CKGSB Dean Xiang delivered a keynote speech to more than 1,200 delegates at the Harvard China Forum where he talked about some of the key transformative changes reshaping the global economy.
The annual Forum typically takes place at Harvard University, but was moved to the Seaport World Trade Center in downtown Boston due to the increased interest in this year’s event.
Dean Xiang began his speech talking about China’s unique development model over the years, outlining how neoliberalism has unleashed unprecedented growth and provided unprecedented wealth, which has affected China in a fundamental way.
Dr Xiang (pictured above) added he was very positive about the future of the US-China relationship, arguing that China and the US have a lot of commonalities and have embraced many of the same global trends. But he said that wealth inequality was prevalent in both countries today, with China and the US possessing among the highest Gini coefficient numbers in the world, referring to the measure of income disparity in a country.
Regarding future development models, Dean Xiang said he had become increasingly concerned about global imbalances since 2009, with China and the US needing more socialistic influences. Since that time, however, technology has brought about a huge amount of disruption, changing our very way of living. But, if, as predicted, many millions of middle class jobs are displaced through AI and other technological advancements, the result, Dr Xiang predicted, would be a lot more socialist ideas promoted in both China and the US.
At a fundamental and philosophical level, Xiang said we are witness to a reshaping of the global trade framework. China and the US each have their own playbooks, he continued, saying that the two sides sometimes have different ideas about how to reconfigure the existing system, leading to the trade dispute seen today.
But he said there were two sides to what is arguably the most transformative time in human history: so much new technology means rapid change and development, but it also allows for much damage to be done. Real long-term incentives, Xiang said, were needed in order to truly safeguard the future. An entire generation of business leaders have been so myopic, he continued, asking whose responsibility it is to really care about the long-term future of humanity, and explaining that CKGSB had introduced the humanities into its degree and non-degree programs for this very reason.
In summary, Xiang expressed the hope that these new set of values will be shared globally in the future, noting that the world appears only to have a Plan A, but hasn’t yet figured out a Plan B.
Also speaking at this year’s Harvard China Forum were CKGSB Professor Cao Huining, DBA student Wang Xiaochuan and EMBA alumnus Li Lu.
CKGSB Professor of Finance, Cao Huining (center) spoke on the Finance Panel on April 7
Sogou CEO Wang Xiaochuan, who is a current DBA student at CKGSB,
delivered a keynote speech at the Forum
Prominent Chinese film director and CKGSB EMBA alumnus Li Lu (third from right),
took part in the Culture Panel on April 7
CKGSB was an official sponsor at this year’s Harvard China Forum, whose was “The Power of Our Times”. Founded in 1997, the forum is North America’s leading and longest-running student-run conference on China. Dedicated to a constructive dialogue on the challenges, trends, and issues affecting China, the forum aims to engage leaders in business, academia, and politics in discourse that will offer insights and generate new ideas.