President Guiliano addresses members of the Class of 2012 who earned their Master of Business degrees in Nanchang, China.
Chairman Liao Jingiu [Leow Jincho], President Wang, Vice President Lu Fucai [Lo Fu tschai], distinguished guests, members of the NYIT class of 2012: Greetings on this wonderful morning.
Today we salute 101 NYIT M.B.A graduates.
We are honored to count you among our graduates and are grateful and honored by the ongoing support of our partner, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics.
Today’s world is, of course, full of economic and social challenges, and economists such as Nobel Laureate Gary Becker point to human capital as key to solving ALL of the challenges we face today and in the future. “Human capital”…the term itself suggests that each educated or skilled person is a precious resource, in a world greatly in need of such resources. Premier Wen Jiabao [When JAH-Bow] himself says that you, China’s college graduates, are this country’s most “valuable human resources”
Last summer, I was the United States delegate to a forum of college presidents held in Shenzhen. I spoke to representatives from more than 160 universities about how universities are natural incubators of ideas, collaboration, and ingenuity. I shared the idea that students need to be citizens of the world to meet the challenges of the global marketplace.
I spoke with confidence. Why? Because I’ve seen it happen at NYIT.
As a not-for-profit institution of higher learning, NYIT’s rewards are not measured in money but in the creation of human capital. Our students and graduates are those rewards, so we thank you.
Your choice of NYIT, a 21st-century global university, speaks volumes about your personal goals. You are graduating from a distinguished university with its main campuses in New York, of course, but also with students from 109 nations, all 50 of the United States and more than 89,000 graduates.
Let me remind you our first name is New York–New York is an extraordinary calling card on the global landscape. It is recognized all over the world because New Yorkers are so global and New York is a world capital. And we provide that access to the world through our last name, Technology. Value and use our calling card well ... you’ve earned it.
Yes, technology has supported the economic expansion of emerging economies. But you, as businesspeople and students of business, know that technology—and all the communications and inventions that it enables—has made the world smaller. It has made the prosperity of all nations more tightly intertwined than ever.
NYIT’s roots in technology have taught us that new technological advances are of little value to countries that have very few skilled workers who know how to use them. But all of you will participate in this global digital economy with an education that has taught you to be well-prepared, capable of innovation and leadership, and armed with the ability to be creative, adaptable, and clever problem-solvers.
Here, you have learned that shared knowledge within the global economy is expanding at a frenetic, exponential pace. Today, knowledge—rather than capital or physical labor—is the primary wealth-creating asset, the ultimate source of competitive advantage and long-term sustainability. For example, the majority of the gross domestic product among developed nations is knowledge-based. We can only imagine what it will be in 30 years.
We may even reach the astonishing point of technological singularity, spoken about by futurist Ray Kurzweil, who received an honorary degree from NYIT two years ago. Singularity is the creation of intelligence that’s smarter than human beings. In other words, a future with smarter-than-human minds -- hard for us to comprehend today. But I’m sure the computers of tomorrow will be able to explain it.
We as a university embrace the innovative potential of rapidly evolving new technologies and the relationships that emerge through them, both here and abroad.. You, as business leaders, will need to do the same as you continue your lifelong learning process.
We have entered an era that will, I think, be known as The Century of China and America.
In the recent past, globalization was driven by Western investment and capital, in order to supply Western demand. This is changing dramatically. Today, we can marvel at China’s rise on the international scene in just one decade…the very years I have been coming to China in support of our MBA students and alumni. As you know, China has become the world’s largest capital surplus economy. Its annual flows of outward investment more than doubled between 2007 and 2009. Right now, China is the second largest destination for global foreign direct investment. The growth of the Chinese economy has helped create more than one million new millionaires and a middle class of more than 300 million. Hopefully you will join those ranks…and when you do, expect a call from me, set up no doubt by Professor Liu.
I recently saw a statistic that would surprise many of us: About 300,000 students from other countries are studying in China this year, and that number is expected to reach 500,000 by the year 2030. That will certainly lead to more sharing of knowledge among countries.
This is an especially exciting time for scholars in China, because new Chinese graduates represent nearly one-fifth of the talent entering the workforce across the globe today.
In a business, we know that work is profitable when outputs surpass inputs. In a truly globalized university, education should follow the same model: The success of a university should not be measured by what it gives students, but what the students give back to the world. China’s evolving role in the global economy is proof of the quality of its scholars and students.
Let me emphasize that education — whether through teaching, or creating knowledge through research — is as important as government or business in the new economy.
This is a time for great optimism. In the 21st century, I believe, solutions to the world’s difficult problems will be found in a mix of 1) science and technology, 2) business and market economics, 3) government and public policy, and 4) education. The most important key will be 5) the breakdown of traditional isolated islands of thought and action. We are breaking boundaries inside campuses. We are breaking boundaries between classrooms and businesses. We are even working across national borders.
In this century, our search for integrated approaches to global problems. depends upon collaboration – on teams of people and clusters of ideas. In this effort, we are your partners.
My hope for you—my challenge to you, NYIT M.B.A. graduates—is that you apply the perspective, knowledge, and skills that you have acquired with us to a global landscape … to solving through technology, as well as intelligence and compassion, problems that exist on a global scale. And that you will accomplish this by nurturing and leveraging your NYIT contacts: professors, colleagues and, yes, the international network of NYIT alumni you are about to join.
Your connection to NYIT will not end today, but will carry you forward as you face new challenges. We encourage you to stay close to your NYIT family, and continue the global exchange of ideas you began here. We hope to see you visiting our New York campuses and know we’ll read of your successes in the NYIT Magazine. And, of course, I look forward to seeing you at NYIT alumni events in China.
I believe that education is the currency that crosses borders and oceans … it enables solutions to civilization’s most complex challenges. And you, here today, are the bearers of that currency. Spend it wisely.
Do make us proud.
Congratulations and best wishes to you, the 11th cohort of our China M.B.A. program and members of NYIT’s class of 2012.