“A stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet” (A Conversation between MyTaiwanTour and Chu Ping)

本文轉載自Voices from Taiwan by My Taiwan Tour, on 11/27/2017
原文出自於https://www.mytaiwantour.com/blog/2017/11/27/stranger-friend-havent-met-yet-conversation-mytaiwantour-chu-ping/

 

“Chu Ping is not your typical interview subject. Our conversation (which at times crossed the line from Ted Talk to Tony Robbins seminar) ranged from tourism to art, capitalism to futurism, poetry to human rights. Chu Ping (or simply Ping to friends, and since Ping regards friendship as a most cherished value that’s how I’ll be referring to him here on in) is a modern-day Renaissance man, with a field of interest as difficult to summarize as that of revered American theorist, author and and designer Buckminster Fuller.”

photo credit to Red Room Taipei

Among Ping’s current pursuits are Forward Taiwan, an organization dedicated to strengthening Taiwan’s global economic position through efforts to improve national immigration policies and Happier Lab, a social innovation group promoting co-creation in a variety of fields. And this merely scratches the surface of Ping’s activities. He’s also the co-founder of Taipei’s Red Room, an ever-expanding community gathering/performance space. And this barely scratches the surface.

I met up with Ping for an interview at Happier Lab headquarters. I’d barely sat down before Ping began interviewing me.

“Are you doing what you love in life?” He asked, his trademark gravelly voice adding gravitas to the question.

It was a good question, though unexpected.

“Well, I love promoting tourism in Taiwan,” I answered.

Ping laughed. “You don’t need to promote tourism in Taiwan. Just let people know how happy you are here. The important thing is to promote Taiwanese values.”

Promoting Taiwanese values are at the core of everything Ping does, and the subject would come up throughout our 90-minute conversation.

“Fair enough,” I replied. “But seeing as I work for a travel company, which specific Taiwanese value should I be promoting?”

Ren qing wei,” he answered.

Like many multi-layered concepts, ren qing wei defies simple translation. But the conversation was already getting into deep territory, so I asked Ping to translate it nonetheless.

“It’s hard to translate. Like xiao long bao. Steamed dumplings, right? But so much flavor gets lost with that translation. I guess you could translate it as hospitality, though really that word doesn’t do it justice.
Ren qing wei is so more than that. Trust, empathy.”

As Ping fished for words to do the term justice, I snuck a peek at Google translate, which rendered the phrase as “Human Touch”.

“It’s a good start, but it is more than that. Honestly, it’s something you need to experience to understand. From your point of view as a travel company, you should promote Taiwan as an ideal society, a place where people not only trust each other but also treat visitors like family members. We must live this concept, for example…”

At this Ping looked up and addressed my colleague April, who was behind the camera.

“As a Taiwanese, what have you done today to specifically promote the concept of ren qing wei?”

April shrugged. She’d expected her part in the assignment to remain mostly technical.

“For example…?” She asked.

“You see a foreigner who looks lost. Do you reach out and try to help them? Do you stop and say what can I do for you, where you want to go. It’s on my way, I’ll take you there.”

Ping was referring to a phenomenon well known to any long-term expat in Taiwan who’s ever spent more than 30 seconds looking at an MRT station wall map. It’s an old chestnut, but as Taipei has become more internationalized, I’d noticed it happening less.

Ping wasn’t deterred in the least when I mentioned this.

“Maybe we should do a social experiment, film a few foreigners standing by subway maps, put the result on the internet. That would be some good promotion. Anyway, I don’t want people to be indoctrinated, even by this article. Taiwan is the best-kept secret in Asia. Come here with an open mind, Visit for a while. Maybe you’ll stay for the rest of your life.”

Which proved a good segue into another of Ping’s passion projects. Because if bringing people to Taiwan is our passion as a travel company, keeping them here is Ping’s, and he was eager to talk about the great strides recently made to that effect in the Taiwan legislature, partially as a result of the work of another project he’d long spearheaded, Forward Taiwan, whose years of lobbying was on the verge of bearing fruit in the form of actual legislation.

“I’m very happy to share with everyone the fact that Taiwan has just passed a new law. On the surface, it’s set up to recruit talented people to Taiwan, but our hope is that in addition to doing that it’ll help encourage people who are already in Taiwan to stay by providing a clear roadmap for how immigrants can make their lives in Taiwan, not just for the short term but for the long term.”

Ping was referring to issues faced by many expatriates who’ve chosen to settle in Taiwan. While the majority of foreign-born Taiwan residents enjoy some of the same social benefits as Taiwan born citizens, there are still gaping holes in the social safety net, specifically in so far as residency benefits for children and inclusion in retirement programs and pension schemes. He expressed hope that the new laws will close some of these gaps.

“Look, the government legislators understand that the only way we can attract new talent is through the referrals of people who already live here. The new laws now being worked out are going to do a lot to keep the people who are in Taiwan already to stay here. It’ll offer a clear roadmap for how immigrants can make their lives in Taiwan.”

Changing the way that Taiwan thinks about the concept of Talent – at least insofar as immigration policy is concerned – is another of Forward Taiwan’s purposes.

photo credit to Forward Taiwan

“Right now there are only two ways to describe talent in Taiwan. One is salary, and the other is college degree, which is really an outdated way of thinking. What about artists? What about people without a degree from a so-called top 500 university? There are so many people who have so much of what Taiwan is looking for insofar as creativity and innovation, cross culture and diversity that it makes no sense to restrict the talent pool like this. So we’re trying to change the laws, trying to open things up to allow for a more inclusive visa system for artists, social organizers, long-term caretakers for the elderly. Things are changing, of course. We need to attract more talent to Taiwan.”

As we continued speaking, it became clear to me that Ping’s interest in attracting foreign talent to Taiwan was only partly based on Taiwan’s business interest. There was also a streak of patriotism, a desire to show off the achievements of his nation far and wide.

“Taiwan is a civilized society, a society that offers health care to all its citizens. This is part of ren qing wei, our social responsibility. People take care of each other here, and that is a big part of why Taiwanese society is generally happy. Now in America, people are held hostage by their jobs. If they leave, they lose their healthcare. This is thankfully not the case in Taiwan. We regard healthcare as a human right, and we want everyone in the world to know this. So yes, we want people to come to Taiwan as tourists, but to stay, to make Taiwan a second home.”

“What about the language issue?” I asked. “A lot of foreigners find learning Chinese difficult.”

Ping shrugged it off.

“The best way to learn Chinese is to be there, hang out in a Chinese speaking environment,” he said. “Anyway, being bilingual is a way to expand your brain. In any event, many people in Taiwan have good English proficiency.”

There was, of course, some truth to this. People who travel around Taiwan often come away with similar tales of taxi drivers, small-town train depot ticket sellers, and random strangers throughout the island able to speak English ranging from passable to surprisingly fluent. But according to Ping, Taiwan could be doing better on this front. Much better.

Enter, the Moonshot Program.

“The name is based on JFK’s famous proclamation about landing America on the moon inside of ten years,” Ping explained. “Everyone thought it was a pipe dream, but it happened. Well, our dream is to make Taiwan a bilingual country, with English as one of our official languages 33 years from now, by the year 2050.”

I told Ping that this seemed impossible.

“It is not impossible!” He shot back. “Difficult, yes, but not impossible. We need 10,000 English teachers to come here and be spread out through the country, not just in the city’s but in the country.”

As to why Taiwan should adopt English as a second language, Ping points to the gap in Taiwan between ‘those who can command English and those who cannot’.

photo credit to Red Room Taipei

“People who aren’t bilingual in Taiwan will always be behind the curve. Knowledge is power, and those who can’t command English are more prone to being sycophantic, yet at the same time, they’ll be more xenophobic. I don’t want to see that. The time for protecting Taiwan from outside influences is over; the younger generation are the ones that need to make this happen as the older generation, the more conservative fundamentalist generation, the myopic people, they’re dying out. It’s up to the younger generation. By promoting a bilingual Taiwan, we are focusing on the strength of Taiwan, our openness, and flexibility.”

Promoting Taiwan, and increasing the open society access of Taiwan, is at the core of much of what Ping puts his energy into, from Forward Taiwan and Red Room to more esoteric and far-reaching endeavors like the Moonshot Program. But facilitating change within Taiwanese society is another part of what drives Ping, and in this aspect, there is also something of the gentle revolutionary in him. Not in the Che Guevara or Chairman Mao model, but in the way of Buckminster Fuller, who Ping quotes to describe his own philosophy of social change.

“As Buckminster Fuller said, ‘You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.’ Red Room is this model, a platform from which artists to launch their passions. Forward Taiwan is another platform from which people in Taiwan can effect meaningful change. We’re not about demonstrating in the streets, leave that to other people. We’re creating a platform for the silent majority.

Our conversation had been going on for nearly 90 minutes, and I’d not yet gotten to half of my prepared questions. With time growing short, I decided to skip down to the final item my list. It wasn’t a question so much as a quote, and though it was too broad to associate with any one person since I’d heard it first researching Ping’s writing I thought I’d end by asking him about it.

“You’re fond of saying to accomplish the extraordinary you must interact with extraordinary people. From a travel standpoint, how does one make this kind of serendipity happen?”

Ping thought about it for a moment.

“In my experience, the most extraordinary people I’ve met have been those strangers with whom I’ve just clicked. 20, 30 years later, I still remember these chance encounters. There’s no real formula for this outside of going outside and making things happen. You don’t create extraordinary experiences by sitting at home.”

“And you don’t turn strangers into friends by sitting at home either,” I added.

Ping laughed.

“Not usually. But travel is a great way to do that. Or just come to the Red Room.”

Can We Pull Taiwan Out of Its Identity Crisis?

轉載至TheNewsLens關鍵評論, 2017/11/16,
作者: Jane W. Wang
Why you need to know

Taiwan aspires to be the global innovation hub of Asia while driving globally-minded talent away with low salaries and conservative work cultures. How can current globally-minded talent battle disillusionment?

One week after the passage of the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals, News Director at Ketagalan Media
and Founder of Taipei Love Notes William Yang and I met at a cafe to huddle over the cynicism about Taiwan that had infected both of us.

As advocates for Taiwan, we weren’t supposed to feel this way.

Island Fever

At the time, I’d hit a foggy patch in my own work with Build Great Bridges Around Taiwan (BGBAT), a community of Taiwan-affiliated thinkers and doers whom I’d convened in hopes of sharing progress and addressing challenges together to build Taiwan’s future.

I’d started the group to look into why Taiwan was stagnating on the transition to a global innovation economy and why it can’t seem to attract and retain globally-minded talent that could drive this innovation. It was especially confounding because Taiwan was able to reverse the brain drain the first time, when it built the Science Parks with a wave of incentives— it’s what brought my father and our family back to Taiwan.

The issue also struck a personal chord because throughout the eight years I’ve lived in Taiwan, my own friends had often left or thought about leaving. I liked most aspects of living here, but my own “island fever” would trigger and I’d think about leaving too, when what was missing hit me — a connection to the global and innovative, a sense of the future and of course, the lack of upward mobility that Yang had pointed out.

After Trump’s election, going back to the U.S. seemed less attractive. So if I was going to stay in Taiwan, I wanted to get down to the bottom of what kind of future we could look forward to here. There is a web of people who care about Taiwan on the island and around the world, so wouldn’t hope lie in pooling our efforts across disciplines to highlight the progress and dig into the challenges together?

Looking back, you could say that I was driven by a belief in civic empowerment. After Trump’s election, it was my one recourse to combat powerlessness – to band together to fight for the kind of society we wanted to live in, because we now knew the consequences otherwise.

Yet as I considered this question of what kind of society we wanted to live in, it became clear that Taiwan was in the middle of an identity crisis — and so was the world.

Innovation Hub, Or Not?

As Taiwan transitions toward an innovation economy, the government of Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has stated its aspiration that Taiwan becomes Asia’s Silicon Valley, and has invested heftily in a project by the same name.

Yet Taiwan’s salaries have remained dismally low and company work cultures are anachronistically conservative and hierarchical, both of which actively discourage innovation. Taiwan’s brain drain has become so infamous that it was highlighted in Time Magazine.

What would it take to fix this issue and why hasn’t the government done so?

An article on why Taiwan’s salaries remained low made me question the effectiveness of civic empowerment and opened the doors to cynicism for the first time.

The main culprit, the article argued, was the Central Bank of the Republic of China’s foreign exchange controls from the manufacturing era, keeping exports low-priced and employment stable. This allows uncompetitive and barely profitable businesses in mature industries – which can’t pay high salaries – to stay in business, and which prevents Taiwan’s industries from upgrading.

But why would the Central Bank do this while the rest of the government talked innovation? Could it be that the government was merely paying lip service to innovation, preferring instead to keep the status quo lest they not be elected into office again during the inevitable transition and higher unemployment rates?

Even worse – has democracy kept us squabbling for votes and without the foresight and will to make tough decisions that might be unpopular in the short term but ultimately good for the economy long term? Would our political dysfunction and consequent economic stagnation make us more vulnerable vis-a-vis China?

An Inconvenient Truth

It was right in the thick of my cynicism that the foreigners’ employment act was passed. While I was happy for my foreign friends for finally getting the recognition and benefits they deserve, I didn’t think the law did much to solve the real issues that held Taiwan back from becoming a global innovation hub. Salaries and work cultures were not addressed; were there any plans to?

Taiwan is already too far behind China and Southeast Asia to be able to pay the kind of salaries typical of a scale-oriented, “winner-takes-all” innovation hub, says Ping Chu, serial entrepreneur, renowned supporter of the arts and entrepreneurial endeavors in Taiwan, and leader of Forward Taiwan, the advocacy group that succeeded in passing the foreigners’ employment act.

Once Taiwan accepts the “inconvenient truth” that it’s too late for us to become Silicon Valley, we can focus on Taiwan’s strength as the best place to live in Asia, says Chu. Taiwan attracts those who prioritize quality of life and self-actualization over net worth, which conveniently keeps greed at bay.

Chu therefore advocates for Taiwan to be branded as “your home in Asia” and to focus on quality of life businesses that take advantage of the freedoms Taiwan offers: low cost of living, safety, friendly people, clean air (it’s all relative), and universal health insurance.

This is also why Chu champions the rights of those who are already here through Forward Taiwan, rather than try to attract talent from abroad: we must cherish talent that chooses Taiwan over the glamor and wealth of other innovation hubs; these talent share our values.

A refreshing perspective. Greed and inequality are plaguing Silicon Valley; it’s a race we can’t win, and may not want to win anyway. If Taiwan were to become Silicon Valley, could we maintain the very qualities that make Taiwan special? Like the turtle and the rabbit, could Taiwan’s slower-paced livability become a beacon when other hubs burn themselves out?

Let’s also not forget Taiwan’s strength as a strong manufacturing base, Chu points out – so why not set Germany’s Mittelstand as our role model instead? I have wondered the same – Germany’s model of small and medium-sized businesses, many of them manufacturing-based and family-owned, is the strong silent type, without the glamor but also without the extremities of risk and inequality characteristic of Silicon Valley. Sounds like a better fit to me.

So as it turns out, our very aspirations to become Asia’s Silicon Valley may have led Taiwan straight into a classic inferiority complex — like a young woman idolizing models in fashion magazines, seeing the glamor but not the reality, desiring only to be what she is not, and ultimately, blinding herself to her own strengths and who she is.

What if, instead, Taiwan embraced its humane, holistic values as its greatest strengths in a world that desperately needs moral leadership?

A Brave New World

Taiwan is not alone in these questions of identity; the wider world is in the grips of its own identity crisis, as climate change and exponential technologies drive us to question capitalistic paradigms and our very role as human beings in an artificial intelligence era.

After a summer of conferences on the future of work and social innovation — the result of asking questions about globally-minded talent and problems that need solving — I’ve come away with the sense that humanity is partying inside the Titanic as it’s headed toward an iceberg, and we have limited time to turn the ship. Those who see the iceberg — be it climate scientists, technology designers, or educators — are shouting at the top of their lungs. We need all hands on deck to focus on turning that ship, because we are all, yes, in the same boat.

This is the existential moment in which we are considering Taiwan’s future. There is a silver lining here, if we have the foresight to see it that way. The pendulum is swinging back to ethics, to the humanities, to the social, to civic trust, to the things that make us human — and these happen to be Taiwan’s strengths. If we are to seek role models, why not consider fellow smaller countries like the Netherlands and Finland who share these strengths and have made their marks in social innovations?

When even the Silicon Valley is looking beyond unicorns, Taiwan may yet find its place in this brave new world.

This Is How Idealists Roll

Back in that cafe, William Yang and I hatched a plan to combat our cynicism. If we felt this way, we figured there would be others who felt this way as well. All of us who care about Taiwan need to find the hope, the essence of Taiwan, her strengths, what she stands for, how she uniquely contributes to the world, and from there, forge a new path forward.

And if we are to look to role models, we must be careful about which role models we choose.

So this is how, on one Tuesday night in November, cynicism transmuted into hope. We are currently plotting a forum for 2018 that invites everyone to reimagine Taiwan with us. Let’s resolve this identity crisis together.

快樂那邊 Happier Camp

上個週末Ming協同INCEPTION 啟藝文創的Ocean與我在旅行 I Am Traveling的柚子一起辦了一個年輕版的Happier Retreat, 叫做Happier Camp!

活動內容我不多做介紹,不過有個學員在3天的活動後post這篇文,我覺得很值得跟大家分享

*******************************

《一場關於更快樂的人生紀錄片》

這三天就像拍電影,
有著高深莫測的編劇,
策劃每一個用心細節的策展人。

這一次片場在台東的都蘭,
面向太平洋背向都蘭山,
這不可言語的美就像置身好萊塢。

劇中的角色詭譎多變,
一下演出了都市城囂、型男大叔日記
一下是家庭主婦、途中我們也成為
叢林裡的分歧者、漫步雲海的夸父追日
轉眼之間我們都可以是追夢的魯夫。

還有
唯一不變的是
每一個人都是自己的導演,
只有自己能成為生命中的記憶傳承人。

這裡還有製作人,讓你一點都不做作、
用最溫柔也深刻的方式帶領每一個演員
演出真正的自己,大絕招是慈母手中線
讓每一個獨立的個體保有自我
又緊緊相依

片場劇組的視覺饗宴,痞子英雄般的攝影風格一搭一唱,原來每一個畫面
最帥與最美的核心是「用心」

暴雨中的片場花絮是拍這部作品最自豪的地方,因為你永遠不曉得妳的體驗會為自己的五感帶來什麼感動跟行動。

不需要小看自己的導演功力,因為你不曉得何時你在自己的人生中埋下了彩蛋與續集。

致敬
每一個用心的人生策展人
每一個人都是人生策展人

誠徵劇組及演員,
第二季即將上映。

#with
#yourself
#relationship
#Environment
#Behappier

**********************************

感謝Johnny chen的好文筆,將三天的活動寫成了一個好劇本,大家看了後,應該會蠢蠢欲動想要報名第二季,來自己當導演編寫自己的人生故事了

欲追蹤活動請密切注意Happier Lab 更快樂實驗所!敬請期待!!

朱平『同性婚姻法制化』公聽會 20161128

我是朱平
我支持在民法中加入婚姻平權修正案,反對另訂專法。 我女兒是同志,去年在美國結婚,所以我也是以同志婚姻的家長身份來參與公聽 會。

  • 最近一週來的紛紛擾擾,尤其有許多團體動員反對修法,支持修法的人與反 對修法的人各說各話、毫無交集。相信大家也看到理性的辯論跟雙方激情的 感性堅持,基本上,已無法繼續對話。尤其現在看到政府想以兩方討好的方 式另訂專法解決爭議,真的很讓人失望。 我個人認為這是最壞的方式,因為這專法將引起更多攻防,社會更會因這種 鄉愿式法案失去對政府的信心及互信,而更造成不安,台灣也會因此而更加 對立,對未來更沒有信心。
  • 我要提醒民進黨分區立委們,如果要讓台灣往前進步,最重要的是能打破包 袱、擁抱未來、不被挾持威脅,在創新兩難中,勇敢的選擇自己所相信的。 您一定會得到許多新生代及希望台灣往前進步的團體的支持而擴大了您的選 票基礎,真正的做自己。如果有一絲毫對婚姻平權的不安,也應直接投票反 對。不要用另立專法的方式妥協。到最後,失去在關鍵時刻,做歷史的證人。 我在此寄望每一個立法委員,做出對自己負責、能面對自己、家人及小孩的 判斷,投下那一票。
  • 政府現在有這麼多有關台灣經濟及未來人民福祉的法案,都停滯不前。千萬 不要再開始另立專法的爭議。如此一來,台灣將因另立專法的內容及不同版 本而重新再分裂一次,再重新舉辦公聽會,再走過整個過程。台灣真的一直 處於虛耗、停頓中,而世界是不會等我們的。
  • 蔡英文總統在經濟學人專刊『TheWorldin2017』發表專文,以『台灣將再 起』“Turning Taiwan into Tiger Again”, 將以全新發展模式,振興經濟, 更期待台灣成為創新產業的人才中心,台灣的未來在創新與人才。而台灣成 為亞洲第一個婚姻平權的國家,讓世界知道台灣人民用行動勇敢擁抱多元、 提倡包容,相信更多全世界的創意人才將以台灣為安居樂業的基地及家,參 與『台灣將再起』的運動。“婚姻平權”跟台灣在世界的競爭力有密切的關 係。它不僅是政治及人權問題,它跟台灣未來的發展有絕對的關聯。

5. 目前已有600位法律專業人士勇敢的站出來,用他們的法律專長,反對用政 治妥協的方式另立專法。因此我贊成不另立專法,走完這次修法程序,付諸 表決,停止爭議。如果不能通過,就表示台灣人民尚未支持目前的修法,同 志們需再努力。千萬不要再立專法,製造更多的不平等及未來更多的爭端及 法律訴訟。

我主張直接修改民法,我認為三位委員的版本,很務實的將同志平權直 接反映在我們的基本民法裡、不但合乎世界潮流,而且免於特別立法掛 一漏萬的缺失。

我認為如果還要特別立法、再等委員提出不同的版本,逐條討論、所花 的時間更多,社會資源的浪費更為可觀、也可能加深支持與反對團體的 對立、何不直接投票、訴諸民意、也讓立法院有更多的時間關注其他各 項民生法案。

讓台灣能往前進步,獲得國際看見、支持及尊敬最好的方式,就是在民 法中直接推動同性婚姻法制化。

國際情勢逼人而來,台灣的「硬實力」日漸消弭;依靠「軟實力」立足於世界,乃台灣無可迴避的出路。

在全球對性別、種族、宗教日益分化的跡象之下,台灣對性別、種族、宗教的明確平權化動作,足以成為台灣的世界名片。

性別、種族、宗教平權化下的法治環境,足以獨樹一幟於世,帶來文化、經濟上的強大吸引力,此已有前例,如愛爾蘭、愛沙尼亞、北歐小國。

深入論證可參考:http://opinion.udn.com/opinion/story/6067/2121864

漣漪人文化基金會創辦人 朱平 11/27/2016

Leonard Cohen,RIP.

謝謝你陪伴我的成長。
這裡收集了20首我的最愛。

  1. Chelsea Hotel
    https://youtu.be/Xk7DOe5EGgM
  2. Anthem
    https://youtu.be/6wRYjtvIYK0
  3. Dance me to the end of love
    https://youtu.be/ilCRlD5jG0I
  4. I am your man
    https://youtu.be/ACVAg76Y5P0
  5. So Long Marianne
    https://youtu.be/aLOnQmmmlkw
  6. You want it darker
    https://youtu.be/YD6fvzGIBfQ
  7. Did I ever love you?
    https://youtu.be/uSuCWq0ruuk
  8. Love itself
    https://youtu.be/JhXtM7Js_X8
  9. Poem:?Villanelle?for our time
    https://youtu.be/9UzvVOy0Dq8
  10. Tower of the song
    https://youtu.be/6YWrcCRWXfI
  11. Hallelujah
    https://youtu.be/bVP52dC3jks
  12. Suzanne
    https://youtu.be/gUXC_dhQHzY
  13. Famous Blue Raincoat
    https://youtu.be/kkSERbdl39Q
  14. Closing time
    https://youtu.be/F6u_dMb5lnc
  15. Everybody knows
    https://youtu.be/hndMDLn_Ypo
  16. Waiting for the miracle
    https://youtu.be/Di-etRm4cN8
  17. A thousand kisses deep
    https://youtu.be/M1mkFKVns6U
  18. In my secret life
    https://youtu.be/hbtjJ8VDb1c
  19. Bird on the wire
    https://youtu.be/3c8ViTENxu0
  20. The Future
    https://youtu.be/D97OxHZzBeQ
  21. Almost like the blues
    https://youtu.be/57JGfobW_9Y
  22. Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye
    https://youtu.be/wI48PS3m59A
  23. Democracy
    https://youtu.be/DU-RuR-qO4Y

This is a must read about Leonard Cohen by David Remnick of New Yorker
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/17/leonard-cohen-makes-it-darker

Here is another excellent review on Leonard Cohen by The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2016/nov/11/leonard-cohen-he-knew-things-about-life-and-if-you-listened-you-could-learn?

台灣經濟研究院<美好生活> – 2016年4月號

 

每一個人對“美好生活”的定義都不同,但如果您有空在有陽光的週末或例假日去大安森林公園走走,您會看到許多人在樹蔭下及草地上野餐;有父親跟兒子的投球、接球互動;有小男孩炫耀他的滑板功夫;小女生在草地上翻滾;年輕情侶情意綿綿的餵對方食物或躺在草地上卿卿私語;老人家在公園椅上曬太陽,或有外勞陪伴在輪椅上閉目養神;我與Ming拿著自己心愛的書,享受著她特別準備的三明治及香檳。我相信您也一定會跟我一樣認為在大晴天的大安森林公園的一切,就是“美好生活”。

 

我一直相信私有中小企業是最後一個能改變社會的基地。這也是我在過去28年來一直堅持的理念。一旦成為上櫃上市公司,企業就很難再為理想而堅持初心。

依據中小企業處2014年的統計,台灣中小企業有135萬家,佔全體企業總數的97.61%,合計聘用867萬人,佔台灣就業人口的78.25%,任何人看了這個數字,就知道中小企業的盛衰,對國人的生活品質影響有多大。

目前全世界的經濟都碰到瓶頸,全球的政治對立,經濟不確定,再加上台灣的獨特地緣政治,有太多太多事情是我們無法控制的,身為一個私有的中小企業主,我只能專注在我所能控制的。

 

而我們能控制什麼呢?

首先要將自己的事業重新定位,找到新的成長引擎,挖一個小井,但挖的很深,不在企業的大小,而在企業能否具有不可取代的獨特性,注重現金流、注重培養接班人、擁抱新科技、沒有投資就沒有未來。

雖然我已經脫離經營的責任,但我一直鼓勵我的團隊要做別人認為不可能的創新,只要公司不賠錢,鼓勵創新冒險是唯一能留住人才的方式。這就是私有企業的好處,我們可以為下一個30年做投資,不必擔心資本市場的反應。

不可否認,台灣過去的經濟實力在於製造業,但現在中國大陸、東南亞都已建立完整的生產鏈,不管是人才、技術、資金、政策、市場、創新、創意等都已追上台灣,甚至超越台灣。台灣的下一步在哪裏呢?最近幾年我也都在想這個問題。

尤其我時常與許多網路新創公司的年輕創業人交談溝通,一方面非常高興看到年輕人對創業的熱誠,一方面也很憂慮創業後的挑戰。跟任何創業一樣,5年後成功率雖僅有五分之一,但對年輕人來講,這都是一個長大、獨立的過程。

絕大多數網路新創公司是專注在“生活美好”的帶入。PC Home 是我跟Ming生活美好的必需品;Uber是我在世界各地大城市旅行時生活美好的必需服務;Netflix 更是讓我在家看高品質電影、電視劇的美好生活必備服務;Food Panda是我們訂購外送美食的最佳選擇;Red Room及Happier Cafe 兩個社會創新實驗,更是讓我生活美好的重要體驗。剛剛才在Airbnb 訂了去京都旅行時的住宿,又在EZtable 訂了今晚用餐的餐廳,似乎美好生活跟手機行動平台及雲端科技的需求經濟分不開。

我在不同的場合,都分享我對目前方興未艾的網路創業風潮的看法,很不幸的,在行動網路平台方面,台灣已失去領先的機會。

大者恆大,贏者全拿,就是網路經濟的特色。台灣20年前原來是領先者,但如果不再努力,真的是只能成為網路殖民地(Facebook, Google, LINE, Wechat, Netflix, Uber…)。如果競爭不了,就要面對不願接受的真相,只要我們能充份使用這些網路工具,增加我們的生產力,充分的跟世界連結,如此一來我們才能用這些全球性的工具找到新的創新能力。

這也是為什麼我跟台灣年輕的新創網路創業人說,要專注在端對端的服務(End to End Service Solution),而不是賣產品,否則唯一的商業模式就是賣給大型網路公司。最近AlphaGo 更是一個大突破,代表AI, Machine Learning, 及新一代的Robot 及Robot Advisor 會改變整個世界。尤其對“工作”的定義及“人力”的需求都會有巨大的影響。

最近許多人再度提出“最低生活薪資”(Universal Basic Income),就是看到未來會有許多人不管是因為選擇清貧生活 (Voluntary Poverty) 或被Robot 取代而失去工作機會。無法維持最低的生活需求,因此,在未來一種新的社會安全網可能是面對因為AI或Robot 而大量失業失衡的必然選擇。

當然如何支持這種社會安全網,而又能保持經濟的活動力,仍是一個重要挑戰。如果中小企業是增加就業機會的最重要途徑,台灣如何能在這既有的強項(我一直認為97.61%的中小企業是台灣的強項)上找到一個可持續成長的經營模式。如此美好生活才可能發生。

  1. 重新很誠實的面對我們的強項及弱勢。

我們的強項是言論自由、生活方式、及善良熱情的人民。但台灣就是一個小小的島國,尤其在一個平的世界經濟體系中,如果小國不能走出去,就確定被邊緣化的宿命。看看其他小國(丹麥、荷蘭、比利時、挪威、冰島、芬蘭、瑞典、瑞士、以色列及新加坡)今天能成為美好幸福的國家,就是因為他們一直都跟世界連結在一起,原因很簡單,他們都是多語國家,英文更是他們能跟世界連結的最重要工具。

這也是為什麼我提出台灣需要一個“射月計畫”(Moonshot project):英文在2050年成為台灣的官方語言之一。向前台灣(Forward Taiwan)、紅房(Red Room)及 Kiva.org 中的Nonzero Club都是我射月計畫的一部分。我知道很難,但是這是一條一定要走的路,讓我們後代子孫能跟世界做朋友,增加他們的流動性,可以到世界任何國家工作、創業、甚至定居。

  1. 重新建立一個屬於台灣的新價值體系。

我知道很難取代用GDP 來衡量一個國家的富裕。但我們同時看到GDP不如我們的國家,在2016年World Happiness Report中,“美好生活”的排名都高於我們,台灣是第35名,但哥斯大黎加(14名)、波多黎各(15名)、巴西(17名)、智利(24名)、巴拿馬(25名)、阿根廷(26名)、烏拉圭(29名)、哥倫比亞(31名)等南美國家的人民都比台灣快樂。我相信這不是GDP per Capita的單一原因。

這跟文化及對生活快樂的主觀及客觀定義有很大的關係。雖然大家對台灣目前的政治、經濟、社會有許多的主觀不滿,但根據這份2016年的報告,台灣從2015年的第38名提升至第35名,而更值得提出來的是台灣在今年的亞洲排名是第三位:僅新加坡(22名)及泰國(33名)超過台灣、而馬來西亞(47名)、日本(53名)、韓國(58名)、香港(75名)、印尼(79名)、菲律賓(82名)、中國大陸(83名)、印度(118名)等皆落後台灣。

我們有時候真的受GDP、政治及媒體的過度負面報導影響,而忘了以世界客觀標準來看待台灣。在世界156個國家中排名第35名真的是不算太差,不要妄自菲薄,忘了自己的獨特生活品質,而這也正是許多外國朋友愛上台灣的原因。Ming 的Happier Cafe 及Be Happier Movement 就是希望重新建立台灣在主觀上的新幸福快樂價值體系。

  1. 重新建立一個新的KPI。

因為是私有中小企業,因此我們可以不受資本市場的控制,不必用股票的漲跌來衡量我們的價值、財富及成功。因此我提出 Profit For Purpose (PFP)Business 的經營理念。我們需要利潤才能維持我們的獨立自主,但我們更需要一個更高的目標讓我們能永續經營並找出生存的理由。

因此我提出三個KPI,並用圖表顯示出來。第一張圖:過去10年公司的平均薪資(包括分紅)成長;第二張圖:過去10年繳稅的成長;第三張圖:過去10年員工數的成長。畢竟一個公司的最重要社會責任就是增加公司同仁的收入(才能有好的生活品質)、誠實繳稅(才能證明是一個有利潤、有競爭力的企業)、更重要的是增加就業機會(私有中小企業的最重要任務)。

 

如果有人問我如何才算是有一個美好生活的一天,我會回答說,如果我有一天沒有成為“悅日人”(有意識地每一天替遇到的人做一件事,讓他/她那一天快樂)我就沒有一個美好生活的一天。

在大安森林公園,我一定順手撿垃圾,會謝謝打掃的清潔人員、也會很雞婆但禮貌的告訴騎自行車的人,在公園是不能騎自行車的,我更會自告奮勇的幫情侶拍照。

如果您在週末沒有去過大安森林公園,您就不知道原來美好生活就是如此的垂手可得。

 

我們大安森林公園見!

 

 

Homework: 請參考、研究以下連結:

 

肯夢學院 第14 屆髮型設計師畢業典禮

2016年3月24日是一個非常特別的一天,這一天是我們肯夢學院第14屆6位髮型設計師養成班學生的畢業典禮,從今天開始,這六位畢業生的家人可以不用再為他們擔心了。因為這是他們自己的選擇,這不是社會或父母親給的壓力,所以他們要為自己的選擇做努力,這是非常重要的!

這是為何肯夢AVEDA 要付出這麼多的時間、人力及精力在肯夢學院上,我們希望可以改變這個美髮產業,因為這就是台灣的未來,需要年輕的世代來加入美髮行業,且是因為自己的選擇,而不是“最後”的選擇。不可否認過去的美髮師會選擇成為美髮師都是因為沒有選擇,而做了這個“最後”的選擇。

肯邦學院及肯夢學院的學生都是已經滿足了父母親的願望或是社會的期待(曾經就業過但該工作並不適合他們的天賦及興趣),而來到我們的學院去成就自己的期望及潛能。我們僅是提供機會給他們,讓他們用10個月的時間改變他們的一生。因為學院教導的不僅僅是專業的技術之外,還有美學、生活品味、最重要的是連自己的價值觀也會跟著改變!台灣正在改變,因為我們有一群不一樣的人願意相信自己、願意勇敢地去追尋他們自己的夢想。

我們美髮設計師是將美帶入這個世界,我們每次面對一位顧客就有1到2小時甚至3小時可以成為他的悅日人,更重要的是讓我們美髮設計師有機會去讓別人感受到我們有多熱愛我們的工作!

我希望大家有機會可以帶自己的家人、朋友來參與肯夢的活動,因為我們相信人的善良可以經過美及相信然後就會看到!我們要把信任找回來,而不是用金錢去衡量別人的努力。我們強調信任、分享、慷慨、大器。

您們6位的分享我想應該都有感動到在場的家人、朋友及貴賓。不管未來如何,您們6位都會是一輩子的朋友!因為不同的原因讓您們聚集在一起,共渡了10個月,我們學院的老師們也花了很多心思在您們身上,所以一定要珍惜。

我對美髮沙龍業有幾個夢想:

第一個是我希望美髮設計師的孩子們長大後跟他們的父母親說他們也想當美髮設計師時,父母親聽到時是充滿快樂的,因為您們知道這個孩子選擇美髮設計行業是進入到一個快樂、自己獨立自主的美麗人生,而這個夢想現在已經發生了。在成立28年的肯邦公司,每年都會有美髮設計師帶著他的孩子驕傲的來跟我說“這是我的孩子,現在他決定也要成為美髮設計師”!父母親知道這行業是終生學習、是愛美的、是有未來性的、是不斷改變、是正向的、是快樂的,當然會希望自己的孩子可以進入這行業工作。

第二個願望是希望我們美髮設計師一週只需工作40個小時,一個月休8天,這樣才有機會把您們的生活找回來。如果總是想著要賺很多錢卻沒有個人生活的話,那您絕對是白來肯夢學院了。我們要改變這個行業,留更多的時間給自己、家人及朋友,而不是為了賺很多錢而讓自己的工作時數無限制增加。

第三個願望是希望能夠讓要創業的人有機會去創業,肯夢學院是個Salon孵化中心(incubator),讓想要創業的人有機會去創立自己的Salon。早點讓肯夢人知道你們想要創業,而用心學領導、經營、行銷、公司文化、更要對數字有概念。肯夢AVEDA是很注重數字的公司,我們依靠數據來做判斷、做決策;也希望您們擁有自己的Dream Salon之後可以把肯夢AVEDA的特殊公司文化帶到您的Salon及社區,並跟您的“朋友”分享。

最重要的願望就是希望所有的美髮設計師都能成為悅日人(Daymaker),或是更快樂教練(Happier Coach),藉由關心別人,讓別人快樂而讓自己成長、讓自己更快樂。我希望您們可以參加Happier Caf? 的課程,會因而認識到一群完全不一樣的朋友,改變美髮行業最好的方法就是參與不同的活動,踏出Salon走進社會,希望每一位美髮師都是Happier coach,讓走進您的salon 的朋友在踏出Salon後都可以用更正向的思考、過更快樂的生活。

最後的最後,希望每一位美髮設計師都可以很驕傲地分享他成為美髮設計師的故事,讓周圍的人分享您的成功、快樂經驗,讓更多人因此加入這行業,也藉此改變整個美髮產業。並希望能將同家Salon的設計師介紹給您的“朋友”,不要捨不得跟您的同事們(設計師)分享“朋友“。我們需要改變舊有的思考模式,而這模式就是“允許”我們的客人讓他在同一家Salon中去選擇他喜歡的設計師。想想,那是一個如何快樂、開放的工作環境,我知道這是需要更多的自信、更多的豐碩心態,但這不就是我們要成為快樂行業最重要的正向思維嗎?

 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

– Margaret Mead

Celebration of New Lifestylist

37904d793f514e7282aa08d66fb344bc

Celebration of New Lifestylist 2016慶祝生活風格家誕生

在肯夢學院,蛻變的築夢故事是365天現在進行式…

2016年春天,6位懷抱時尚設計的素人

10個月前,從零開始全職學習、踏實築夢

10個月後,完全轉職的幸福,成為快樂的髮型設計師

自2008年起,已有超過100位的肯夢學院畢業生成功轉職

他們完全為自己的第二人生,作了最勇敢的選擇。

* 特別歡迎這樣的人參加故事派對:

  1. 想過更精彩人生,並嚮往從事時尚、美的產業的人。
  2. 處在人生徬徨期,想找到讓自己快樂工作的尋職者。
  3. 已是舞者、攝影師、音樂人等,並想讓未來生活過得滿足快樂的藝術工作者。

請把這改變的”一夜體驗”分享給喜歡美與快樂的朋友

一起體驗從零開始、翻轉生命的可能

也許,下一個改變生命的幸運兒,因為你的參與而誕生

把生命最熱情的事,實現成每天都在從事的精彩工作!

舞蹈與剪髮交織的故事派對

時間:2016/3/24(四) 18:30- 20:30 * 18:00開放進場

分享嘉賓:髮型設計師吳依霖

剪髮創作:生活風格家Anderson (原職 資誠會計師)、Angel (原職 廣州服務業)、Stacey (原職 竹科工程師)、Amber, Ivy (原職 時尚造型設計系 畢業生)、Vincent (原職 高中學生)

報名活動請至:

http://www.accupass.com/event/register/1603040835494046921430

 

關於肯夢學院

2008年起,將近100位來自不同專業領域的美髮素人,成功轉職成為髮型設計師。他們曾是微電影導演、調酒師、音樂製作人、工程師、捷運司機、會計師等,從零開始建立專業完整的技術,以10個月全職學生的學習生涯,獲得一輩子受用的專業,開始豐富精采的第二人生。