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Thứ Năm, tháng 7 20, 2006

No. 1060 (Upekha dich)

U.S. WRITER MEETS BUDDHIST MASTER
2006-07-21 17:50:19

Taipei, July 21 (CNA) David Bornstein, an American author who became globally known for his book chronicling how the world has been changed by several social entrepreneurs, met Master Chengyen, founder of Taiwan's largest charity organization, for talks Thursday on "social entrepreneurism."

Bornstein, whose articles have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times and New York Newsday, has emerged as a leading expert in the global rise of "social entrepreneurism" -- social enprepreneurs who build organizations and push for new ideas to tackle social problems.

Bornstein, author of the popular book, How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and Power of New Ideas, paid a visit to Chengyen at the headquarters of the Buddhist Compassionate Relief Tzu Chi Foundation in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, accompanied by Charles H.C. Kao, founder and publisher of the Commonwealth monthly magazine.

The author told Chengyen that he predicts that social entrepreneurism will proliferate and change the world soon in the same way that the Internet did 10 years ago.

He said a social entrepreneur is not necessarily a businessman. Rather, he or she is a person who is able to manage an organization as a business. According to this criterion, he said, Master Chengyen is 100 percent a social entrepreneur.

During their talks, Bornstein asked Chengyen how the "Tzu Chi people" can always mobilize in the shortest possible time in the wake of devastating natural disasters to provide aid to the victims.

Chengyen responded that the "Tzu Chi people" need not be "mobilized" since they are always there. "They never rest, " she said.

Bornstein, who is writing a new book on how social entrepreneurs release their energy and dynamics to the greatest possible extent, asked Chengyen how she created Tzu Chi into the most dynamic and largest charity organization in Taiwan, to which Chengyen responded that she has only one formula: "Let them pitch in with the work physically and mentally."

To write How to Change the World, Bornstein traveled extensively in Bangladesh, India, Brazil, North America and Eastern Europe to profile several heavyweight social entrepreneurs from around the world.

In light of the successes and failures of recovery efforts after hurricane Katrina and the South Asia tsunami, Bornstein called for a change in the operating principles of traditional structures such as government services and foundations. These changes include more transparency, easier communications, better performance and more accurate assessments of what the impact of those organizations have on people -- as individuals, as families and as communities.

The author describes a compelling near-term future: "Far-thinking businessmen who recognize that in order to have businesses that are going to continue to be successful 20 years from now, we can't have a generation of children grow up illiterate, we can't completely muck up the environment; we can't continue to have millions and millions of people who are unhealthy, living without health insurance, and so forth; we can't continue to have this kind of inequality that leads to a disillusion of the social fabric."

(By Deborah Kuo)

ENDITEM/J

http://www.cna.com.tw/eng/cepread.php?id=200607210030