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Salman Khan to MIT grads: Innovators will foster societal change

Fred O'Connor | June 11, 2012
Future scientists and technology professionals, not governments, will develop the innovations that most benefit society, online educator entrepreneur Sal Khan told MIT's 2012 graduates during his commencement speech Friday.

They should also contemplate their problems by taking a walk in the woods and realizing that they are "another mammal not sure why it is here."

Graduates need to stay centered to reach their true potential, Kahn said, and to combat a cynical world by being "as incredibly, delusionally positive as possible."

"Smile with your mouth, eyes, your body, at every living and nonliving thing you see," he said. "Recognize that the grass is greener on your side of the fence."

Material loss and gain should be kept in perspective and is "all silly relative to things that matter: your health and your relationships," Khan said.

Kahn's speech did include some references to the supernatural world when he spoke about his alma mater's scientific research efforts. He joked that "MIT is the closest thing on the planet Earth to Hogwarts," referencing the school where students learn magic in the fictional Harry Potter book series.

"These are the leading wizards of our time" he said, referring to MIT's faculty.

 

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