Charles Chen Yidan shines a bright light on the power of education in unlocking endless possibilities at the inaugural SMU Visionary Series lecture
SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 31 May 2019 - The
SMU Visionary Series, presented by the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at
Singapore Management University (SMU), is an opportunity to hear from eminent
leaders who have demonstrated the power of ideas to change attitudes, societies
and the world as we know it. It will feature some of the most prolific industry
players and thinkers, from different spheres of influence, who will share their
unique life lessons and insights that will stimulate ideas for a better
marketplace and society.
The auditorium in SMU was packed with 300 people for the
inaugural lecture, where it saw Charles
CHEN Yidan, founder of Yidan Prize, gave a talk titled "Zero to Infinity:
How Education Unlocks Endless Possibilities."
SMU President Professor Lily Kong, Dean of SMU Lee Kong
Chian School of Business Professor Gerard George, SMU faculty, staff and
students, as well as leaders and representatives from the public and private
sectors were present at the lecture.
Dr. Chen noted that mid-way through his life, he experienced
a profound change where he left the technology sector and devoted his energy
and effort in philanthropy and education. He explained that such a change
stemmed from his belief that "education is the foundation of modern
civilization, and that it is also power that propels tech innovation, social
progression, proper values, and equality and justice."
As such, he couldn't emphasize enough about the importance
of education. "Education is the mother of innovation. This is because in modern
society, a firm foundation has been formed through universal basic education
and the increased in literacy rate. This allows disadvantaged young people to
gain self-confidence and connect with the ever-changing world, where they can
open different doors for themselves through innovation," Dr. Chen said.
Technological innovation in education helps to increase
students' participation rate and create a whole new teaching experience. This,
in turn, will create a learning environment that is conducive to creativity and
innovation. When technology meets education, it becomes obvious that the power
of innovation is unstoppable.
In referencing Yidan Prize Laureate Carol DWECK's "growth mindset," Dr. Chen encouraged the students to
change their mindset from fixed to growth, so that they could overcome their
obstacles and unleash their potential. And everyone could have a bountiful
In the talk, Dr. Chen also explained that the Yidan Prize is
about recognizing educators who work for the future. He noted that the prize
supports education projects that are innovative, transformative, and
sustainable. He encouraged the students to go after their dreams, and start
exploring the endless possibilities from zero.
Asia is one of the world's fastest growing regions in the
world, where there is plenty of talent and societies are full of energy. Dr.
Chen remarked that entrepreneurs are innovators, and students should cherish
opportunities at hand.
About the Yidan Prize
Founded in 2016 by Dr. Charles Chen Yidan, a core founder of
Tencent, the Yidan Prize has a mission of creating a better world through
education. It consists of two awards, the Yidan Prize for Education Research
and the Yidan Prize for Education Development. Yidan Prize Laureates each
receives a gold medal and a total sum of HK$30 million (around US$3.9 million),
half of which is a cash prize while the other half is a project fund. To ensure
transparency and sustainability, the prize is managed by Yidan Prize Foundation
and governed by an independent trust with an endowment of HK$2.5 billion
(around US$323 million). Through a series of initiatives, the prize aims to
establish a platform for the global community to engage in conversation around
education and to play a role in education philanthropy.