May you live in interesting times.
My name is David and I am a Business Administration student recently returned from China. More importantly, I am part of a generation on the brink of escaping or becoming completely pessimistic about their country. This is clearly a very scary position for such a vital and huge group of people to take. I ran away from Spain a year ago with no intention of coming back until things improved. But my mind was changed and I have returned with the firm intention of changing things.
TEDxCibeles would be a chance to share how my personal experience turned fear and cynicism into hope and unstoppable optimism regarding our future. I want to emphasize how the energy of a brave few became wildly contagious and made me reconsider the possibilities for growth in my home country. Our generation is being called upon by circumstance to face a momentous change in the society that has given us such wonderful privileges.
Initially my response to this challenge was to find the quickest way out of the country and never look back. Once abroad, in China, I had a comfortable life and a solid job offer to rely on for the future. Then I was forced to return to finish up my degree, although my mind was still set on leaving.
Most of my social circle was pessimistic and looking to exit the country. However, I found an amazing group of people that out of necessity or determination firmly believed in staying and fighting for our future. Listening to their stories filled me with courage and, what is more important, a powerful idea:
This is an interesting time and I am not running away from it.
We have formed an association called Start UC3M and, tied to similar organizations in almost every university in Madrid, we have the goal of inspiring students and giving them the tools to create their own opportunities without having to run away. The, allegedly Chinese, curse “May you live in interesting times” is to us a reminder of the opportunities and challenges ahead.