This morning I popped in to see the British Council in Beijing. As usual their offices were beautifully designed, if I was a student I’d want to study in the UK after visiting them! I’ve done workshops for the BC before (including a keynote speech), there’s actually a British Council branded version of the Teacher’s Pack out there and they license Genki English in quite a few of their language centers, the latest one I heard of was Casablanca, which sounded very cool!
Anyway today was just to see if there was anything I could help with in Beijing. I tell you, the more I hear about China the more excited I get. There might be some very interesting things in the future!
Afterwards I popped into the local bookstores to try and get some learning Chinese materials. As usual most of it was just really boring, it would just put me to sleep! I did buy one book called “Hip Hop Mandarin”, which I thought would be like the Genki Hip Hop songs, but err, no it was a bunch of school kids singing along to a metronome. Just a little bit different!
Solving World Poverty (!)
Then after a few hours computer work I was watching a programme on French satellite TV about parents in South America who had to leave their children in order to go and work in Europe. There was a similar thing on the BBC the other day about workers from South Asia in Dubai. Plus here in China many of our parents have moved from rural areas to try and get work in the cities.
I also had to update something on my Location Free Lifestyle blog.
Then it hit me:
This idea of a location free lifestyle, “making money online – live in paradise” maybe shouldn’t be about rich countries, couldn’t it in fact be the way out of poverty for many of the poorest people? For many people the “live in paradise” would be to live at home with their families. And if you make dollars but spend rupees you’re very quickly going to get out of poverty. With the infrastructures coming in place, and the amazing entrepreneurial talent we see in many places, I think this could be something huge. I’m probably just super late in realising this, but if you’re interested in reading more, I wrote a full post about it: Why Making Money Online is Solution to World Poverty
“The Beautiful Tree”
It was getting late by now, but I wanted to watch Professor James’ Tooley’s excellent live presentation of his new book “The Beautiful Tree” about our private schools for the poor. (I’ll link up to the video once it’s back online!)
One of the questions from the audience was from a gentleman from www.openworld.com I haven’t seen his website yet, because it appears to be banned in China, but he was asking that if entrepreneurship can solve the education problem in many developing countries, couldn’t the model also work for selling digital products online to bring people out of poverty. Wow, that’s exactly what I had written 30 minutes earlier!
As you can tell I am very excited about this as well. I always thought of the Location Free Lifestyle site as something not too serious, certainly I don’t put all the blood, sweat and tears into it that I do with Genki English. But could that site, that idea, be really used to bring millions of people out of poverty?
I have a feeling that it could! Wow.