If you find a few good things and you make more of them, change happens, so you know people call that idealism, I just call it progress.
In the United States I’m just one of the millions of people who do stuff, here I have a unique capability to make a difference. And I think that’s the case for just about every Armenian in the diaspora. So to me it’s not an obligation, it’s an opportunity.
In the past three decades, Armenian-American entrepreneur Noubar Afeyan has successfully helped build more than 35 startups. Noubar Afeyan studied Biochemical Engineering at MIT, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1987. Today, he’s the Senior Managing Partner and CEO of Flagship Ventures, and a Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he shares his knowledge with students on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to leadership and innovation. Afeyan feels passionate about the role diasporan Armenians can and should play in shaping Armenia’s future. He says that individuals from Armenia’s 7 million strong diaspora worldwide should not feel that contributing to Armenia’s development is an “obligation,” but rather an “opportunity.” Noubar Afeyan’s views on Armenia today are refreshing and radical. He believes that the diasporan’s relationship with Armenia is a two-way street: both should be taking advantage of what the other can offer. He also believes that Armenians should not let their past define them, but rather, move forward and embrace progress.