For as long as I remember, I have been following my passion for music and have been constantly humbled by the doors that the piano has opened for me. Most recently, I was invited to perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 alongside the members of the inaugural National Youth Orchestra of China (NYO-China) during their concert tour of China next month.
Our blog is dedicated to facilitating the dialogue about social change and trends. Each entry, written by leaders and scholars on a diverse range of subjects, addresses the ways in which we function as both dreamers and doers—and our interconnectedness as a society.
If you ever happen to find yourself having dinner at one of Yale’s 12 undergraduate dining halls, it probably won’t be long until you overhear a student talking to his or her classmates about some nascent ambition to create the next big thing. Sometimes the conversation is as simple as pointing out a problem that needs to be addressed. Other times, when a speculative product or service is proposed, friends are usually quick to rebut that a better solution already exists.
Land is a precious commodity, and land ownership holds significant value in all parts of the world. In Ghana, land is not only viewed as a monetary asset. Land holds more personal value and Ghanaians view it as part of their heritage and culture. They feel that their land is a piece of them, something they will pass down from generation to generation. With this strong attachment to land, land rights are a very sensitive and pertinent issue. But in Ghana, owning land and having proof of land ownership do not necessarily go hand in hand.
Yes, poverty eradication. That last point might seem off the table, but for social enterprises like Agro-Preneur Initiative, Farming Hope, Folia Water, and Vega Coffee, poverty, agriculture and water are more closely connected than one might first think.
When you go to work, make your art or go about your business, there are so many reasons to do a good job. Keeping your word, having a good reputation and being consistent are a few reasons. But even deeper than that, I think there are two main places people come from when they create a project: creativity, or competition.
In 2002, Malaysian native Stevens Chan was diagnosed with glaucoma. He didn’t know he had an eye disease, let alone one with no obvious symptoms, no cure, and which often leads to blindness. His vision loss occurred quickly. In just 5 years, he was blind. Stevens’ experience led him to establish a Malaysian branch of Dialogue in the Dark, a social enterprise that works to increase public awareness around preventable blindness and support individuals with visual impairments.
“A few things I’m grateful for: my team, air conditioning, Uber, bug bites that don’t itch, and hotels that have hot water” – Erika Francks.
Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship is committed to fighting global poverty to create a more just world. The center works towards this mission by supporting social enterprises around the world, through programs like the Global Social Benefit Fellowship.
What’s on the roof of your house? How about on the rooftop of the building where you work or go to school? If you’re like me (and much of the world), your answer is “nothing”. Your rooftop is largely unutilized space. But what if your rooftop heated and cooled your house?
Why is transparency within the realm of all types of communication—friend-friend, parent-child, husband-wife, manager-employee—so consistently elusive? Why must the ego so quickly approach the greasy fast-fed drive-thru that values expediency and quick profit over healthy dialogue? Why do so many start with perfection as the baseline, from which there is no room to breathe?
The applications for the first National Youth Orchestra of China are in and the selected members of the orchestra have been notified! These one hundred young musicians will soon embark on the adventure of a lifetime as they work with the world’s best musicians, perform in Carnegie Hall and across China, and make history. The quality and diversity of the applicant pool serves as enthusiastic evidence of how rapidly classical music is currently developing in China.
No job is filled with creativity and stimulation 100% of the time. And yet we’re all born with passions that should be fully explored in the search for fulfilling careers. They’re out there; are you rushing to find them? Do you squeeze the most juice from each day? Maybe you love the outdoors; choose one of countless jobs that has you experiencing sunlight over fluorescent lights, breathing natural air rather than that from filtered air conditioning. Maybe you love food; choose one of equally countless jobs that has you preparing, cooking, creating, serving, owning. Do you get the idea? Choose!
The current classical-music scene in China is replete with astounding superstar soloists. From National Youth Orchestra of China soloist Yuja Wang and beyond, each year reveals a new crop of incredibly talented instrumentalists from China poised to take center stage. Yet many musicians ultimately find their calling playing among talented peers in an ensemble setting, whether in a professional orchestra or a chamber group. NYO-China aims to inspire in young Chinese musicians a love of ensemble playing.