Knowledge Reshapes Destiny – Inspirational Stories

02 September 1998
Donation period: 1999
Project Description:
Mr. Li Ka-shing considers knowledge one of the most valuable and significant resources entering the 21st century. Knowledge can stimulate economic development, promote the welfare of a nation and its people, and advance human civilization. Through the Foundation’s sponsorship of the film, “Knowledge Changes Fate,” Mr. Li hopes to promulgate the message that knowledge can change fate.

“Knowledge Changes Fate” was directed by internationally renowned mainland director Gu Chang-wei. The production crew traveled throughout mainland China and Hong Kong and captured on film the inspiring stories of 40 people whose fates were forever altered by knowledge.

In Chinese with Chinese subtitles
Name Story
Chen Zhang Liang Life sciences expert who didn’t start school until the age of 9, and became Vice President of Peking University when he was 35.

Yuan Long Ping Chinese agricultural scientist and “Father of Hybrid Rice” became a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2006.

Wang Ming Hai Entrepreneur who spent ten years turning a 10-acre desert in Inner Mongolia into grasslands.

Ma Yong Shun A retired logger who had chopped down 30,000 trees during his career planted over 40,000 trees to replenish the forest.

Zhang He Min A Panda expert who returned to China after studying overseas helped to improve artificial insemination and reproduction processes.

Zhao Yu Fen Chemistry Professor who discovered after 28 years of research that phosphoamino acids are a building block of life.

Wang Xiu Ling Biology Professor who discovered and artificially reproduced the Ranodon Sibircus, an amphibious animal more ancient than the dinosaurs.

Zhou Li Guo A seasoned aviator who believes that accumulation of knowledge builds confidence.

Wang Qian A 9-year-old girl with an interest in farming changed the practice of fertilizing Chinese cabbage to solve the common problem of rotting roots.

Zhang Yi Mou An internationally acclaimed filmmaker who had laboured in a cotton textile mill, taught himself photography and was later admitted to the Beijing Film Academy.

Wang Yu Mei Started raising rabbits when she was 18. She learned all she could about raising rabbits and became the best in the business by the time she was 25.

Zhang Hai Di Paralyzed since childhood, he continued to self-study and has become a prolific author.

Chen Cui Ting Former member of the national gymnastics team who enrolled in Shenzhen University and graduated with honours even though she didn’t understand any English at the time of her enrollment.

Bi Si Wen Born into a family of miners, he became a miner at 15, but his studying eventually earned him to a PhD.

Dawa Ci Ren The first Tibetan ever to study at Tsinghua University, and became a Tibetan language scholar.

Chen Lei At the age of 16, he achieved success by helping his father promote tourism in his remote home village through the Internet.

Jiang Sha After a career as a chemical analyst in a textile factory, he became a successful salesman of pure, distilled water through much trial and error.

Wang Zhao Lan Opened his own tea shop after learning the art of making tea, and aims to promote Chinese tea culture to the rest of the world.

Dong Shi Zhi A 64-year-old retired Government official listened in on classes for his paralyzed granddaughter and taught her at home, helped her win an award for her scholastic success.

Peng Shi Lu China’s first nuclear submarine designer.

Zhou Shang Yuan A farmer who took an interest in building airplanes. After much trial and error, finally succeeded after six years.

Yang Erche Namu Singer and songwriter of Mosuo ethnicity in Yunnan. Studied music in Shanghai and later in the US.

The people of Jin Jia Jing Since ancient times, Jin Jia Jing villagers have had to pump water from other places. In 1987, water resource experts helped turn Jin Jia Jing into an oasis.

Pan Jiu Qi A pedicab driver who never had formal education insists that his children have the opportunity to go to school.

Wang Zhi Xiu A citizen-managed teacher goes alone to a mountain village in Tibet to teach in primary school.

Li Yang In order to continue his studies while caring for his paraplegic father, Li carried his father on his back to school everyday.

Zhang Sheng Li Forced to quit school while in primary school, but completed her studies later in life and returned to her home village to teach.

Xiao Qin, Xiao Yan Yun Financial circumstances allowed one of the sisters to go to school. The younger girl drew the long straw and continued to study while the older sister stayed on the farm.

Xie Hai Long A reporter with a keen interest in rural education believes that all children need for a bright future is an opportunity to receive an education.

Ma Jing Wu After graduating from secondary school, Ma worked to eliminate illiteracy in his hometown in Henan.

Lu Zi Jian A centenarian in Chongqing recalls the impact of science on society.

Jiang Kun A comedic actor, Jiang believes his mother is his first book, which he could learn from before he knew any words.

Li Yong Pioneer of “Crazy English”, believes that students should not be afraid of being ridiculed when learning a foreign language.

Tian Hui Ping A graduate of the Sichuan International Studies University. After her son was diagnosed as autistic, she founded China’s first Autism Education and Research Center.

Sun Wei Gang A secondary school teaches aims to improve every student in his or her own way.

Hu Xiu Ying An internationally renowned Botanist, earned her PhD at Harvard and returned to the Chinese University of Hong Kong to continue her research.

Chong Kin Wo Migrated to Hong Kong from the mainland in the 1970s. The art of making dumplings had been passed down in her family, and she created a successful dumpling business.

Yau Shing Tung First Chinese mathematician ever to win the prestigious Fields Medal.

Chong Tak Fong A housewife in Hong Kong who changed her lifestyle to promote a greener way of life.

Siao Fong Fong Renowned actress in Hong Kong. Began acting professionally at age 6 to support her family. Continued to study, and later in life went to the US and earned a graduate degree in Psychology.

The film is designed to inspire and promote the benefits of pursuing and acquiring knowledge

Since mainland’s CCTV began broadcasting “Knowledge Changes Fate” in the spring of 1999, the audience response has been overwhelming, prompting the station to rerun the series. The program was also broadcast on Phoenix TV and TVB of Hong Kong, and was equally well received. “Knowledge Changes Fate” received three creative awards from the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents, including a Silver and a Bronze Award for Chinese Copy, and a Gold Award for Promotional Film.