How Technology Can Shape Soft Power

    About this event

    Organizers: CKGSB, IE University, Asia House
    Date: September 27, 16:00-17:30 China Time / 9:00-10:30 UK Time
    Platform: Zoom – on the record
    Language: English and Chinese

    Discover the forefront of groundbreaking innovation at this virtual conference! Join us as we delve into the pivotal role that Chinese tech firms are playing in shaping the perception of China as a rising global power.

    Event Highlights


    Unveiling Transformative Insights: Explore how Chinese businesses are driving advancements in AI, IoT, cloud computing, 5G, and blockchain technology. Learn how these innovations are redefining global competition in the tech arena.

    Forging Strategic Collaborations: Delve into the strategic partnerships between Chinese and American or European tech companies that are remodeling the global innovation landscape. Discover avenues for future collaboration despite the complexities of US-China relations.

    Global Success Stories: Get an exclusive look at the rise of Chinese brands like TikTok, Xiaomi, and SHEIN, as they establish a global presence and lead China’s tech revolution.

    Launch of New Report: Witness the launch of the report “Fuel the Soft Power: The Role of High-Tech Companies in the Soft Power Rivalry between China and United States”. Produced by CKGSB and IE University, this report sheds light on the impact of high-tech collaboration on the rivalry between China and the US.

    Dialogue and Exchange: Engage in a dynamic dialogue featuring experts from China, the US, and Europe. Gain insights into leveraging high-tech companies’ branding and products for innovation and addressing global challenges.

    Driving Economic Growth: Despite geopolitical tensions, discover how collaborations in science and innovation are propelling global economic growth.


    4:00 – 4:05 PM | Welcoming Remarks

    • MICHAEL LAWRENCE, Chief Executive, Asia House

    4:05 – 4:15 PM | Keynote Speech

    • SEAN RANDOLPH, Senior Director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute

    4:15 – 4:30 PM | Presentation

    • BIN MA, Academic Director of IE China Center, Assistant Professor of Leadership and Behavioral Science IE Business School, IE University

    4:30 – 5: 15 PM | Panel Discussion

    • MONA LOTTEN, Head of Soft Power Research and Insight, British Council
    • BIN MA, IE University
    • JONATHAN MCCLORY, Partner at Sanctuary Counsel
    • WEILEI (Stone) SHI, Professor of Managerial Practice, CKGSB


    Moderated by:

    • MICHAEL LAWRENCE, Chief Executive of Asia House

    5:15 – 5:25 PM | Closing Keynote

    • TAO ZHIGANG, Professor of Strategy and Economics, Associate Dean for Global Programs, CKGSB

    5:25 – 5:30 PM | Closing Remarks

    • MICHAEL LAWRENCE, Chief Executive, Asia House

    *Agenda and speakers are subject to change.

    Speakers (in alphabetical order)

    Michael LAWRENCE

    Chief Executive, Asia House

    Mona LOTTEN

    Head of Soft Power Research and Insight, British Council

    Bin Ma

    Assistant Professor of Leadership, Academic Director of IE’s China Center

    Professor Bin Ma is behavioral scientist specializing in leadership, cross-cultural management, and innovation within the business landscape. His work features in esteemed academic journals, with recognition through research grants and awards. He currently serves as an associate editor of the journal Applied Psychology: an International Review, as well as editorial board member of a few other journals. As a business school educator, Professor Ma has teaching experiences in both undergraduate and graduate programs in China, the United States, and Europe, honored with multiple teaching excellence awards. Beyond academia, he offers regular business consulting to multinational corporations. He was also an entrepreneur before his academic career.

    Jonathan McClory

    Partner at Sanctuary Counsel

    Jonathan McClory is a Partner at Sanctuary Counsel, an advisory firm based in Westminster. He is a globally recognised expert on soft power, public diplomacy, and foreign affairs. Jonathan has advised governments across five continents on matters of policy, reputation, strategic communications, and capability building.

    Before joining Sanctuary Counsel, Jonathan was General Manager for Asia at Portland, where he built up and oversaw the company’s work across the Indo-Pacific from Singapore. Jonathan also served as a Partner in the Government Advisory practice of Portland in London and is the creator of the annual study: The Soft Power 30. Prior to his time at Portland, Jonathan oversaw place branding strategy at Winkreative (the sister company of Monocle magazine). While at Winkreative, Jonathan led the development and launch of a new nation brand and global campaign for Thailand, commissioned by the then Prime Minister. He also previously worked as a consultant in the London office of the Boston Consulting Group.

    Before working in the private sector, Jonathan was a Research Fellow at the think tank Policy Exchange and a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Government (IfG). While at the IfG, Jonathan developed the world’s first composite index for measuring the soft power of countries. This earlier work informed Jonathan’s eventual creation of The Soft Power 30.

    Sean Randolph

    Senior Director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute

    Sean Randolph is Senior Director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, a public-private partnership of business, labor, government and higher education that works to foster a competitive economy in California and the San Francisco Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland and Silicon Valley. The Economic Institute produces authoritative analyses on economic policy issues affecting the region and the state, including infrastructure, globalization, energy, science, and governance, and mobilizes California and Bay Area leaders around targeted policy initiatives. Dr. Randolph previously served as President & CEO of the Bay Area Economic Forum, which merged with the Bay Area Council in January 2008, and as director of international trade for the State of California, where he developed trade strategy and directed international business programs to stimulate exports and introduce California companies to overseas markets. Before service with the state, he was Managing Director of the RSR Pacific Group, an international business consulting firm specializing in Asia and Latin America, and before that served as International Director General of the Pacific Basin Economic Council, a 15-nation international organization of leading U.S., Asian and Latin American corporations. His professional career includes extensive experience in the U.S. Government, including the U.S. Congress staff, and the White House staff. From 1981–85 he served in the U.S. State Department, as officer for Asia on the Policy Planning Staff, as Special Adviser for Policy in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and as Deputy/Ambassador-at Large for Pacific Basin affairs. From 1985–88 he served as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs, managing nuclear non-proliferation, energy research, and global oil and gas issues. Dr. Randolph holds a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center, a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts and Harvard Universities), a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and studied at the London School of Economics. He currently serves on the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), which he chaired from 2005–2012, and on the State of California’s Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission (PIAC). He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council on International Policy, and serves on the Advisory Board of the University of San Francisco Center for the Pacific Rim, and the President’s Advisory Council of Excelsior College (New York). Dr. Randolph speaks frequently before business, government and university audiences, and writes for U.S. and international media on global, national, state and regional economic and policy issues.

    SHI Weilei (Stone)

    Professor of Managerial Practice, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB)

    Ph.D. in Strategic Management, University of Pittsburgh

    Shi Weilei (Stone) is a Professor of Managerial Practice at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB). Dr. Shi graduated from Katz School of Business, University of Pittsburgh with his Ph.D. in Strategic Management in 2008. Currently, he is an Associate Editor at the Journal of Management Studies. Moreover, he is a member of council at the Shanghai Advanced Institute for Financial Research. Dr. Shi acts as a committee member at Chongqing Liangjiang Research Institute—Shanghai Jiaotong University. He is also a distinguished researcher at Shanghai Institute for Global City—Shanghai Municipal Government Decision Committee. Before joining CKGSB, Dr. Shi was a tenured Professor of Strategy and Doctoral Advisor at Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College-CUNY. Previously, he was also a Professor of Strategy at SAIF-SJTU and was the Academic Co-Director of EMBA/EE/GES programs there. Before that, he was the Academic Director of Executive Education at Antai School of Economics and Management between 2015 and 2019, and Executive Director of DBA Program at Antai between 2017 and 2019.

    Dr. Shi worked for Roland Berger Strategy Consultancy–a top notch global strategy consulting firm, in its Shanghai (Great China) office before he entered into academia. During his consulting career, he steered many projects in retail, automobile, and machine cutting tool industries. He specialized in foreign firms’ market entry strategy, M&A and strategic alliance, post M&A integration, organizational restructure, competitive analysis between domestic and foreign firms in China. Currently, Dr. Shi is an entrepreneur advisor for top-tier incubators and he also sits on the board of multiple companies as an independent director.

    TAO Zhigang

    Professor of Strategy and Economics and Associate Dean for Europe, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB)

    PhD, Princeton University

    Professor of Strategy and Economics and Associate Dean for Europe, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB)

    PhD, Princeton University

    Areas of Expertise: Economics of Strategy and Organization, China Business and Economy, International Economics

    Zhigang TAO is Professor of Strategy and Economics at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. He taught at University of Hong Kong from 1998 to 2021, and at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology from 1992 to 1998. Professor Tao received his B.Sc. in management science from Fudan University in 1986, and PhD in economics from Princeton University in 1992. He has published in various economics and management journals, and his work has been widely cited.

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