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Graduation Speech at San Francisco State University

Why T.E.A. Can Fix All Problems and the Upcoming Age of Edulightenment

  • “Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.” ~ Chinese Proverb
  • “If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you.” ~ William Gladstone
  •  “Make tea, not war.” ~Monty Python

Everyone loves T.E.A. My mother used to give me tea when I wasn’t feeling well. Tea heals us. In fact, for centuries, tea was for medicinal purposes only. It took almost 3,000 years for it to become an everyday drink.

T.E.A. is not just for the British who believe that tea is really a picnic indoors ("I don't drink coffee, I take tea, my dear" said Sting). Tea is an olive branch; in fact, tea arrived in Russia in the 1600s when the Chinese embassy in Moscow gave Czar Alexis a gift of tea. Tea is universal and knows no borders. In the 1800s green tea was the most popular tea in America. Then during World War II you couldn’t get green tea in the US so America imported tea from India and since then black tea is the most popular tea.

T.E.A. Can Solve All of the World's Problems.

T.E.A. stands for Technology Education and Acceptance. We need to have all three of the aforementioned T.E.A. pillars to be in place to progress. Without acceptance, education and technology are wasted resources. Without education, technology and acceptance are wasted resources. And without technology, education and acceptance are wasted resources.

We are on the cusp of entering the age of technology education and acceptance enlightenment where all of the worlds problems can be fixed by T.E.A. How can you not be excited about the future? We are in the very early stages of a multi decade secular growth technology and acceptance inspired education renaissance.

All of the incredible technology that has been born in the past decade like Uber, Aribnb, Dropbox etc. only exists because these companies run on incredibly affordable and accessible cloud based services like Amazon Web Services. Many groundbreaking accessible online education platforms like Udemy.com also run on Amazon Web Services where they are providing accessible and affordable education/edutainment to the masses in more than 190 countries.

Today a child in the middle of Africa has more and faster access to information than Bill Clinton did in the 1990s through the use of smart phones. Each smartphone has more processing power today than every computer in the world that was used to put the first person on the moon. There are close to 2 billion smart phones in use today, which will become the de facto education consumption medium.

Given the aforementioned facts, how can one not get incredibly excited by the coming education technology secular growth movement? This can only have a significantly positive impact on society. All problems in the world can be solved by education (every single one without exception). Add ultra high speed accessible, unfiltered and affordable education for all and you have the recipe for the democratization of education for the upcoming age of edulightenment.

  • “Tea is instant wisdom — just add water! Tea is the symbol of and antidote to civilization.” ~Terri Guillemets
  • “If you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs.” Charles Dickens

I can’t understand why politicians don’t spend 95% of their time focused on T.E.A. as the only long term solution to all problems. The longer the view, the wiser the intention; I suppose many politicians are unwisely focused on the short term problems that we face, which can all be eradicated through accessible education by leveraging technology. Come on Washington and the world, please wake up and address the global education accessibility crisis; we’re all in this together. 

God bless JFK with helping to establish the Peace Corps in 1961, which was certainly a wonderful long term focused program. I challenge Washington and the world to create a commensurate http://www.GlobalEdTechCorps.org/ program. I just checked and that internet address is available in case politicians that rhyme with Rump and Rinton want to register it and add it to their speeches in the next few days, weeks or years.

  •  “Wouldn’t it be dreadful to live in a country where they didn’t have tea?” ~ Noël Coward
  • “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”  ~ C.S. Lewis

October 9th 2012 is the most important date of this decade. On that historic date my hero Malala Yousafzai stood up for women’s rights and for education by standing up to the Taliban. Malala is the youngest Nobel prize winner in history. What this brave teenager did on October 9th of 2012 is emblematic of this century’s strength and embodiment of what Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi did last century.

In the next few decades I expect thousands of Malalas to rise up in educational or firewall oppressed countries and challenge ridiculous historical norms. Malala inspired educational movements along with accessible and unfiltered high speed internet access will be the defining combined event that help to rid the world of many 19th century (that’s right 19th century) backwards stone age-esque inequalities that still exist today.

  • “Tea! Bless ordinary everyday afternoon tea!” ~Agatha Christie
  • "Come and share a pot of tea. My home is warm and my friendship's free.” - Emilie Barnes

God bless Malala. If we can add technology to her incredibly brave movement to embrace education and acceptance, then we can solve all of the worlds problems by empowering the empowerers. Instead of sending too many troops overseas, why not instead focus on education and acceptance through technology initiatives so that oppressed societies can change from within. I envision a world where countless thousands of Malala inspired YouTube stars rise up and demand equal rights to education and acceptance.

  • “Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea.” Reverend Sydney Smith

The rise of edTech will help to launch the new age of edulightenment. What is war and conflict really? It is nothing more than ignorance which is a result of a lack of unfiltered affordable access to education. I firmly applaud and support edTech startups, governments and organizations that help to make affordable technology enabled education accessible to all, which is just as much of a right for all as water, air, freedom of expression and the freedom to coexist.

  •  “Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.” - Rabbi Chaim Potok

There can’t possibly be a more important sector to invest in for this year, this decade and of course this century than edTech. I applaud Jeff Bezos for helping a lot of this to happen by building the incredibly affordable plumbing/infrastructure that is Amazon Web Services, which powers most online education startups. The only missing ingredient here is widely available unfiltered internet access for all oppressed countries. I praise Mark Zuckerberg for his part in helping address the aforementioned opportunity and I respectfully challenge our space pioneers Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk to help make unfiltered high speed internet access a right for all. I love my children’s children’s children and our world too much not to bring this up. How can you not be excited about what T.E.A. will bring us in the future?

  • “COMPUTER - Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. And whoever this 'Earl Grey' fellow is, I'd like to have a word with him”. ~ Captain Jean-Luc Picard
  • “A cup of tea is a cup of peace.” ~Soshitsu Sen
  • “On Christmas Day at half past three, Brew yourself a cup of tea. I'll think of you, You think of me While sitting 'round the Christmas Tree.” ~ Hallmark I think : )  

In conclusion, we can fix the world by consuming and embracing T.E.A. Technology, education and acceptance can empower the empowerers as T.E.A. fixes all problems in the world. Imagine all the people embracing T.E.A. It isn’t hard to do. You may say I'm a dreamer…but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will be as one.

  • “I hope next time when we meet, we won't be fighting each other. Instead we will be drinking tea together.” ~ Jackie Chan
  • “Water is the mother of tea, a teapot its father, and fire the teacher.” ~ Chinese Proverb  

Since I am writing this in between flights on a runway in Dublin, I will end with:

“May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire.” ~ An Irish Blessing