- [Full Video] GEEF 2018 Conversation with Jack Ma
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You have invented a Chinese character “Xin.” It is about caring for others. What is your philosophical thought and reason for inventing the “Xin” philanthropy?
At the top is the Chinese character for ‘family’ and at the bottom is the ‘heart.’ I believe that philanthropy is treating the world like your family and doing things with your heart. When you give money to others and take action, you’re changing yourself, and only when everyone is changed can the world be changed. Philanthropy is about getting results. As a philanthropist, we should have a philanthropic heart, but a business way. If it’s not efficient, the philanthropy cannot last long.
Effective Altruism and Sustainable Future
In addition to Xin, you are also an advocate for “effective altruism” as a way to shift the paradigm and promote equity and dignity of all people. How do you think your concept of “effective altruism” will help achieve a sustainable future?
On that topic, let’s talk about technology. The technology revolution may cause problems, but also brings a lot of opportunities. In my opinion, each technology revolution in the past directly or indirectly caused the First and Second World Wars. The Third World War is the war against poverty, disease and environmental problems. This is where money and technology should be joining force. We are progressing from information technology (IT) to data technology (DT). IT is about enabling yourself. DT is about enabling the poor and others. To be sustainable and successful in the next 30 years, you should think of others more than yourself. Do things with a Xin heart, but also be effective.
Why Companies Should Hire More Women and Youth
The reason we’re working hard is for the succeeding generations and people, including youth and women, whose political and social status isn’t given properly. You are leading by example in helping women and youth. How can we encourage other business leaders to do the same?
The secret of Alibaba’s success is that 49% of its employees and 37% of the senior management are women. The average age of our employees is 33 years old.
If you want your company to be perfect, have men and women work together harmoniously. Women tend to be wiser than men. What’s the difference between smartness and wisdom? Smart people know what they want; wise people know what they don’t want. Women leaders in Alibaba frequently ask me, “Jack, are you sure this is what we want?” Always a good question because humans became so greedy in the past 200-300 years.
If you want your company to be user-friendly and have great chemistry, hire young people. Young people have a lot of ideas, and ideas are hope for the future. Young people embrace change and new technology. Hire young people so your company has hope and is prepared for the future.
We already see more young leaders and women presidents around the world. Whether you like it or not, we will see more of them. So get ready to welcome them and embrace them.
Will A.I. Dominate Humans In the Future?
How do you view where we’ll be reaching in terms of the 4th industrial revolution? Many people express concerns about artificial intelligence. What will be human’s role at the time?
All things you are worrying about AI are coming but AI will never replace humans. No matter how smart computers are, humans will prevail. The world is not about smartness; it’s about the heart. Wisdom is from the heart. The brain is about knowledge. If you compete with knowledge, machines will win. If you compete with wisdom, machines will have no chance.
If you don’t want to lose quickly, you need high IQ. If you want to be successful, you should have high EQ. If you want to be respected and continue to win, you should have LQ – the love quotient – which machines will never have.
Don’t worry about machines. Worry about our children, our education system and how we should change the way we teach them. Don’t let our children compete with machines on things the machines can do better. We should teach our children things machines can never be able to do. Therefore, the next 30 years will be tough. We need solutions. We have to use technology to enable people to live better, instead of making yourself or your company more powerful. Technology for the future should be inclusive.
Our thoughts on the future are the same. So far, humankind has been able to overcome all the challenges. In the end, we will be able to overcome this challenge. That’s one thing I firmly believe.
My grandfather worried about my father, and my father worried about me. I’m doing better than my father, who did better than my grandfather. So don’t worry about young people. They can do better. We just have to trust them. I trust young people, and this is why my company can grow.