Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Congregation Remarks for PolyU Dept of Computing Graduation Ceremony 2011

Professor Surya, guests, members of the Faculty, parents and most of all, the graduates,

It is my distinct honor today to make this congratulatory remark to you, the graduating class from the Department of Computing, on this special day of the Congregation ceremony.

Today is the day that your hard work and dedication have finally paid off, as you receive your degree in Computing. The Congregation ceremony should affirm your search for knowledge, confirm the effort and the achievement by each of you, and hopefully, inspire you to continue to make yourself a better man or woman, to contribute to society, to your family and to your country.

No doubt, you have chosen and will be entering one of the most challenging and rewarding fields in our rapidly-changing globalized world of today – information and communications technology. In the last twenty years, as entrepreneurs in providing Internet and mobile technology and services have changed our lives, many ICT companies around the world, including in China, and including many startups, have become greatly influential in their own ways, contributing significantly to the world's economy.

But in addition discussing to the challenges and reaping the rewards in the field of profession you have chosen to enter, I would like to take this occasion to remind you of your new role and identity as an ICT professional, and the core values of being professional.

Upholding professionalism is definitely much more than just “doing a good job.” A professional must look beyond politics to maintain an independence that is based on a respect for scientific evidence, and putting the interest of the public ahead of private, personal or commercial gains. A few years ago, a number of core members of The Professional Commons, a cross-sectoral group of professionals in Hong Kong, proposed the “New Professional Core Values,” which are summarized as three basic points – independence, responsibility, and foresight. Let me tell you what we proposed.

First, professional independence and integrity – which means professionals must “speak truth unto power.” In circumstances where political and economic pressure are rampant, speaking up for what is right and speaking out against what is wrong, on the basis of one's professional judgment, require great courage. Professionals would change the culture so that speaking the truth becomes the norm in society.

Second, commitment to put the responsibility to the public good first. Professionals are often accountable to their clients or their teams. Yet when public interest is at stake, professionals must act in the interest of the public first, not just our own private interest, or our employer's commercial interest. Of course, it is also our responsibility to try our best align these interests, so that we can contribute our professional knowledge to enhance the public good.

Third and finally, having the foresight to embrace a global vision. By keeping ourselves abreast of the latest international trends, professionals are in the best position to promote community understanding on the global risks and challenges that society faces, and to explore new local opportunities. This is where professionals can contribute the most by injecting new energy into the community and by preventing close-minded thinking in society.

While only a great man like Steve Jobs can tell graduates to "stay hungry, stay foolish," a simple, average but hopefully decent fool like me can just ask you to remember about these values: Integrity, independence, the responsibility of putting public interest first, and having the foresight to embrace global vision. It is with these core values of professionalism that I want to leave with you – the unchanged value against a sea of ever-changing ICT trends and opportunities.

I thank you, the Computing Class of 2011, in advance for the contribution you will be making in the years to come for the ICT industry, for Hong Kong, for China and the world, and being a professional of whom your peers will be proud of. I wish you every success and congratulate you again on your graduation.




無疑,你選擇了現今這快速轉變的全球化世界中,最具挑戰性和最令人滿足的領域之一 – 資訊及通訊科技。在過去二十年,當創業者以互聯網和流動科技改變我們的生活時,全世界不少的資訊及通訊科技公司,包括來自中國的公司和很多的新創業公司,都已經變得非常有影響力,為全球經濟作出巨大貢獻。

不過,除了討論這行業的挑戰和回報,我希望利用這機會和你們談一下你們今天以後新的角色 -- 資訊及通訊科技的專業人士,和專業的核心價值。







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