On April 25, an event titled “Mr. Jack Ma Meets Future Global Leaders at Waseda University” was held at the Okuma Auditorium.
Mr. Ma, the lead founder and executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, had a dialogue led by two graduate students and Professor Tamaki from Waseda University covering wide range of topics from entrepreneurship, food sustainability to research technologies.
Towards the end of the sharing, a Q&A session was also arranged for the audience to ask questions.
The University received an overwhelming response from the public, receiving more than 4000 applications for the event. YouTube live streaming was also arranged for those who were unable to attend the event due to limited number of seats.
The reason for Mr. Ma holding a dialogue with the students at Waseda University can be attributed to the long exchange between the University and China. Waseda University has taken in its first Chinese international students since 1899, marking the start of exchange between Waseda and China. Since then, the University has produced many renowned Chinese graduates and leaders, such as Li Dajian and Chen Wangdao who contributed greatly to the modernization of China. As one of the most globalized universities in Japan, Waseda University has produced more than 630,000 graduates of whom many became global and business leaders, as well as entrepreneurs.
“Mr. Ma is not merely a businessman but also a Chief Education Officer, who has a strong passion for education and social reforms. I hope his dialogue will inspire all students and young entrepreneurs who are present today,” said President Kamata in his welcoming speech.
Throughout the dialogue, Mr. Ma gave the audience many meaningful pieces of advice and opinion.
“As an entrepreneur, you should have a vision. The vision should be different because if you have the same vision like the 99% of people, you don’t have a chance to win. As an entrepreneur, you [also] have to believe what you believe in. You [have to] believe and do things differently. This is what entrepreneur is. Don’t waste time convincing the world. Your job is to convince your team. Making sure your team work with you and believe in the same vision [as you],” emphasized Mr. Ma on the importance of believing and having an original vision if one wants to be a successful entrepreneur.
One of the students asked Mr. Ma what he thinks about global food crises and food security, mentioning that he has founded a company try to address the issue and even considering turning to insects for alternative food source. Mr. Ma praised the student saying that his ideas and initiatives are creative and can solve real world issue. Additionally, Mr. MA also added that, “Those young people, they try to solve the world problem of the future. The bigger the world problem you solve, the bigger your company will be. Big company means big responsibility.”
“If you are a good entrepreneur, you have to take responsibility for the people who join you. I encourage students in universities, trying costs you nothing, but don’t pick up and don’t easy to give up. Keep on doing that,” said Mr. Ma in his exact words, stressing the importance of trying and taking responsibility for one’s actions.
Before the dialogue began, Jack Ma visited the history museum of Waseda University opened earlier this year in March.