Power of the Snowball:
The Founding of the University


I am writing this letter on a flight now, from my home in the United States to Kyoto, where we are working to create the new Diamond Silk Entrepreneur University, or DSEU. While I am in Kyoto, my friends and I will be celebrating my 70th birthday.

And those same friends ask me, why on earth, at age 70, are you helping to start such a major project—a fully US-accredited, EMBA and MBA university, with campuses in both the United States and in Asia?

My answer is: Because I believe in this university. I believe in the power of a snowball!

Power of the Snowball

When I was still a teenager, my father used to take me out camping in the Rocky Mountains in the western United States. We would actually put up a tent in the snow on the side of these high, majestic, snow-covered peaks, and stay there for a week or two. To keep warm, on the way we would stop at small local farms and buy big square bales of their horse feed: fresh straw, and then we’d spread it over the snow and over ourselves, and sleep quite warm and happy.

Sometimes, high up on the peaks, a single snowball starts rolling down.

It rolls and rolls, and every meter it rolls it picks up more snow, and gets bigger and bigger. As it gets bigger and heavier, it is able to pick up even more snow, and soon it’s the size of soccer ball.

And then it wraps around itself even more snow, until it becomes as big as a car, and then as big as a house! At this point, it becomes what we call a Force Of Nature, and when you’re tucked into a haystack sleeping on the side of the mountain, you learn to pay close attention to what little snowballs are doing! We had a close call one time when my father and my brother and myself almost died in an avalanche caused by a little snowball, up in the mountains.

The First Snowball | Preserving Ancient Books

During my long life, I have started 14 major organizations. To take one example, exactly 35 years ago—while I was still doing advanced studies in ancient Asian languages at Princeton University—I had the inspiration to start the Asian Legacy Library: an effort to find, digitalize, and distribute for free the greatest books in the history of the countries of ancient Asia.

I very clearly remember the first snowball of that project: a friend and I sat down each in our own house, and both of us typed on our own primitive computer a half of one of the greatest catalogs ever written of the ancient books—we wanted to have this 300-year-old list in front of us, as we began searching the entire world for these great classics, many of them completely unavailable at the time. Our dream, as we sat there typing slowly line by line of the ancient woodblock, was to one day offer the whole world a free, online database of the 990 books within that first catalog—books from 25 centuries before.

That A.L.L. database now has a catalog of 332,000 titles. We have created searchable input—and an extraordinary search engine—of 16,456 books. And we have scanned, for future input, 4.7 million pages of the ancient classics.

We have a team of highly skilled scholars, trained by us, who have completed the translation of over 30,000 pages of these precious texts. And from those pages, we have created over 5,000 pages of deep, effective business and personal training manuals. In total, those manuals reach over 200,000 people per year.

Next Snowball | University that bring East and West Together

But the snowball of the first day typing that ancient catalog at our homes has not yet rolled into a business school—an entrepreneur university—that can offer US-accredited EMBA and MBA degrees. A giant snowball that can train young people on two different sides of the world—young people who can go out and start their own incredibly innovative businesses, built on the infinite richness of the ancient wisdom, on top of all the traditional competencies taught in a modem university: the competencies that created the cellphone, the internet, space stations and…whatever is to come, which you and I cannot even now guess.

We have not yet created an educational institution that can help bring the two halves of this world—East and West— together into one successful, prosperous, and harmonious Earth-Sized Iceberg, a Force of Nature For Peace and Prosperity, that stretches from the coast of each country to the coasts of all others.

I personally—and my colleagues Zhou Xiaoping & Stanley Chen—intend to work on this new University, until our snowball gets that big, with your help.

Are you with us?

With kind regards.

Geshe Michael Roach
Guiding Founder of DSEU

December 6, 2022

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