Tony Blair's lecture at Nazarbayev University

Гаухар А.-М.-К. 2012 M05 24

Tony Blair's lecture at Nazarbayev University: main points

Today former Prime Minister of Great Britain (the youngest PM in about 200 years) visited Nazarbayev University. He gave a short speech to the students, faculty and staff.

Shortly on the main points of his lecture:

- The world today is driven by 2 things: revolutionaty power of technology that is changing so much; era of uniquely low predictability.

- Social media today is a revolutionary phenomenon. There was no social media before, people didn't communicate accross the world this much.

- The lesson of the change in the world is that you have to change or you'll be left behind.

- The financial crisis has exposed the need for change but didn't cause it, it was already there.

- We need growth and reform. For the West the challenge is that it needs to adapt and change its model. The challenge for the East is evolution rather than revolution.

- Democracy is not just a way of voting, it's a way of thinking (free media, open mind, free thinking).

- Democracy doesn't resolve difficult economic decisions, it gives a way of taking them.

- Kazakhstan has come a great way in the last 20 years. It's opportunity is religious tolerance, going from being a 3rd world state to the 2nd world state. The challenge is as KZ moves to the next level of development it will have to evolve and change (parties, reforms, attacks on corruption etc.). The pursue of the open mind is what makes KZ successful.

- The difference between the XX and XXI centuries is in closed and open mind (to the people, to different religions, to other states, to the rest of the world).

Students had their questiond for the ex-PM (some of them quite political) but he handled them well. He also got somewhat embarrassed when one of the students stated that he was still "very young and energetic" (it was cute))).

Overall I think it was a good inspiring speech for the students - the future of our country, the ones who will make democracy. Great for the students to have a chance to ask some big people questions and get answers firsthand

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