There are about 40 million young people in China who live in poor rural areas. I think the best way to help children is to help their teachers. Teachers in rural areas have very bad conditions: they are not respected, nobody cares about them. We are trying to build a system to encourage, inspire and support them. That’s what drove this program. Unfortunately, many schools in poor areas do not have enough children. We try to create internships with more than one hundred students. China, Africa and many developing countries are experiencing the same problem. We want to improve the Chinese model and then use it in other countries. We are also investigating how to optimize the use of the Internet and technology to better train students, teachers and principals. Another remarkable program of its foundation in Africa is the Vans Size Chart Award that awards one million dollars to African technology entrepreneurs. What are your goals with this initiative?
Vans Size Chart
Africa needs the three “E’s”: eGovernment, eEducation and eEmpresarios. An electronic government will be efficient and transparent. EEducation would be the foundation. If we manage to have great entrepreneurs, they will exponentially improve the African economy. What we do is encourage entrepreneurs and turn them into the new heroes of Africa. We inspire you to hire more people, be more creative, improve the economy. That is what China has done for the last twenty, thirty years. I discovered ways to train and develop people to become entrepreneurs.
I want to do this in Africa. My foundation gives a million dollars to ten African businessmen a year. The purpose is to create “case studies” of success for entrepreneurs in Africa. Regardless of the country, age and type of business. It’s not just about technology, it does not matter if it’s a hairdresser or a restaurant, you can still receive a prize if you’re successful. We want to show Africa that there are many entrepreneurs and many ways to improve them. With the exponential development of technology, Vans Size Chart and artificial intelligence. What do you think education should focus on in this new world that is coming? My opinion is that the entire education system must be updated. Today’s education system was designed several centuries ago in the industrial revolution. Train people to memorize and calculate things. We are moving from an industrial to a digital period: during the last thirty years we have been trying to make people like machines, in the next thirty years we will make machines as people. The current educational system trains people to compete with machines.