Business Leaders and Philanthropists from China and the US Share Best Practices and Discuss the Future of Philanthropy
Beijing, September 25, 2013—Today, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) and United Way Worldwide (UWW) convened leading executives, philanthropists and academics from China and the United States to debate the future of philanthropy, share best practices and explore possibilities of collaboration.
This forum featured key Chinese activists—such as Wang Zhenyao, CKGSB alumnus and Dean of Philanthropy School of Beijing Normal University, and Xu Yongguang, Founder of Project Hope—as well as a delegation from the US of over 20 major donors of United Way Worldwide, many of whom belong to United Way’s Million Dollar roundtable and the Tocqueville Society.
Participants discussed key differences between the two countries in the mechanics of giving—including operations and fundraising, attitudes towards social impact and the role of individual citizens—yet they also identified a number of similarities. Shifting business priorities in both nations have sparked important discussions on how corporations can contribute to society in more ethical and sustainable ways.
“Business leaders must have a holistic view of corporate integrity and social responsibility,” said Xiang Bing, Founding Dean of CKGSB and Board Member of UWW. “This is precisely why CKGSB equips students with a combination of technical skills and a solid foundation in the humanities. The majority of our students are already accomplished Chinese business leaders who are learning how to incorporate social innovation into their business practices. American and Chinese business leaders have a collective obligation to create a world where giving back is not only a humanitarian responsibility, but also an essential measure of business success.”
Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide, emphasized the need for collaboration stating, “Around the world, multinational corporations, charitable organizations, governments and individual donors can all do their part to bring positive impact to their communities. Today’s forum between United Way Worldwide and CKGSB is a good example of the kind of platform where we can come together and create solutions to improve society. We need to continue seeking ways to connect with one another and talk about what works and what doesn’t.”
Jennifer Huang, CKGSB Professor of Finance, led a fascinating discussion between Leslie Saiontz, Chair of the Board of Directors of Teach for America and Pan Jiangxue (Shirley), Founder and Chair of Adream Charitable Foundation, on the role of business executives in creating social impact and social innovation in China and the U.S. Two founders of philanthropic organizations—Xu Yongguang and Adelaide (Alex) Sink, Founder and Chair of the Florida Next Foundation—engaged in a lively discussion moderated by Zhu Rui (Juliet), CKGSB Professor of Marketing, on how to create and sustain socially impactful organizations.
In addition, CKGSB alumni and representatives of the CKGSB Philanthropy Committee highlighted the evolution of the school’s social innovation model. CKGSB alumni—such as Huang Yajun, Chairman of United Jawee Patent and Trademark Attorneys, and Yang Lili, Vice President of Schneider Electric China—also shared lessons learned from their involvement in the school’s initiatives.
Social Innovation and CKGSB
CKGSB is a thought-leader in social innovation and business in China, advocating for responsible wealth creation and application. The CKGSB Philanthropy Fund, established in June 2009, has run high impact philanthropic endeavors including the “CKGSB Red Scarf Children’s Library Project” which helped construct 683 school libraries benefitting over 260,000 people in underdeveloped regions in China. Moreover, the School has institutionalized social innovation in its curriculum, requiring all Executive MBA students to complete 48 hours of community development work before graduation. CKGSB alumni are also heading companies that are leading in social innovation. For instance, in 2008, companies led by CKGSB alumni donated 400 million RMB (US$59M) to Sichuan earthquake relief efforts, accounting for about 7% of China’s total institutional donations. In 2013, CKGSB alumni and staff donated over 200 million RMB for relief and reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake in Yaan. The School will continue to serve as a platform for organizations and leaders who not only want to do well, but also do good.