless solution providers and strategic visionaries who make a difference in the world.
“Mental inertness is an obstacle to effective thinking,” Mr Li said, “It spawns misguided strategies and policies. It could condemn us to a Sisyphean future, a future where our goals are forever out of our reach.”
Also, those who are blindly selfish in their ambitions are doomed to fail as they are wasting valuable resources and precious time, he added.
Trinity of Innovation
A staunch believer in a technology-driven future, Mr Li said one needs to always stay curious and humble to reach success. Passion for learning can advance one’s readiness and potential for intellectual growth and wonder and enables us to make smarter, faster and better decisions.
He believed technology is the cornerstone of economic progress, talent powers productivity and tolerance spurs competitiveness and equity. Such a trinity forms the basis for innovation, and innovation allows everyone to learn together and formulate new perspectives that lead to new insights. He noted that only in a progressive society can the benefits of prosperity be enjoyed by all.
To Mr Li, it is important for one to live with a sense of purpose when the times are changing rapidly and everything is unpredictable, we must live lives where moxie counts. He encouraged the graduates to stay compassionate in their pursuit of success and remember the world is human and intrinsically connected across the globe.
Learning the calligraphy of Huai Su
Mr Li mentioned that he immersed in the world of calligraphy and practised writing Buddhist sutras in Huai Su’s cursive form while he recovered from a mild illness – he found the wild cursive script fascinating and enlightening. With new-found wisdom inspired by the scriptures, Mr Li would like to thank his family, friends and everyone for their care and love. Referencing Tao Yuanming’s poetry Going Home and Ouyang Xiu’s Ode to the Sounds of Autumn, Mr Li considered himself a contented man, as he has done everything in his capacity as a human being, a citizen and a businessman to serve society.
Guests attending today’s ceremony witnessed the congregation of class of 2012, with 2,700 graduates receiving their bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and adult learning degrees.
STU has more than 20,000 students, 9,000 of them full-time on campus, and each year more than 2,000 graduates, of whom approximately 25 per cent are medical students. The STU Li Ka Shing Foundation’s contribution to the university will reach HKD8 billion by 2018.
About the Li Ka Shing Foundation
Established in 1980, the Li Ka Shing Foundation (LKSF) has four core imperatives: 1) foster change, 2) empower people, 3) develop a better society, and 4) inspire societal improvement. Mr. Li considers the Foundation to be his “third son” and has pledged one-third of his assets to it. To date, over HKD20 billion has been put to work to support all its initiatives across 27 countries and regions. 87 per cent of LKSF’s donations benefit projects in the Greater China region.
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