Education is the Foundation of Society

On June 18, 2012, in In English, by Siim Lepisk

Last week I delivered a speech at JCI European Public Speaking Championship. The event was in Braunschweig, Germany at JCI European Conference 2012.

As it was not allowed to record the speeches, due to popular demand, please find the final transcript of the speech below.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’d like to share a personal story with you.
A story about how the Education is the foundation for different Societies.

So let me take you to a ride.
Let me take you for a trip.
To one of world’s best universities.

It is a Friday evening, sun is about to set, and we’re driving to the university campus.

Before reaching the campus, we drive past their private golf course.
You could (hmhhh) smell the freshly cut grass on the golf course.
And then you hear a sound of a sports car approaching you.
You see a beautiful convertible car with its roof down.
The driver sitting inside, is a venturous man, somewhere between 30-40 years old.
So, he looks like he had already sold one of his companies, and now building another Facebook or Google. And he’s at the univerisity for hunting down new engineers and MBAs for his new venture.

— A true land of Exciting Opportunities.

When we’ve reached the heart of campus, it is 8pm on a Friday evening, and the students are still having a BBQ outside in a garden of the lab.
Well, normally students would have headed to a pub by that time on Friday night, but not in that university.
The people there were networking with each other. Different ages, different ethnical backgrounds. People from all over the world, building their networks and exchanging ideas.

— A Great Network.

And once the sun has set, we’re driving down their campus’ flashy main street.
We see shops, pubs, cinemas…
They even have their own Apple store!
So you have everything you need, and could really spend couple of years without wanting to leave this paradise.

— A Perfert Learning Environment.

So the Great Network,
Exciting Opportunities
and the Perfect Learning Environment.

I felt that it was all very familiar.

Like Steve Jobs said in an university commencement speech 7 years ago:

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.

So when I connected the dots, I realized that the land of opportunities, a great network and a perfect learning environment – is what I’ve already experienced for last 6 years of my life. Many of you here, have experienced that even much longer. Our own perfect university. A foundation for our society. An university of JCI.

But when you ask the presidents of world top iniversities, what do they charge 60,000 € a year, is they charge it for their faculty, their research facilities, labs and everything else.

And then if you ask the parents and the students why they are taking on a huge debt of student loan, they’ll say, “Well, I need the credential. I need a job.”

So one simple form of education can have very different value for different societies. A university can really be a foundation for the lives of different societies.

For some it’s the scientists, for some it’s the diplomas, and for some, it’s the land of opportunities. And the opportunities are unlimited – you can use them at work, at home, in your networks – everywhere!

So if a great network, exciting opportunities and perfect learning environment are part of your life or university already now, can’t you be the president of that university?
And if you are the president of your university, why wouldn’t you lead that university into a better world – today and tomorrow?

So take the great network, exciting opportunities and the perfect learning environment,
and turn your passion into an action,
be the president of your university,
and build a better world!
Today and tomorrow.

Thank you.


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