Technology as Our Enabler

15 December 2003

I stand here before you, a man who has been around for some time, talking about the future. You may think time should not be on my side; yet, you are wrong. Never have I felt as I feel now. The speed of progress has given us so much more time; so much more hope and so many more opportunities.

The future may be made up of many factors; but where it truly lies is in the hearts and minds of men. Vision is perhaps our greatest strength; it has kept us alive to the power and continuity of thought through the centuries, it makes us peer into the future and lends shape to the unknown. At the dawn of each day, what enthusiasm sparks your wise minds and your compassionate hearts to face the anguish, travails, happiness and triumphs that life has installed for you. Let me tell you, it does have a lot to offer. Especially today, when information and communications technology have enabled globalization to reach across many levels of complexity, far beyond the reach of a single mind, facilitating knowledge exchange, creativity, transformation and economy. Its powerful multiplier effect is unprecedented, the reach of networks together with reducing cost foster competition and openness; knowledge spreads quickly and advantages erode swiftly, the future inevitably will be days of merciless and relentless competition.

The phrase “time is of the essence” has acquired a new meaning; information and communication technology unlocks the value of time, allowing and enabling multitasking, multi-channels, multi-this, multi-that. Time can be your friend as well as your enemy. Information and communication technology expands physical time; as for psychological time, it has a lot to do with your own choice. It is a challenge that will constantly be renewed in your journey of discovery and self-discovery. I am as excited for you as I am for myself. Technology is the axle for the future, it will make great alternations in our inherited human nature and in our intellectual powers, creating new opportunities – snatch it, master it, cherish it and build on it. Your dedication should not be confined for your own gain, but unleashes your passion for our beloved country as well as for the integrity and the humanity of mankind.

Thank you very much.