Global Senior Executives and Government Officials Converge on ‘Cutting-edge Insights from China’ Program
November 19, 2019

[October 27, 2019, Beijing, China] – Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) has hosted a global cohort of Fortune 500 senior executives, members of parliament, senior diplomats and NGO leaders from eleven countries for an eye-opening executive education program, ‘Cutting-edge Insights from China’ (CIC), at the school’s Beijing campus. The four-day program is specially designed for global senior executives of multinational companies and policy makers to advance their knowledge on China, so that they can stay ahead of the curve and have more confidence facing a changing global future.

‘Cutting-edge Insights from China’ 2019 participants

The diverse class comprised of C-suite senior executives, founders and key decision makers in family businesses, and senior officials in government offices and NGOs. Half of the participants are based in China, while the other half flew in for the program, like Mr. Rafael Russo, a senior executive from Google who came from Brazil to attend the course. “The past few days have been an amazing learning experience for me, from the leading faculty to the insightful course content,” he said. “The class mix and dynamics also standout to me, the unique backgrounds and experiences of the participants bring a truly global perspective.” Long-term Beijing-based Mr. Steven Lynch, Managing Director of the British Chamber of Commerce in China, echoed these sentiments. “Though I am very much on the front line in the China market by supporting British enterprises here, I haven’t seen any other courses like this on China,” he explained.

CKGSB’s Founding Dean, Xiang Bing delivering his lecture to participants

Despite the uncertainties caused by geo-political issues and technology disruptions, China is set to become the world’s largest economy. Moreover, it is the fastest growing mid-income market and it is increasingly important for global business. Taught by CKGSB’s seasoned professors, the CIC program presents valuable insights into how China’s history, policies and innovations are affecting the region’s economy. ““The past few days have probably been the best learning experience I’ve had in the past ten years or longer. We did not just learn content or business concepts by definition, instead professors explained what was happening in China through multiple lenses, so that we could easily understoodunderstand how and why certain factors affect the economy,” said Ms. Joan Elangovan, Executive Director of Asia Pacific Centre of Vancouver Economic Commission. “CKGSB’s approach is really new to me,” added Ms. Elangovan, who flew in from Canada for the program.moved her schedule several times to ensure she could fly over the Pacific to join the program.

Panel discussion with CKGSB Professor Zhang Weining and industry practitioners

The program expands on industry perspectives through panel discussions and direct interactions with leading Chinese unicorns and unicorns-to-be through company visits. Participants visited Bytedance, the largest AI-powered content platform in China and the highest-valued startup with a valuation of USD$75 billion. During the visit, leading industry executives shed light on the industry development of AI in China, prominent AI applications and the opportunities and challenges faced by the AI industry globally.

“This has been an eye-opening experience for me to understand how China has significantly progressed on technology and innovation, and how Chinese unicorn companies work,” said Ms. Vira Widiyasari, Senior Vice President of one of the state-owned banks in Indonesia. “The insights on AI and block chain across various industries in China are an extremely relevant reference for the Indonesian market,” she added.

Participants on a company visit to ByteDance

Participants also visited global education company and unicorn, VIPKID. Founder, CEO and CKGSB MBA alumna, Cindy Mi met the class after she landed that same morning at 2am from participating in a volunteering teaching program in Sichuan province. She reflected to participants, “During my CKGSB MBA program 6 years ago, I learned the business fundamentals and made invaluable connections with entrepreneurs like myself. My very first partners, early rounds of funding and first cohorts of students were all a direct result of my connections and networks created at CKGSB.”

Participants on a company visit to VIPKID

Fu Chengyu, former Chairman of Sinopec and CNOOC who is currently CKGSB Professor of Management Practice of Governance and Innovations at Large Corporations, shed light on the different types of Chinese enterprises and how they are collectively shaping the landscape of both domestic and international markets. Reflecting on Professor Fu’s lecture, Mr. Jacob Ninan of Synthite, an Indian family business producing the world’s largest value-added spice extracts and natural spice powder, said, “It has been very valuable for us to have multiple perspectives from CKGSB faculty, many of whom are not only academics, but also successful industry leaders.”

CKGSB Professor Fu Chengyu delivering his lecture to participants

Mariam Al Mansoori, Strategy Director of Abu Dhabi Global Market, details why the faculty’s insights were so relevant to her, “We all know that China is an exciting proposition for any business in growth mode. Understanding China business is very crucial for me, not only because I am assisting ADGM’s team in the development of our China office strategy, but it is important for me in my current job as well as in future opportunities to understand the Chinese mindset and how to leverage it.” Ms. Mariam is currently in her final stages of her Doctorate of Business Administration on Future Foresight, with the aim to setup the first Future Foresight think tank in Abu Dhabi.

Ms. Mariam Al Mansoori at the welcome dinner

Emphasizing the value of the program, CIC Program Director and Assistant Dean of CKGSB Mr. Zhou Li noted, “China is not simply a low-cost manufacturer any more, it has the fastest growing mid-income market and has become a new source of innovation. We are pleased to hear from the CIC 2019 participants, whom are very diverse in their background, that they found the program of great value in their understanding of China. One must come to China to truly understand it.”

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