Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Stan Greene
Observer Staff Writer 

Hollywood makes its presence felt at the HORASIS Global summit in Vietnam

Former Miss India Preity Upala speaks at 2018 Horasis Asia Meeting in Binh Duong New City, Vietnam November 25

 

December 6, 2018

Ms. Preity Upala, Tell us a little about yourself? You seem to have had quite a fascinating journey through life!

Namaste! Yes indeed, it has been quite a journey so far! I describe myself as a former Investment banker turned Hollywood entrepreneur and Multi-Media Personality. A Global Citizen having traveled to over 65 countries, I am passionate about Global cultural issues and my life "Dharma" is to inspire and empower through my work and presence. I see myself as a spiritual ambassador and bridge between the East and the West.

You spoke at the HORASIS meeting in Vietnam on November 2018. Can you tell us about HORASIS?

HORASIS is a leading a global visions Think Tank dedicated to inspiring the future. Horasis uses an unrivalled history of partnership with corporations from emerging markets to create a powerful platform for cooperation between emerging and developed markets. The flagship events are the Horasis Global Meeting as well as regional summits focusing on China, India, and South East Asia. It offers elite networking of high net worth individuals and a platform for discussing complex issues that surround the future of business and politics especially with relation to emerging markets. It was founded by Frank-Jürgen Richter who was the former director of the World Economic forum, Davos and there is often an overlap of the attendees.

How did you come to be invited to speak at this event?

I was honored to be a speaker at the Women's Economic Forum in Delhi earlier this year and a CEO who was in the audience connected me to Frank-Jürgen Richter who subsequently invited me to speak at the upcoming HORASIS summit in Vietnam. It is a real honor as this is a closed group of invite only elite business leaders.

Which panel were you a part of? What did you speak on?

"Language helps define a culture, and across Asia there is a rich diversity. With that come strong cultural norms, especially concerning minorities' place in society. How may we raise our tolerance towards differences increasing inclusiveness?"

It was a fascinating panel with spiritual leader Sadguru present as well as senators and business leaders. The panel was moderated by Dr.Lou Marinoff who is an esteemed Professor of Philosophy at the New York City College.

Could you give us the premise of your talk?

We live in interesting times indeed. Our world today is dynamic, rapidly evolving. The world is becoming a smaller place because of global engagement at its highest we have ever seen.

I feel that the topic of diversity and inclusion is one that is of grave importance as well as a matter of contention. Globally there is a wave of divisiveness taking place almost everywhere. I truly believe that it is healthy for a nation to have a Grand National narrative that defines its essence, however it must ensure that it does not leave behind its minority communities.

In some ways, the world is becoming more multi-cultural and at the same time there is an increasing amount of intolerance brewing. It seems that in the short term at least as counties become more nationalistic, trade wars and protectionism is on the rise. I suspect that would be some external resistance to this and the situation would correct itself we will find a happy place where there is respect of the other as well as uploading the intrinsic essence of the National Grand narrative.

6. What were the main points of your talk?

Essential the challenge is how can we uphold cultural diversity? As Indigenous Cultures Fade, should we worry about the loss of Cultural diversity?

I felt the best way to tackle this topic is to pose a question and discuss it that way. I came up with three important questions I felt reflected on the issue.

Why should we worry about the loss of Cultural diversity?

Culture involves the rights of people, the rights of indigenous people to determine to determine the future of their culture that too often may have been undermined. There is a value to cultural diversity of all of humanity. If we do not appreciate and protect this, we may loose it for good one day.

Why is it happening?

Few cultures are determining the fabric of the whole of society. Most societal systems are shaped by a particular group, a particular language. In order to compete and survive, many have to leave their culture, their language behind. It is really in this imbalance of power, that we loose Cultural diversity.

What can we do about it?

We need to uphold the rights of the indigenous people and know the value of Cultural diversity for all of humanity. We need to create systems and models that celebrate diversity, explore our differences and invent multiple ways of thinking and being.

Could you give us some examples of the importance of language and cultural identity specifically in Asia?

Today there are 4.5 Billion people living in Asia who between them speak 2,300 languages. Mandarin is the most widely spoken language with 1 billion followed by Hindi, with 550 million. The Chinese have left it simple with only two official languages. But in India, they have almost a 1000, 22 official languages spoken and 760 dialects! This creates for a very rich cultural tapestry and these numbers ultimately mean dollars.

In many ways, India is an exemplar for emerging economies, of a pluralistic society that even the US and Europe are struggling to achieve.

If we ignore these regional languages, that is a huge piece of the pie that we miss out on! To give you an example, even the regional movie Industry in India, Not Bollywood, is larger than Hollywood in terms of tickets being sold and movie being made.

Take another example of Sanskrit. Sanskrit is the oldest language in the history of our planet, yet it is not taught or used in India today, nor is it India's national language. It is only used by priests during spiritual and religious practices. bring it back to life.

What in your opinion is the solution?

Asia has a rich cultural history and language diversity. When businesses can see this as an asset, not a liability and realize there are profits to be made, they will embrace it.

We must give people the tools to be their best self to contribute to society. We must synthesize our diverse experiences to come up with new ways to problem-solve and achieve goals.

Why do you think a think tank like HORASIS is vital for our times?

Summits like WEF, Davos are incredibly important in thesetimes, but I feel that a specific focus on emerging markets is even more crucial as this really is the Asian Century. In the next 10 to 30 years, it will be China and India that will be the world's largest economies and the next global super powers. Its important to get a head start and be a part of the revolution.

What are your next projects?

I am in the process of putting the final touches on my first book as well as developing my TV show, in addition to TV and movie roles and several speaking engagements.

How can people follow and get in touch with you?

You can follow me on social media. My Twitter is @Preity Uupala and IG is Preityu. You can email me as well on [email protected] I love to hear feedback, comments or simply to hear from you.

 

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