23rd Convocation Day-2

November 20, 2016

Choose humanity over technology, Mr. Rajeev Suri, Nokia CEO tells graduating students


“Chose curiosity over clarity. Choose diversity over uniformity. Choose passion over discipline. Choose honor over success. And, finally, while it may seem odd to hear this from the CEO of a technology company, choose humanity over technology.”

That was the message for the graduating students from the President and CEO of Nokia, Mr Rajeev Suri on the second day of the 23rd Manipal Academy of Higher Education Convocation at KMC Greens on Sunday.

The Nokia CEO, spoke of his journey from the time he left the University campus in 1989 after graduating in E&C from Manipal Institute of Technology to becoming the chief of Nokia.

He communicated his understanding of the world as he saw it from the time he stepped out of MIT.

And having been there, seen that, he told the students; “I am here to tell you that outside this seat of academia, the world is changing fast. In fact, you are entering the postgraduate world at a time of two major inflection points: one in technology, and the other in the established world order.

Beginning with the reflections of his time in Manipal, his address ranged from changing world order, technology and programmable world to what the students should expect in the world outside academics.

“The year I graduated –1989, walls were coming down. The Soviet Union was crumbling, and shortly after I left Manipal, the Berlin Wall collapsed and the Cold War was effectively over. 

In its place, globalization started to take hold … and between then and today, its pace grew. More people traveled to more places than ever before. 

Opportunities to see, to understand, to accept, accelerated at an extraordinary rate. Air travel more than quadrupled. Passports went from being a rarity for the few to a necessity for the many”.

“All this movement was supported by a new kind of linkage between people … by mobile phones, with Nokia at the forefront. Overall, since my graduation, the world has seen a period of peace and prosperity. Not a perfect time, of course, as too much poverty and too much conflict still wracks our world.

But, relative to earlier eras, these have been good years. No doubt about it”.

The mobile phone revolution has been an extraordinary thing. Nokia was a part of that from the start and at its heart for many years. Today, we are on the edge of another change. At Nokia, we call it the Programmable World. In the coming years, the world will become even more connected.

Connections will not be counted in the billions, they will be counted in the tens of billions … and close to 100 billion by 2025.

And when he said choose humanity over technology he meant this; “Technology by itself is meaningless. Technology that serves people is what matters. In the coming years, technology will automate and simplify all kinds of mundane tasks. And, by doing so it will give a gift … a gift of one of the world’s most precious resources: the gift of time. And, I would encourage you to use that time wisely. Not for another hour in the office, or another scan of social media. But to be present. To talk to the person next to you. To share your experiences. To help others. To be human … and to be part of humanity. That is the true promise of your generation.

To read full speech CLICK HERE