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徐小平牛津中国论坛英文演讲:选择中国就是选择未来

好的抉择会进一步拓宽你的未来之路。

尽管没人会低估财务投资的意义,但人生确实还有另外一种投资,其意义更加深远而重大——那就是我们如何投资、以及向哪里投资我们的宝贵人生。

在中国高速发展环境下,成长起来的年轻人,面临着前所未有的人生机遇,也面临着前所未有的复杂选择。而那些在外留学的海外学子,更多了一个选择的维度:回国,还是不回国?面向未来,他们的决定就更加“艰难”。

3月3日,徐小平在牛津中国论坛与中国留学生和创业爱好者畅谈“新新中国的机遇与未来”,分享了自己内心的观点:一场势不可挡、意义深远的变化正在中国展开,前途充满令人激动的各种可能,年轻人把你们的才华、你们的未来,投资到中国去!

作者|徐小平

来源|真格基金(ID:zhenfund)

www.investorscn.com

非常感谢各位的欢迎。何流先生的致辞、加上牛津中国论坛的热情接待,让我感到无比荣耀。

Thank you all very much. Leo, I am honored by your kind words, and by the hospitality of the Oxford China Forum.

正如何流所说,我在中国是一名天使投资人。不用说大家都知道,在《圣经》中,天使是为上帝选定的幸运儿带去福音的使者。 而我的工作,只是负责送达资金这种低档得多的任务。虽然我没有天使的双翼、也没有号角的伴奏,但我不否认,我的工作确实给人们带去过希望和喜悦。

As Leo noted, I am known in China as an “angel investor.” The term derives, of course, from those angels who are said to visit a chosen few delivering their joyful announcements. I have the far less lofty calling of simply delivering money. No wings to carry me, no trumpet to sound – but I assure you, I have seen great joy at my arrival.

今天,把我带到了牛津大学这座古老知识殿堂的,是一项与天使投资毫不相关的使命。能在这里见到如此众多来自中国的青年人,是一个令我格外喜悦和骄傲的体验。你们能在牛津读书这个事实,证明了你们都是一群牛人。机缘巧合,你选择了牛津;风云际会,牛津选择了你。无论什么原因,都证明了一点:在座的每一位都有着非凡才华和远大前程。我还想加一句,从面对风险的角度,你们拥有对陌生领域的开放心态,愿意把世界,而不仅仅是中国,当作自己的人生舞台和家园。

A different kind of errand brings me here today, to this thousand-year-old citadel of learning. And what a happy sight it is, standing at Oxford in the company of so many young men and women from China. The mere fact that you are at this university reveals much about you. Something made you choose Oxford... something made Oxford choose you. In both cases, there is ashort answer: Each one of you has great talent and great promise. And I would add, a sense ofadventure... an openness to the unfamiliar... a desire to be at home, not just in China, but in the world.

出国学习对一个人的影响之大,是在你跨出国门之前无法想象的。它带给我们人生旅途的意义,不仅仅是地理位置的跨越。毫无疑问,你们对此已经有了深刻的体验。即使你出国留学就是为了学一门专业知识,你获得的人生价值也会远远超越你的专业。很多人都会告诉你们,走到今天这一步,你们手中拥有的人生机会对绝大多数人只能是他们梦里的奢望。那么,面对无限选择,你们应该如何迈出下一步?有时候选择越多,你的烦恼也随之增加。

To study abroad can be a more fateful decision than we understand at the time. It removes more than geographical limits on our personal journey. No doubt you have started to realize this for yourselves. Even if you came here to master a particular subject, your new options do not end with that subject. I am surely not the first to tell you that, having come this far, you have options that most people can only dream of having. What can you do next, after Oxford? Amazingly enough, you can do almost anything.

好的抉择会进一步拓宽你的未来之路。作为牛津学生——用我们投资界的话来说——你已经在一条注定会赢的赛道上。投资决策,从某种意义上,正是你们时刻都必须要做的权衡。投资,并不仅仅只有财务投资——人生其实还有另外一种投资,其意义要比财务投资更加深远而重——那就是我们如何以及往哪里投入我们只有一次的宝贵人生。

Good choices have a way of leading to more good choices. You Oxford students are on a winning streak, as we might say in the investment business. And investment decisions, of a kind, are exactly what you are making. I’m not one to understate the importance of financial investing, but there is another kind of investing that is deeper and more important. And that is how and where we invest our lives.

从这个意义上,你不妨用一个投资人的眼光来看待此次牛津中国论坛“新新中国”的主题。你手上拥有人力资本供你投出——你自己的能力、时间和志向。在决定下一步走向时,只有你自己能够真正给出正确的答案。我曾经和你们一样,站在人生的十字路口面临着艰难的选择。尽管一路走来充满了挑战和曲折,但我至今依然为当年的选择而自豪。

So in a sense, you can look at this conference on “China Today” with the eye of a prospective investor. You have human capital to deploy as you will – your own ability, energy, and aspiration. And when you think of next steps, no one but you can truly discern the right answer. I was once on that kind of search myself, and it didn’t exactly lead me on a straight or simple path.

在座的很多人可能知道,很久之前我曾经是一名在加拿大留学的音乐学生。1993年,我获得音乐硕士学位之后,立即回到了中国追求我的音乐产业之梦。我在北京竭尽所能奋斗了一年,什么也没有做成。只好灰溜溜回到了加拿大,彼时身无分文的我,甚至比1988年第一次踏入枫叶之国的时候还穷。

Many of you know I was a music student in Canada a long time ago. After I received my Master’s degree in 1993, I went back to China to pursue my dreams in the music business. I spent a whole year inBeijing and exhausted every possibility, only to see my hopes come to nothing. I returned to Canada, even poorer than when I first arrived in 1987.

这是我人生最最艰难的时刻。那我怎么就失败了呢?答案其实很简单:我开办了一家音乐公司。我懂得做音乐,却不懂得办公司。我失败,是因为我缺少办公司的经验和技巧。但那又如何?“失败乃成功之母”——这句古老的中国谚语在我一年后再次回国创业时,得到了辉煌的证明。

It was a miserable time. Why had I failed? The answer is simple: I started a music business. I knew music, but I didn’t know business. I failed for lack of the skills to build a business. But so what? “Failure is the mother of all successes,” that old Chinese adage, served as a prophecy for when I next returned to China.

很多人可能也知道王强的大名。他是新东方和真格基金的联合创始人。当时他跟你们一样,也踏上海外求学之路,并最终在美国贝尔实验室找到一份梦想成真的工程师工作。1996年,在俞敏洪创办的新东方事业感召下,他离开美国回到中国。他带回国的凌云壮志是:让更多中国人,讲更地道的美国口语。

You might also know of Wang Qiang, co-founder of New Oriental Education and co-founder of ZhenFund. He, too, had ventured far from his country, finding an excellent position at the Bell Corporation in the United States. In 1996, he left it all behind and returned home with a glorious mission: to help people in China master spoken English.

王强达成了他的使命,从而在中国成就了他的传奇。王强在新东方和俞敏洪一起创业的故事被拍成了电影《中国合伙人》。这是一部当年获得票房、口碑双丰收的电影。我不得不提一下,作为新东方联合创始人之一,我自己也被拍在了电影里面——但只是为衬托俞敏洪和王强光辉形象的一个龙套而已。

Wang Qiang accomplished this and became a legend in China. His story in the forming of New Oriental, along with Yu Minhong, the founder and CEO, was featured in a 2013 box-office hit movie called “Chinese Partners.” I confess that I was also portrayed in that movie, but only as a minor character in the shadow of Yu Minhong and Wang Qiang.

毫无疑问这是一个成功故事。但你不会知道王强回国初期遇到的困难之大,差点让他改道回了美国。他光光为了恢复他的北京户口,就前后奔波了一年——只有住在中国的人才知道户口的重要性。焦头烂额之时,他会拉着俞敏洪和我一起喝啤酒,一边喝、一边怒不可遏地嚷着要回美国。幸运的是,他并没有这样做。面对一切挑战,王强锲而不舍,实现了他的梦想。

A real-life success story, definitely. But what you don’t know isthat Wang Qiang, early on, almost abandoned his China journey because of the many frustrations he encountered resettling in his own country. It took more than a year to restore his Beijing Hukou, and you know how important a Hukou is to living and working in China. Often he would drink beer with Yu Minhong and me, vowing in anger to go back to America. Luckily, these were words only. Wang Qiang persevered, and he triumphed.

最后,我要讲讲一位年轻女士顾及同学的奋斗佳话。她拥有康奈尔本科和斯坦福硕士学位——当然在牛津同学面前,这两个学历不值一提——毕业后,她很想回国建立她的事业。正好国内有一家初创公司邀请她加盟。她问我要不要接受邀请。我是这样对她说的:“我不能告诉你选哪家公司能够成功,但我可以告诉你选择中国肯定没错。

If I may share but one more story here, let me tell you of a bright, pretty young woman by the name of Gu Ji. She graduated from both Cornell and Stanford – impressive, though of course nothing to boast about to an audience of Oxford students. And Gu Ji wanted to pursue a career inChina. So one day she asked me about an offer from a start-up company. I told her this: “I don’t know which company you should choose – I know only that you should choose China.”

顾及接受了这家公司的聘请,搬回了国内,做了一段时间后,她发现自己并不适合这份工作。她离开了这家公司,短暂地陷入了迷茫,但很快发现了属于她的方向。她创办了一家培训机构,名字叫失败研修院,只接受“烧光”过三百万人民币以上创始人的申请。她的课程帮助失败的创始人重新获得再次出发的动力和愿景。顾及的培训获得了迅速的成功,她的课程现在已经供不应求。

Gu Ji took that offer and moved back to China, only to find that the position was not right for her. She left the company, and for a brief time despaired about her future. But soon she found her passion and created a training program for startup entrepreneurs called [失败研修院] – meaning, literally, business school for losers. Only those who have squandered at least half a million dollars are qualified to apply. The program helps people with failing startups to regain their original strength and vision. The school was an immediate hit; and some applicants have tried to ingratiate themselves with me so I might help them get in.

顾及和她所热爱的事业都在蓬勃发展。我为她取得的成就感到高兴,当我鼓励她回国时,我几乎向她保证她一定会成功。我为什么会对他人的前途如此确信?中国充满了机遇,但唯有你回到中国,这些机遇才有可能变为你的成功。

Gu Ji and her work are thriving today. And I rejoice in her success, because when I encouraged her to come back to China I all but promised that she would succeed. Why I was so confident? China is filled with opportunities, and they cannot be yours unless you are there.

▲ 最左:牛津中国论坛主席何流

多年以来,当人们提到中国奇迹,我们会联想到钢筋水泥的新新中国:新造的高速公路和桥梁、高铁动车和摩天大楼。今天,当我们再次提到新新中国,你会发现新中国远不止于此。

For many years, talk of the New China brought to mind mainly images of steel and concrete: new highways and bridges, high-speed trains, and tall buildings. Today you will find it means much more than that.

今非昔比,一个新的中国意味着更深的变化。一场更加势不可挡、意义深远的变迁正在中国展开。2017年,回国留学生人数首次超越了出国留学人数。对中国未来不断升腾的乐观主义吸引着人们的回归。走遍神州大地,人们无论在工作中、还是生活中,你都能感受到无法用金钱衡量的希望与动力。我每天在真格基金,都能从那些寻找创业资金的青年人身上感受到这种饱满的激情与追求。这是一种日益突显的时代精神:创造力、独立性、渴望在市场上证明自己、以及“急于求成”——这是最积极意义上的“急于求成”。在这一切的中心,是中国青年一代——也就是你们这代人——这个拥有着我们那代人根本无法想象的机遇的世代!

There are more powerful and fundamental trends unfolding in China today. In 2017, the number of Chinese students returning from overseas has exceeded the number of those going abroad. The contagious optimism about China’s future has drawn them coming home. All over this New China you can feel a dynamic at work, a new spirit in the air, that pure economics cannot measure. I see it all the time in the young men and women who come to ZhenFund, hoping that we will be their angel. It is a self-reliant spirit – creative, independent, market-minded, and impatient in the best way. And at the center of all this is the new generation of Chinese – your generation – with possibilities beyond imagining when I was your age.

徐小平在牛津大学与中国罗德学者合影

说到急于求成,我想提醒大家,如果你选择回国的话,你们的耐心一定会遭遇挑战。中国依然是一个发展中国家,我们依然有着发展中国家所存在的各种困扰与局限。你要准备好起步的失败和前行的阻碍,正如我遇到的挫折和王强遇到的沮丧那样。但好消息是:面对中国发展的各种不理想状态,不要忘记你自己拥有的巨大可能性……你的技能与思想、你的决心与坚守,这些恰恰就是中国最急迫需要的建设性力量!

Patience, I will freely admit, will indeed be tested if you choose to build your careerin China. We still have some of the limitations and frustrations of a developing country, as in the stories I have shared. You can expect false starts or setbacks, as I had mine, and Wang Qiang had his. And dealing with the less ideal conditions in our country, don’t rule out the possibility that your skills and your ideas, your determination and your resilience might offer the solutions that China is waiting for!

对于在座每一位年轻朋友,你们通过努力,已经学会了自信地站立在世界舞台之上。这种全球化能力,你一旦获得就会伴随你一生。你可以把这种能力带回中国,在今日中国,我们需要大量具备这种能力的人。

For each one of you at this stage of life, it is good that you have ventured far away, and learned to be comfortable in the world. That is a strength you have gained and will never lose. That is a strength you can bring home. And in China today it will carry you far.

同学们,把你们的才华、你们的未来,投资到中国去,你的前途充满各种令人遐想和激动的可能。没有人能够保证你一帆风顺,但我愿意负责任地向你承诺:在新新中国,这个属于你的国家、属于你的文化、属于你的时代里,你一定能够大展宏图、实现梦想!

Invest your talent, invest yourselves, in China, and great things are possible. The road will not always be easy. But I do promise this: you will travel that path with the joyful knowledge that this is your country, this is your culture, and this is your time.

谢谢大家。

Thank you.

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