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Speech by SCIT at the LEAD Seminar and Showcase at
the Cyberport (English only)


    Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr John Tsang, at the LEAD Seminar and Showcase at the Cyberport today (May 28) (English only):

Rosanna, John, Mitch, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

    Good morning.

    It is a great pleasure for me to take part in this meaningful event today to witness personally the magic of Media Lab.

    I was a student of Course IV at MIT a life time ago when I took this eye-opening class taught by Nicholas Negroponte. I understood then why people who truly love cool stuff that can be done with computers have this dream that when they die someday after they have led a diligent and honourable life, they get to go to the MIT Media Lab.

    Hermann Hesse said, "Theory is knowledge that doesn't work. Practice is when everything works and you don't know why." These profound words of the Nobel Prize winner in Literature in 1946 may best describe what participants of the Pilot Project have experienced in the past few months. The LEAD program has demonstrated that both theory and practice are equally important in the learning process. In order to tackle the challenges and overcome the frustrations, we must seek to create an environment of respect and trust that supports learning, and put theory into practice.  

    Like what Rosanna said, the spirit of LEAD is a real crossover. Innovation and creativity don't just happen to you if you limit yourselves to a single discipline. The strength of Media Lab rests exactly with its cross-disciplinary expertise that ranges from cognition and learning to electronic music and holography.  

    I am impressed that in just half a year, such advanced programs have been successfully implemented in Hong Kong. The critical success factor of LEAD is not the contribution from my Bureau's Innovation and Technology Fund, but rather the clever engagement of a tripartite partnership among the Federation of Youth Groups, the MIT Media Lab and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, together with the many teachers from the various schools who have made the LEAD program a tremendous success to date. This is a true cross-disciplinary collaboration across continents in innovation, application and education.

    This tripartite partnership is an ideal reference model for facilitating innovation and technology development. While our local implementation agents, the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and the Chinese University, have done exceedingly well to ensure the projects are best delivered to the target youth community, our Cambridge collaborator - the MIT Media Lab project team has offered invaluable support in a number of important areas, such as the provision of the conceptual framework of the LEAD program, including the scientific and research background on how the programs could be established; the provision of the necessary software to facilitate the conduct of the different workshops; and the provision and conduct of the train-the-trainers sessions for the workshop facilitators.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, education is about a passion to learn. We must continue to nurture passion in our young, and hope that they would in future lead useful and enlightened lives in the "Creative Society" that they would build for their children.

    Have a good day. Thank you.

Ends/Saturday, May 28, 2005


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