On Dec. 2, Tony Blair, the former prime minister of the United Kingdom, took part in a historic event at the Santo Amaro campus of the FMU Education Group.
Mr. Blair spoke about “The Opportunities and Challenges of Globalization,” highlighting the speed of technological change and its impact on cultures and education. "One of the advantages is being able to look at the world differently, as we live in a period in which the rate of change is much faster,” remarked Mr. Blair. “Technology has changed our way of life,” he said, stressing the importance of being prepared in order to keep up with these changes.
The former prime minister answered questions from students and advised them to seek new opportunities. “If I were your age, I would travel to have contact with different cultures and learn other languages. These are attitudes that open up the mind,” he said. Mr. Blair also called for investment in education that embraces these changes. “In the educational system you need performance, change and some ability to innovate. Technology today provides the opportunity to educate differently, to customize learning,” he said.
Mr. Blair was notably optimistic about Brazil. “It is a magnificent country in size, people and cultural diversity and, despite the challenges, it has everything it needs to succeed,” said Mr. Blair, who concluded by highlighting the role the university plays in this mission. “We must study so that humanity progresses, and at this institution you have the opportunity to do so,” he said.
”This unprecedented visit by a global leader to our metropolitan community is an initiative that aims to provide everyone with a very special opportunity to hear from an influential personality on the international stage,” said Marcelo Cardoso, president of the FMU Education Group, stressing the significance of Mr. Blair's visit to the campus.
”For our students, who are being educated in a contemporary program based on quality, opportunities for inclusion, employability, social ascension and the development of entrepreneurship, this is a unique opportunity,” said Dr. Arthur Roquete de Macedo, the rector of the FMU Education Group.
José Roberto Loureiro, president of Laureate Brazil, recalled what Mr. Blair has achieved in his career. "He is a globally respected leader, a former British prime minister who works for human rights and peace through the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and other initiatives. He also led his country in important moments of history, during which he dealt with war, economic crises and terrorism - challenges that today, unfortunately, still haunt the world," he said.
The event was attended by officials, the press, university coordinators, lecturers and students.
This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.