How did I start with Dialogue?
Many people asked this question – of course, from GE CTO to fashion and then to full-time social worker, it seems to be quite unusual to most people.
Its definitely not of my choice, I have to say, God led me to where I am now and I am just learning to follow it.
My encounter started with meeting Sabriye Tenberken – the legendary German blind lady that invented Tibetan braille and started the first blind school in Tibet. In December 2008, I did a fashion show in Innsbruck and my PR agency was also the PR started the Life award. Sabriye won the grand award that year and I had the honor to meet her. I was so impressed by her charm and strength that I invited her to model our clothes on the next day – of course, she was the star.
One year later, during my driving trip to Tibet, I stopped by at the school in Lhasa and was so moved by the children there that I started to volunteer for the school. Through working with them, I learned more and more about visually impaired people and realized that the biggest problem they have is not the handicap itself, but the stereotype and prejudice the society has towards them – they can almost do everything but the society wont give them an equal opportunity.
In December 2009, I was in Atlanta having dinner with a friend – the CIO of Southern company and told her the story of the blind school. She then told me about the Dialogue in the dark exhibition right next door and we took a tour right after – it was such an amazing experience and I was convinced that this is the way to solve the root-cause: to change the sighted peoples mindset. I signed up as a fan of Dialogue in the dark on Facebook, and the news that it was looking for a COO showed up at the top of my homepage when I signed in Facebook for the first time after three months (it is blocked in China). In the beginning of March 2010, I finally met the legendary Andreas Heinecke – the founder of the whole Dialogue kingdom and his wife Orna and we talked for 3 hours. After numbers of Skype interview with almost everybody in the company and a online personality test, I started the job part-time remotely from China in April and full-time in July.
It was not an easy decision to completely switch to full-time working on social project – honestly it had never crossed my mind before and this was not the culture that I was brought up with. Lots of things I had to give up in order to take this role, however, I am convinced that this is doing something good with what I am good at – the way to maximize my value to the society – I think I have finally found myself and my direction.