How Should We Deal with Racism? Here’s My Answer: Diverseas
Tell me something that’s true, that almost nobody agrees with you on.
“Get Out of Here. You Are Not Japanese.”
This is the first time I encountered racism in my life. Both of my parents are Korean, but we don’t speak Korean. We are Japanese-Korean. My background is one of the main reasons why I support diversity.
How Do We Deal with Racism?
How do we deal with Racism?
Brexit happened in Britain and Donald Trump became President of the United States. Among their supporters, there are people who think that racism is likely of low priority compared to other social problems.
I’m currently studying abroad in the United States. Every time my friends talk about Donald Trump, it tends to turn into a discussion about racism. Regarding racism, everybody in the U.S. seems to have something to say.
But there is no one and only easy solution.
“Tell me something that’s true, that almost nobody agrees with you on” — Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel, one of the top investors in Silicon Valley, asked this question at the beginning of his book “Zero to One”.
Thiel, the co-founder of Paypal, who later became Facebook’s first external investor, asked this question to separate the best candidates and companies from the average ones.
My answer to this question is related to racism. I’ll give my own answer at the end of this article. But first, I want to talk about some stories.
Diverseas Is My Way to Deal with Racism
Diverseas is not just a product for study abroad but also my way to solve racism based on insightful research by Nate Silver and the secret history of Silicon Valley by Frederick Terman at Stanford University.
Here is the things.
1. Does Racism Affect How You Vote? by Nate Silver
Nate Silver is one of the best data scientists and one of the developers of the baseball data prediction model “PECOTA” that became famous for “Moneyball”. I watched his TED talk, “Does racism affect how you vote?”.
To put it simply, Nate Silver showed that there was a person who decided whether to vote based on President Obama’s race in the presidential elections.
In addition, it was derived from data that shows differences in decisions by race, education or neighborhood.
In other words, those who received only low education and lived in the countryside had a higher tendency for racism.
Further examination of this point revealed that there is a big difference in judgment and way of thinking depending on whether or not people of different races live in the open or secluded areas.
And he concludes that the most efficient way to solve this is to interact with foreigners by studying abroad.
If you want to know more in detail, I recommend you watch his video.
Thanks to Nate Silver, I understood that the number of students going abroad is important for diversity. But, I came up with a new question.
How Can the Number of Students Going Abroad Increase?
Main reasons behind student’s hesitation to study abroad in Japan are financial constraint and necessity to extend school enrollment period and language skill indicated by a lot of research.
Really? I don’t believe this to be true.
I would like to briefly explain the background behind the creation of extreme entrepreneurial ecosystem Silicon Valley.
I strongly believe that its story should be applied to the study abroad industry as well.
2. The Beginnings of Silicon Valley
“Has Silicon Valley been started by Mark Zuckerberg with social media?” “Did Steve Jobs invent Silicon Valley?” Neither Mark Zuckerberg nor Steve Jobs.
During WW2 and at the dawn of the cold war, the US had studies atomic bombs and radar systems to advance war technology and become the dominant power in the world.
At that time there were two universities in the United States who were studying atomic bombs: Harvard’s MIT at the east coast, and Stanford University at the west coast, which was only a small, relatively unknown university at the time.
MIT and Harvard were abundant in funds and human resources, so they tried to make a factory and make what the government ordered within university facilities.
Meanwhile, Professor Terman of the faculty of electrotechnical engineering at Stanford University, Stanford University was small in size, so the university focused on making the students educate students what Professor Terman learned from MIT and Harvard.
Moreover, this is the critical thing, he did something incredibly different. Terman said we’re not going to keep this stuff inside of Stanford.
We’re going to encourage our graduate students to create spin-off businesses based on our research. He basically said Stanford is going to be an outward-facing university.
Why is this important? This is because it is the source of Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial spirit.
He redefined his time’s common sense: “If it succeeds in the world of academia (in a laboratory world so to say), it must be brought to the public.”
Take for example two of his graduate students, Hewlett and Packard. Terman helped them start a company and he sat on their board from the day they founded that company in 1938.
He was the guy who wrote the most advanced textbook on electrotechnical engineering at the time.
He became the dean of engineering of Stanford 1946. Fred Terman was on the board of the first three IPO’s, Varian and Hewlett-Packard, Ampex in Silicon Valley.
In conclusion, not funds and expertise but his vision and knowledge were responsible for the outward-facing culture of Stanford and entrepreneurial culture of Silicon Valley.
That’s why professor Terman is called “Father of Silicon Valley”. This is the secret story of Silicon Valley.
If you want to know more in detail, I recommend you watch this video.
Why Did I Talk About the Secret Story of Silicon Valley?
Because here is my way which I am trying to prove with data by Diverseas.
The real reasons for stopping students who wish to study abroad aren’t skill and finances but the right information, experiences and support like the entrepreneurial ecosystem story in Silicon Valley.
This will be a scientific attempt to predict what factors determine people’s decisions to go or not to go abroad, using logistic regression and ANOVA based on questionnaires.
That’s why we are gathering questionnaires before and after mentoring for studying abroad for those who wish to study abroad.
In order for the study abroad industry to prosper, it is important that first of all, it is important to establish a flourishing ecosystem before introducing funds.
Such an ecosystem does not consist of money or skill, but, just like in the case of Silicon Valley and Stanford, it is build upon with “people (thought)”, “knowledge” and “information”.
That’s why I believe Diverseas will be helpful for increasing the number of students going abroad.
Diverseas aims to become Terman Professor of the study abroad industry.
I want to help all international students from all over the world. Then, those who experienced studying abroad with Diverseas become advisors (“mentors”) and help new people to study abroad, thereby forming a global study abroad community — a flourishing ecosystem.
Not only people from Japan who studied in the US help people from Japan who want to study in the US. People from all countries with all kinds of study abroad experience should help people from all countries who aspire to study abroad in all kinds of ways.
So, Diverseas is aiming to become the Terman of the study abroad industry.
Conclusion: My Answer
“Tell me something that’s true, that almost nobody agrees with you on” — Peter Thiel
If you ask this question, I will answer like this.
“Putting an end to the history of racism using technology is going to effectively increase the number of students that study abroad. The major factors impeding international students aren’t skill and finances but the right information, experiences and support.
It can be proved using data from a social science approach and solved using code from an engineering approach.
Racism is a solvable problem.“
The Vision of A Borderless World
Lastly, Although the above conclusion comes from a statistical approach and historical background, in fact, it may be better to think about the basic principle more simply.
The real pleasure of studying abroad is making friends all over the world. That record will remain strong as an original experience in your life. What will happen if all people in the world develop friendships with people from everywhere in the world? There should be no war or discrimination.
There seems to be an increasing tendency to highlight differences rather than commonality, however, in reality, you realize there is not that much of a difference when you become friends with people from other cultures.
If everyone in the countrysideor big city, from Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific, America, basically from everywhere can access to studying abroad information about all kinds of destinations from first hand experience, surely more people will want to study abroad.
If that number of people were to increase, such close-minded people as Donald Trump would have less of a following and acts like Brexit would become less likely.
If that’s the case, Diverseas can indeed contribute to the elimination of racism and the realization of a borderless world where no one can be told to “Get out from here because you are not Japanese” , just like me because I was “not Japanese.” You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.
This is what we are trying to build. Here’s why I made Diverseas.
It would expand a broader expansion to international students from over the world to learn about study abroad in the everywhere like the adventure in the ocean. There are plenty of people in the sea.
Here’s why I named Diverseas ( Diversity + Overseas )!
Start Your Adventure!
You can sign up for access from this page. Let’s enjoy studying abroad! We strongly believe anyone can study anywhere.
Thanks a lot for reading. I’d appreciate a click on the “Recommend” button at the end if you liked this article.
If you have enough time to read, I hope you also read this article about the concept of Diverseas like below
Diverseas is a free online talk service that connects returnees and those who aspire to study abroad via our chat and…medium.com
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Please Help Me! We Need More Staff.
Diverseas is looking for a Rails engineer with a solid understanding of computer science. We’re expanding our engineering team (currently at 3 devs include me) to bring our product to a new level.
Diverseas is looking for a talented and passionate individual to manage our growing community of mentors and people who want to study abroad.
Diverseas is looking for a marketing ninja because as of now we’re all Japanese. We need someone with a great ability to think up creative campaigns to increase awareness of our product on SNS and other websites in English. You need to be able to measure and report your results.
If you are interested in any of the above, we’d like to work with you. Email me (Hidetaka Ko) at email@example.com