Press release: “La Nuit des Idées” (the Night of Ideas), a panel discussion, takes place in Nepal on “Power to Imagination”
Kathmandu, 25 January 2018
For immediate release
“La Nuit des Idées” (the Night of Ideas) takes place in Nepal with a panel discussion on “Power to Imagination”
“Night of the Ideas”, a worldwide debate event, was organized today in Kathmandu by the French Embassy, Nepal Economic Forum (NEF) and the Alliance Française de Katmandou (AFK). This year’s theme was “Power to Imagination” and the discussion in Nepal revolved around: “How does imagination drive the evolution of Nepali society in a global context?”
The panelists for this year included:
Ms. Aayushi KC, founder of Khaalisisi.com
Mr. Akhilesh Upadhyay, editor in chief of The Kathmandu Post
Mr. Richard Werly, journalist for Le Monde, Le Temps de Genève, Libération, TV5
Ms. Subina Shrestha, journalist for Al Jazeera and a documentary film maker
HE Mr Yves Carmona, Ambassador of France, gave the opening remarks which were followed by discussions moderated by Ms. Sumnima Udas, a TV personality who was recently associated with the CNN.
A proceeding report will be available by the beginning of February 2018.
The attendees included the Heads of Mission and representatives of various embassies such as Germany, United Sates of America, Switzerland, Russia senior officers from the Government of Nepal, researchers, students, and representatives of media.
Some of the key points raised by the panelists:
Mr. 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.
Ms. 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.
Mr. 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.
Ms. 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.
About the “Night of the Ideas / la Nuit des idées”
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.
A complete program is available at https://www.lanuitdesidees.com/map . These events are also broadcasted live in the Internet for the benefit of everybody.
About Alliance Française/Katmandou:
Since its creation in 1994, Alliance française of Kathmandu has been providing French language classes within its premises and through the city. It organises cultural events regularly and also has a library and a cafeteria. It offers translation and interpreting services. Alliance française of Kathmandu was created in the same way as each of the 1081 Alliances françaises around the world: from the will of local Francophiles who simply want, under a quality-label, to promote in their country a language and a culture that they love. Alliance française differs from cultural organisations in other countries by a particular mission: promoting, not only the culture of a country, but the “cultural diversity.” In a global world where the ways of life and the ways of thinking tend to become standardized, where culture finally becomes a marketable product like any other, the Alliances françaises continue to offer a cultural alternative.
About Nepal Economic Forum:
Nepal Economic Forum is a not-for-profit organization that functions as Nepal’s premier private sector led economic policy and research institution. Neftalk is a platform for policy discourse and discussion on pertinent economic issues.
Deepesh Bidari, Chargé de Mission, French Embassy