Year in Review: CKGSB’s 2021 Highlights
December 22, 2021

From launching new programs and partnerships with leading institutions globally to producing cutting-edge research and running flagship forums, 2021 was a memorable year for CKGSB. As we near the end of the year, we take a look back at some of our highlights over the past 12 months.

In January, CKGSB organized an exclusive briefing in Beijing on electric vehicle stocks at a time when prices were soaring globally. At the briefing—attended by foreign journalists and diplomats—CKGSB Professor of Accounting and Finance Liu Jing revealed his research findings on the EV sector and its implications for investors, which received coverage from The New York Times.

March was a busy month, in which CKGSB launched a dual degree master’s program with Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. This new two-year, part-time program offers courses in-person and online, and confers both a Master of Science in Finance from Carey Business School and a Master of Business Administration from CKGSB. We also launched a new executive education program on AI and Big Data for Executives (ABE), delivered online in three languages simultaneously. The program covered practical-use cases of AI and big data in China, the US and other AI-leading economies.

In March, CKGSB also hosted a Women in Leadership Special-edition Webinar, a timely event held on International Women’s Day convening speakers from the US, China, Indonesia and Spain to an audience of 80,000 participants. At the webinar, CKGSB Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Organization Behavior Zhang Xiaomeng released “H.E.R Leadership and Resilience” research findings for the first time in English, covered by 218 global media outlets.

With the COVID-19 vaccine being rolled out around the world in early 2021, many local and national governments began assessing how to safely reopen their economies while curtailing the number of positive cases. CKGSB Assistant Professor of Economics Zhong Ling developed a model framework that offers policymakers the tools to quantitatively assess reopening policies prior to implementation, introduced in Dr. Zhong’s research paper published in The Public Library of Science ONE (PLOS ONE). Later in April, the School hosted the World Trade Organization (WTO) Chief Economist Robert Koopman for an exclusive talk on ‘The Great Restructuring and Global Trading System,’ covering China’s role in the global value chain, the future of WTO and the drivers of economic recovery post-COVID.

Halfway around the world in our London office, the China Start program provided a new way for start-ups to become unicorns. The program offers well-rounded training for ambitious entrepreneurs who aspire to understand the Chinese market, pitch for investment to scale their business, and work with Chinese partners. In the past 6 years, we have delivered 10 cohorts of China Start, with 199 entrepreneurs from 34 countries, 80% were C-suite, 42 serial entrepreneurs, 33 female entrepreneurs, 2 from B-Corp companies, 2 unicorns and 15 potential unicorns.

Focusing on impact leadership, the Igniting Innovation for Impact program, co-designed and delivered by CKGSB and the Moller Institute, Churchill College in the University of Cambridge, has successfully delivered 3 cohorts with a total of 103 participants (85% c-suite, 23 serial entrepreneurs) from 28 countries, since it was launched last year.

In May, CKGSB collaborated with Chosun Ilbo, a top Korean media group and long-term partner of the School, to co-organize the 12th Asian Leadership Conference (ALC)’s special edition webinar on the global economic outlook, capital markets and sustainable development. Featuring MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International) Chairman and CEO Henry Fernandez, Institute for Global Economics Chairman and CEO Jun Kwang-woo and CKGSB Assistant Dean Zhou Li, the webinar garnered 100,000 online viewers.

CKGSB’s Founding Dean and Professor of China Business and Globalization Xiang Bing contributed to two influential books this year. Dean Xiang penned a section for “The World after COVID-19, published by the Global Business School Network (GBSN), which tries to make sense of the future through the perspectives of business school deans. In his chapter, Dean Xiang reflects on how countries can seize the moment to create a better world, and how business schools can play a vital role in finding solutions to society’s biggest challenges. He also wrote a chapter in “Executive Education after the Pandemic – A View for the Future,” published by Peter Lorange (a management thought leader and one of the strategists behind IMD) and Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño (President of IE University and former Dean of IE Business School).

CKGSB professors tirelessly produced on-going, long-term indices on China’s economy in 2021, including the Business Sentiment Index (BSI) that released results in June showing a slight expansion in the first half of the year, but low demand and rising costs continuing to squeeze the industrial sector. Led by Professor of Finance Gan Jie, BSI surveys more than 2,000 Chinese companies in the industrial sector to provide the most comprehensive set of independent data currently available. The Cheung Kong Investor Sentiment Survey (CKISS), a quarterly survey led by Professor Liu Jing, showed that investor sentiment has become more cautious during the year, while investors continue to lower their expectations for China A-shares, Hong Kong stocks and house prices as a whole. 2021 marked the 10th anniversary of CKGSB’s Business Conditions Index, which is a monthly survey gauging the business sentiment of executives about the macro-economic environment in China, led by CKGSB Associate Dean and Professor of Economics Li Wei.

As the world enters a time of ‘Never Normal,’ characterized by rising protectionism and anti-globalism, a booming digital economy and changing geopolitical landscape, CKGSB partnered with Business China on the 2021 Future China Global Forum, to address this particular topic on July 12. Five CKGSB speakers joined 60 senior government officials, business leaders, academics and opinion leaders to share their perspectives and experiences on fostering collaboration among China, Singapore and ASEAN countries. At the Forum, Dean Xiang spoke alongside prominent leaders like Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.

In August, CKGSB Associate Professor of Marketing Li Yang’s research article on “Modeling Dynamic Heterogeneity Using Gaussian Processes” was selected as one of four finalists for the Journal of Marketing Research’s 2021 Paul E. Green Award.

Throughout 2021, China’s borders unfortunately remained closed, due to the pandemic. Hence, we moved our flagship program Cutting-edge Insights from China (CIC) online, so as to help global CXOs continue to stay ahead of the curve with the latest developments from China. We welcomed 32 leaders from 12 countries to the online edition of CIC in late August. Among them were H.E. Mr. Djauhari Oratmangun, Indonesia Ambassador to China; H.E. Mr. Jose Santiago STA. Romana, Philippines Ambassador to China; and Dr. Acquino Vimal, Deputy Chief of Mission of the India Embassy to China.

CKGSB hosted its flagship 7th China Economic Symposium in September, offering insightful perspectives on the country’s economic transformation towards common prosperity, carbon neutrality and technology innovation. At the Symposium, CKGSB launched a new report, China’s Economy: Its Past, Present and Futurewhich features eight Chinese and global thought leaders on China’s economic and industry trends, as well as their implications for the world.

Also in September, Dean Xiang Bing spoke at the 22nd World Knowledge Forum (WKF) in Seoul, where he also met with former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss joint initiatives that foster economic collaborations in the RCEP region.

In October, CKGSB hosted its first hybrid graduation ceremony, held simultaneously in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, with a record-breaking 1,568 graduates in attendance. The following month, we celebrated the School’s 19th anniversary by looking back at past memories and figures representing our achievements and innovations in management education.

This year, CKGSB formed a number of new partnerships, including signing an agreement with UNESCO on a collaboration that includes a program and forum aimed at empowering African government officials, young entrepreneurs and women leaders to foster economic disruption, improve social mobility, inclusiveness and gender equality, and generate more unicorn companies with a focus on social innovation in Africa. We also partnered with Cartier on the Young Leader Award to empower young entrepreneurial leaders worldwide.  

Inspired by the School’s mission, CKGSB alumni have continued to give back to society, as was evident by the Forbes China Philanthropy List, in which 23 of the 100 top Chinese entrepreneurs who had made the most contributions to public welfare were CKGSB alumni. Our 23 alumni’s contributions of 63 billion RMB (approx. US $9.72 billion) make up 30% of the total amount.

Emphasizing one of CKGSB’s key pillars, the School published a report on Fostering Social Innovation to Address Humanity’s Challengesin December. The report draws on 23 perspectives across academia, businesses and multilateral organizations, including the United Nations, World Bank, ExxonMobil, PwC, Arup, Accenture, United Way Worldwide, Caixin Global, The Economist, Unilever, the University of Cambridge and CKGSB. 

In 2021, CKGSB was recognized for its academic, research and social innovation efforts by globally recognized international institutions. Adding to its prestigious collection of global accreditations, CKGSB received the highest level of 5-year EQUIS re-accreditation by EFMD and first-time accreditation by AACSB. This year, our faculty were again named as “Highly Cited Chinese Researchers of 2020” by Elsevier, a world-leading academic publication group. CKGSB was recognized by the 2021 Harvard Business Review Ram Charan Management Practice Award for two case studies on Banu Hot Pot and Delong Steel. The School was also honored for its work in training MBA professors from universities in less developed areas of Western China as a finalist for the ‘Equality in Education Award’ at the United Nations’ 2021 China Social Impact Awards.

2021 was a year marked by our faculty’s continuous research—that has been recognized globally—new programs and partnerships, and a focus on social innovation. We look forward to 2022 with more achievements and innovations to come.

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