Tencent Co-founder Kicks Off World's Biggest Education Prizes

The world’s most profitable education prizes are going to be awarded subsequent year for the first time and nominations are now becoming accepted. Launched by Tencent co-founder “Charles” Chen Yidan, the Yidan Prize are going to be offered to folks who make substantial contributions toward tackling large challenges in education. The winners will be announced in September and the award ceremony will likely be held next December in Hong Kong.

Recipients of every of the two awards, the Yidan Prize for Education Study and also the Yidan Prize for Education Improvement, will get HK$15 million (US$1.9 million) in money and HK$15 million to pursue their projects.

Chen, who's now adviser emeritus to Tencent, has a personal explanation for beginning the education award. “My grandmother couldn't study and never ever attended school,” he told FORBES ASIA. “However, she encouraged my father to enroll in university and when he graduated, he changed the destiny of our complete family members. My grandmother showed me that education can be a strength. She passed her worth on education to me. I don't wish to disappoint her.”

Whilst at Tencent Chen established the very first charity foundation ever setup by a Chinese Net enterprise, the Tencent Charity Foundation, in 2006. The foundation has been focused on youth education due to the fact then, in particular the youth of poverty-stricken households. In March 2013 he quit his post as chief administrative officer of Tencent resulting from “personal motives.” Nonetheless, he sees his work setting up the Yidan Prize as a continuation of his Tencent profession. “I am still involved in discussions concerning the culture of your company but I now have a lot more free time to ponder the challenges facing education,” he says. Usually fascinated by Chinese classic culture, he says: “Education serves because the foundation of Chinese classic culture. It really is a massive concept and it really should be lifelong.”

Chen made a trip for the U.S. in early September to encourage a discussion around the future of education and seek candidates for the prizes at universities including Harvard, Columbia, Stanford as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies. “We engaged in fantastic conversations and they (the American universities and education institutions he visited) have nominated qualified candidates,” he says. “I was excited to seek out that they had been passionate about education, just like me.” The largest challenge facing the Yidan Prize inside the next year? To pick the two winners. “I am going to pass that difficult process for the choosing committee,” he says.
Chen sees understanding society’s requires because the greatest challenge for education within this altering world. “The most significant question we must ask ourselves is what sort of talents we need to cultivate inside the next generation,” he says. “The best tips are not necessarily essentially the most needed ones. Personally, I believe we need to have persons who can communicate well and who are willing and able to engage in continuous understanding. In the long run, education is faith. The result of education might come slowly however it could be the foundation of any human progress. It can be specifically the challenges that make this perform meaningful.”