Setting Off - Finding a Fulcrum to Reshape the World

Dear students, colleagues, parents and friends:

At this historic time when the world is still wrestling with COVID-19, we are saying farewell to the class of 2020 in a special way. Even though you are entering a fragile world with unprecedented complexity, you should not be frustrated by the ongoing struggle against the virus. You have received a solid education from XJTLU that gives you the skills needed for success.

Human civilisation has always faced challenges. Even in today's highly modernised world, a virus can shut down society. This crisis that we are facing is regarded by many countries to be the most serious global challenge since World War II. This pandemic is testing the public health systems and social governance of every nation, as well as the viability of humanity.

But what is more troubling than the pandemic is the deteriorating trust and lack of cooperation among countries and social classes – as new barriers and blockades have been created. Discrimination and disparagement are on the rise.

With the raging pandemic, we have seen the rise of populism and anti-globalisation sentiment. There has been a resurgence of racial discrimination. International organisations have been weakened. Economic and social partnerships have been severed. Transportation and supply systems are being destroyed. The world has never been so fragile and confusing.

This year’s graduation is not as joyful as it should be, disrupted by a pandemic which has also impacted your pursuit of future studies and even your job search. Some of you may feel anxious or frustrated that you cannot return to campus to complete your final project.

Some of you have already obtained offers from prestigious international schools, but worry about whether you can make the trip due to travel restrictions. I know that others are disappointed that their career or entrepreneurial plans have been shattered by the harsh reality of the current economy.

But please know that with these dramatic changes, it is only natural to experience a strong emotional response. However, we must not give up, but instead we must make the best of it. We should focus on doing all we can to reshape the world through our efforts and actions in a way we see fit.

The more drastically our world changes, the more opportunities are created. We can reshape the world and become a beacon of light at this crossroads of human history. XJTLU is committed to educating global citizens. And we hope that you will always maintain a broad perspective and positive outlook. You can reshape the world with your skills and wisdom. After having experienced the hardships related to COVID-19, you can be confident now that you can quickly adapt to this fast-changing world. You can find opportunities in crisis. You can discover – or even create – a fulcrum that transforms the world.

Perhaps you feel overwhelmed by such high expectations in such a complex world. But consider this: Our world evolves through the contributions of everyone. More than half a century ago, Martin Luther King Jr. called for an end to racism with his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

It is clear that King’s dream has never come true, as evidenced by the recent massive global protests triggered by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police brutality. We can still achieve this dream of unity with continued efforts. King promoted social progress and he changed the way people deal with social divisions and racial inequality in a scarred society.

As we face the chaos in the world today, it is time for us also to say "We have a dream." Our University’s motto is “Light and Wings.” These words help remind us all that our dreams require down-to-earth, step-by-step actions. You must strengthen your wings through lifelong learning. I am pleased to see that our educators and students are dedicating their efforts to fighting the virus. I see that you are speaking out against discrimination. You are doing the hard work by participating in public welfare activities, raising funds and creating art. Our faculty members are actively participating in scientific research aimed at combatting COVID-19 as well. Everyone is taking action and pursuing their dreams of being exemplary global citizens.

The future is here. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or the Second Machine Age, has arrived. However we choose to change the world, we must first adapt to the disruptive technologies that have led to new ways of learning, working, living our lives and transforming society. We must strive to develop breakthroughs to create new models and to transform the world.

As you start your new journey, please bear in mind my advice for you: you need to shift your mindset from the previous one that worked in a relatively stable era to a future-oriented "Complexity Mindset."

Ever since XJTLU was founded, the University has been aware of this need for change. In this era when education is being reshaped, XJTLU is determined to integrate human wisdom and the best practices of the East and West. We’re exploring the development of the education system of the future. We will continue to cultivate global citizens with a Complexity Mindset and to influence the educational development of China and the world. Regarding the responsibilities of future global citizens, XJTLU has set forth requirements for its students. First is to adopt an ideology of having a “happy life and successful career.” The core goal is to “improve the capabilities required to live better lives on Earth.”

Two important core ethics are “innovation and contribution.” We also believe it is essential to "find a balance of harmony and differences." Lastly, we need to develop "global vision and experience" as our worldview.

To nurture the complexity mentality of our XJTLU community, based on the HeXie management theory, I have developed a HeXie mindset model that emphasises systems evolution, directionality and the establishment of symbiotic systems.

This model also fosters balance and cutting-edge innovation. The HeXie mindset is a revolutionary tool to help people deal with uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity in the ever-changing world. I hope all of you will keep this XJTLU philosophy in mind. Strive to keep practicing your HeXie mindset on your journey as you reshape the world.

Facing a world full of uncertainty, people with dreams and responsibilities might ask: how can I find a fulcrum to push for development with my actions and make the world a better place? The HeXie mindset emphasises the establishment of symbiotic systems, active participation, intervention, the attainment of dynamic balance, and the creation of ecological dividends. Think about it. A tiny virus can disrupt the whole world. Why can't we, individuals who have received higher education, influence the world and transform the future? In this era of digitalisation, our society is increasingly impacted by the actions of ordinary people through interconnected networks. These breakthroughs have led to an era of evolution and miracles.

I hope that XJTLU-ers will be able to consolidate and integrate abilities to organise themselves, take advantage of their resources, stimulate innovation, develop partnerships, establish a sustainable career path and networks, and create value and dividends to benefit humanity, while increasing their influence and transforming the world.

To help XJTLU-ers achieve their dreams, our unique XJTLU Learning Mall (XJTLU-LM) was established in May of this year. Adopting an advanced educational philosophy, XJTLU uses the academic environments of world-class campuses and modern networks to put the world’s best online resources and providers under one roof.

We offer in-depth integration of on-campus and off-campus education, online and onsite education and industry and academic education. The new XJTLU Learning Mall also aims to create an ecosystem for future education and personal development to support students and people from all walks of life. Students can pursue personalised, interest-oriented lifelong learning, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Not only will the XJTLU Learning Mall serve as a fulcrum for the University to reshape future education and influence the world, it also provides a support platform for continued learning for XJTLU students and alumni. The journey of life is undoubtedly full of risks and challenges, but your alma mater will always stand with you. XJTLU is there to support you and to work with you as you contribute to the reshaping of the world!

As XJTLU-ers, you should maintain global perspectives and aspirations. Ride the tides of the times. Keep overcoming challenges. Use the courage and power for action that you have gained here, put on the wings of the HeXie mindset and make the world better with your creativity, tenacity, diligence and wisdom.

Finally, on behalf of XJTLU, I would like to make a promise to all of you. For those graduates who failed to attend this year's on-site graduation ceremony due to the epidemic, you can return to XJTLU to attend any graduation ceremony in the years to come. Put on your robe and relive your college glory days. We hope that you always consider XJTLU to be your home.

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