Four prominent Nepali personalities stressed the need for a imagination for better social and political order. They discussed, among other, the role of social media and its implications in global order including in Nepal.Organised by the French Embassy, Nepal Economic Forum (NEF) and the Alliance Française de Katmandou (AFK), “Night of the Ideas”, a worldwide debate event, theme was “Power to Imagination” and the discussion in Nepal revolved around and “How does imagination drive the evolution of Nepali society in a global context?”
The panelists include Aayushi KC, founder of Khaalisisi.com, Akhilesh Upadhyay, editor in chief of The Kathmandu Post, Richard Werly, a journalist for Le Monde, Le Temps de Genève, Libération, TV5 and Subina Shrestha, a journalist for Al Jazeera and a documentary filmmaker.
Moderated by Sumnima Udas, a TV personality who was recently associated with the CNN, Ambassador of France to Nepal Yves Carmona gave the opening remarks before the discussion.
Attended by the Heads of Mission and representatives of various embassies Germany, United States of America, Switzerland, Russia, United Nations and senior Nepali Government officers, researchers, students, and representatives of media, panelists also replied the queries from the audience.
Addressing the program, Akhilesh Upadhyay stressed that Nepal is an imaginative society and the imagination blossomed post-1990s when we were bombarded with information from internet and onset of democracy. He marked that we should be politically imaginative and underscored that Nepali people are waiting for the right leader who would fire their imagination of nation-building.
A young Nepali Entrepreneur Aayushi KC laid out the context of Nepali people being extremely courageous and imaginative in finding ways to overcome hurdles in setting up businesses in the presence of mafias, syndicates, and cartels. She highlighted that when we have imagination, it creates opportunities in business and indicated that until the government acknowledges innovative business models, it limits and discourages a lot of imagination to translate into a company.
Veteran French Journalist Richard Werly citing the example of French elections emphasized that the political sequence of the world has disrupted from being an ideological society to the current scenario where imagination comes first. He underscored that Emmanuel Macron was imaginative enough to understand that political experience does not matter; People want to elect someone who has real-life experience rather than traditional political experience.
Journalist Subina Shrestha marked that imagination in Nepal hit its pinnacle in 2006 when dreams of leadership were imagined from the disadvantaged group. She acknowledged that through social media, discussions that took place in dinner tables and private places, came to an open platform which is scary as technology is catering nationalism and populism to flourish. She emphasized that we need to go back to the imagination of 2006 on how the most underprivileged can benefit.
At the invitation of French Institute, the Night of Ideas was first hosted all around the world on January 26th, 2017. These meetings invite the public to come and hear researchers, experts, creators, artists, intellectuals from all disciplines, and to participate in debates. The goal of the Night of Ideas ('La Nuit des idées') is to celebrate the stream of ideas between countries, cultures, topics and generations.