“Everyone here in this chapel can be an agent of change.” These simple words highlighted the focus of Jason Hsu’s presentation on his experience and lessons as a Taiwanaise legislator. On February 23, Hsu spoke as part of the Kageyama-Hunt Lecture Series. Created in 2012 by Belmont Hill parents Bill and Yuko Hunt, these chapel talks exhibit models of global citizenship that inspire boys to “embrace the challenges and opportunities of an interconnected world.”
While he focused on the importance of being a voice in the world, Hsu’s backstory and rise to public office were equally inspiring. Growing up in a night market, Hsu learned everything from his mom. Despite her lack of college education, Hsu’s mom’s wisdom made him the man he is today. She often said, “When you have an opportunity, you should create more opportunities for others.” On the other hand, Hsu learned another vital lesson: “A hustler’s mindset – never take no for an answer.” Through these frequent calls to action and undeniable ambition, Hsu became inspired to grow as a leader.
After an education in Silicon Valley, Hsu returned to Taiwan to fulfill his military service. As he learned more about the state of Taiwan and the conflict with China, Hsu leaned toward a term in the legislature. Having lost a friend to Chinese fighter jets, he became very aware of the foreign and domestic issues the small country faces. Once elected, Hsu worked on various legislation, including cybersecurity, AI, autonomous vehicles, and same-sex marriage. In his political work, Hsu’s goal was simple: create change that will last generations.
Outside of politics, Hsu brought Ted talks to Taiwan through TEDx Taipei. In the first expansion of Ted through this independent style, speakers can give presentations on anything. “If you could share one thing with the world, what would it be?” For Hsu, he would share about his country, Taiwan, including its thriving culture, global conflicts, and expanding industry. A true patriot of his country, Hsu has dedicated his life to advancing Taiwanese interests by promoting legislation.
Hsu’s talk was well received by students and faculty alike. He captured the audience by his bold energy and deep wisdom on various topics, such as politics, economics, and leadership. Mr. Harvey, Chair of the History Department, was impressed by his presentation. Mr. Harvey reflected, “I hope it empowers students to look at the world’s problems and the problems in our community and have the confidence to seek solutions.”
Likewise, Jason Hsu closed with the fundamental goal that everyone is an activist somehow. After sharing several final characteristics, including humility, curiosity, openness to adventure, building consensus, storytelling, and tenacity, Hsu concluded where he began: “Be a change agent!”