At CKGSB, we aim to facilitate social innovation through advancing the collaboration among businesses, governments, multilateral institutions, non-profit organizations, and civil society to develop and deploy effective and innovative solutions to humanity’s most challenging and often systematic social and environmental issues—like income and wealth inequality, social immobility and sustainability.

Social innovation encompasses philanthropy and charity (individual-level), corporate social responsibility and ESG (enterprise-level), and the development work of governmental, non-profit and international organizations (institutional-level).

CKGSB’s Unique Approach on Social Innovation

With generous support from the Li Ka Shing Foundation, CKGSB was established in November 2002 with social innovation at its core.

In 2005, we pioneered the incorporation of the humanities into core business curricula to give students a more holistic view of business.

  • We set up the EMBA philanthropy scholarships in 2002, now awarded across all of our degree programs to outstanding civil society and NGO leaders.
  • Since 2009, all of our degree students have been required to engage in philanthropic service in order to graduate, resulting in a total of 150,000+ hours served to date.

We began offering social innovation as an elective module for EMBA and MBA students in 2017 and a required module since 2018.

We are now working with partners across sectors to develop a global ecosystem for next-generation disruptors that are economically, socially and environmentally responsible, while embracing technologic innovation.

CKGSB’s Social Innovation


23 of the top 100 Chinese entrepreneurs named on the 2021 Forbes China Philanthropy list are CKGSB alumni. CKGSB’s alumni contributed 30% of the total 221.7 billion RMB in charitable donations.

5 CKGSB alumni selected for the 2021 Fortune China’s 40-under-40.

8 CKGSB alumni companies recognized as 2021 Forbes China’s 100 Most Innovative Companies.

2 CKGSB alumni selected as 2021 Forbes China’s 50 Women in Tech.

In February 2021, 7 CKGSB alumni were recognized for their role in poverty alleviation by Chinese president Xi Jinping.

In June 2021, CKGSB Executive MBA program launched the ‘Social Innovation and Business for Good’ field course, coaching over 500+ EMBA students in designing and incorporating sustainability into their businesses.

In September 2021, the government announced the 2021 China Charity Awards in Beijing. Nearly 10% of the 130 individuals and companies who made the list for their impressive contributions to poverty alleviation were CKGSB alumni. Moreover, 17% of the 52 selected individuals and companies who demonstrated tremendous strength and charity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic were CKGSB alumni.

In September 2021, CKGSB was honored as a finalist for the United Nation’s 2021 China Social Impact Awards for the “Equality in Education Award,” chosen among more than 200 institutions, for the school’s work with the China National MBA Education Supervisory Committee to train MBA professors from universities based in the less developed areas of western China. Thus far, CKGSB has trained more than 400 MBA professors from over 50 universities across 20 underdeveloped provinces in China.

In October 2021, CKGSB collaborates with RED CLUB X Cartier to launch the Inaugural Young Leader Award.

CKGSB partners with UNESCO on developing socially innovative business leaders in Africa.

At beginning of 2020, the CKGSB community came together to gather and provide support for those affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. By April 2020, CKGSB’s student and alumni community raised over $573 million in cash donations and goods.

In 2020, CKGSB established an interdisciplinary partnership with the Graduate Institute, Geneva (GIG) with an emphasis on economic disruptions and social innovation.

In 2020, 21 alumni and 1 professor made the ‘2020 China Philanthropy List’ released by Forbes China.

In 2020, CKGSB partnered with the Møller Institute, Churchill College in the University of Cambridge to jointly launch the Igniting Innovation for Impact program to over 45 global executives.

In May 2020, CKGSB Professor Zhu Rui published her book “Companies of the Future: A Three-step Approach for Sustainable Business”, dissecting the trends in sustainable businesses in China, how companies can incorporate sustainability in their business strategies and why it matters.

In May 2020, two CKGSB professors – Professor of Marketing Zhu Rui and Professor of Strategy and Economics Brian Viard – were recognized by the Financial Times (FT) for their high social impact research. In fact, two of the three contributions from Asian business schools featured on the FT’s list came from CKGSB professors.

In July 2020, CKGSB Founding Dean and Professor of China Business and Globalization, Xiang Bing, was awarded the ‘Vanguard for Social Responsibilities’ by Southern Weekly at its 12th Corporate Social Responsibility Annual Conference, for his commitment to social responsibility and public welfare.

In August 2020, CKGSB publishes a collection of philanthropic case studies, titled 无公益,不长江 (Cases of CKGSB Philanthropy), showcasing the school and its alumni’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

In October 2020, Professor Zhu Rui launched a new course on “Exploring Social Innovation from a Global Perspective” and invited guest speakers from universities like Columbia Business School, Stanford University, London Business School and Hitotsubanashi University to share their perspectives and best practices.

In November 2020, CKGSB was granted the “Committee for Good Award” at the 2020 China Social Enterprise and Impact Investment Forum. Professor Zhu Rui was also awarded the “Research for Good Award” in recognition of her book exploring sustainable businesses in China.

In December 2020, CKGSB was named one of the “2020 Top Ten Philanthropic Institutions of the Year” by Phoenix’s

In December 2020, CKGSB was given the “2020 China Philanthropic Enterprise of the Year” award by the China Philanthropy Times, a well-respected philanthropic journal, published under China’s Ministry of Public Affairs. Dean Xiang Bing was also named the “2020 China Philanthropist of the Year.”

In December, 2020, CKGSB hosted it sixth edition of the CKGSB Philanthropy Award Ceremony in Beijing.

In December 2020, CKGSB worked with the China National MBA Education Supervisory Committee on an annual training for MBA professors from universities based in the less developed areas of western China. 69 professors across universities in western China took part in the training that our school offered. 90% of the participants found the training “relevant and useful to the challenges facing their MBA teaching”.

In October 2019, CKGSB Executive MBA program launched the first overseas module on social innovation and business for good, led by Professor Zhu Rui and the pioneering UK social innovator, Michael Norton.

In November 2019, CKGSB was awarded the 2019 China Social Impact Award in the poverty alleviation category by the United Nations and British Chamber of Commerce in China. CKGSB was named a Finalist for the ‘Women’s Empowerment Award’ and ‘Employee Engagement Award.’

In November 2019, CKGSB and UN Women successfully cohosted the 2019 Women in Leadership Forum, “The Power of Equality”.

In December 2019, CKGSB received the China Philanthropic Enterprise of the Year award for the third time in a row from the China Philanthropy Times. Professor Yan Aimin and Professor Li Wei were named China Philanthropists of the Year.

Social innovation became a core requirement module for all degree programs.

Since 2018, the philanthropy scholarship has been awarded across all of our degree programs to outstanding civil society and NGO leaders.

CKGSB MBA and Chuang Community alumna, Cindy Mi, Founder and CEO of VIPKID, was one of 4 Chinese businesswomen on ‘The Emergent 25: Asia’s Latest Star Businesswomen’ list in Forbes Magazine.

In September 2018, CKGSB collaborated with Tencent Philanthropy in 23 projects on its “99 Charity Day,” garnering RMB 167 million donations from over 11 million people participants.

In September 2018, CKGSB partnered with the China National MBA Education Supervisory Committee on a five-years collaboration to provide MBA training to professors in western China.

In November 2018, CKGSB and UN Women co-hosted the 4th Women in Leadership Forum, ‘Driving Change through Social Innovation.’ At the event, CKGSB and Australia’s Victoria Government officially announced their partnership to increase collaboration and exchange between Chinese and Australian businesses.

In December 2018, CKGSB received the ‘China Philanthropic Enterprise of the Year Award’ from China Philanthropy Times. Dean Xiang Bing and Professor Juliet Zhu were recognized as ‘China Philanthropist of the Year’ and’ China CSR Person of the Year,’ respectively.

In 2017, 4 companies led by Chuang Community students were on the list of 50 Most Innovative Companies.

In 2017, 21 CKGSB alumni made it on the list of ‘30-Under-30’ by Forbes China.

In 2017, CKGSB initiated a three-pronged project to alleviate poverty in Ji’an, a poverty-stricken district in Jiangxi province. These projects utilized CKGSB’s industry expertise in education and business to improve access to basic services in the community, reducing the impact of natural disasters and raising the living standards in Ji’an.

In April 2017, CKGSB hosted the 3rd CKGSB Philanthropy Award Ceremony.

In May 2017, CKGSB was recognized at the China CSR Awards by the American and British Chambers of Commerce in China for its “thought leadership” within China’s charity landscape.

In June 2017, CKGSB and UN Women co-hosted the 3rd Women in Leadership Forum, ‘Women Rising: a Diverse Perspective,’ attended by more than 500 executives, scholars and media professionals.

In December 2017, CKGSB was given the ‘China Philanthropic Enterprise of the Year Award’ by China Philanthropy Times, a well-respected philanthropic journal, published under China’s Ministry of Public Affairs. Professors Yan Aimin and Juliet Zhu were named ‘China’s CSR Person of the Year’ and ‘China Philanthropist of the Year,’ respectively.

In February 2016, CKGSB founded the Cheung Kong Education Development Foundation (CKEDF), a non-profit organization with a mission to support the sustainable development of CKGSB, to support the development of alumni, and to work for the betterment of society.

In March 2016, CKGSB was recognized by the American and British Chambers of Commerce in China for its achievements in social innovation at the inaugural China CSR Awards (in particular for our Goji Berry project).

In 2014, CKGSB professor and alumni started the goji berry project, helping farmers in rural Gansu province brand, package and distribute their products, generating sales of 2.18 million RMB in the first three months of the campaign and as a result raising their annual income by 35%.

CKGSB gives the first CKGSB Philanthropy Award to eligible students and their projects.

The first module on social work and philanthropy begins for all Executive MBA program.

In 2014, CKGSB MBA program launched 3 new scholarships – the Women in Leadership Scholarship to empower promising female professionals, the Western Economy Contribution Scholarship to those who have made outstanding contributions to the regional economic development of western China, and the Public Service Scholarship to offer to those who have made great contributions in public service areas.

In November 2014, CKGSB collaborated with UN Women on the 2nd Women in Leadership Forum, “Women’s Leadership and Workplace Diversity: Benefits to Business.”

In September 2013, CKGSB hosts the first Women in Leadership Forum, headlining Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Philanthropic services is made mandatory for all degree programs, accumulating over 165,000+ hours of charitable service to date.

Starting in 2010, all EMBA students are required to volunteer in philanthropic services in order to graduate.

In 2009, CKGSB launched the CKGSB Philanthropy Fund.

In 2008, CKGSB sent groups of volunteers to Sichuan Province to support those affected by the May 12th earthquake. Alumni and staff donated RMB 430 million, roughly 7% of all Chinese corporate donations to earthquake victims.

Since 2007, CKGSB has been working with the China National MBA Education Supervisory Committee on an annual training for MBA professors from universities based in less developed areas of Western China to narrow the gap in management education between Eastern and Western China.

In 2005, CKGSB was the first business school in China to incorporate humanities – such as history, religion and philosophy – into its core business curricula to give students a more holistic view of business.

In 2002, CKGSB set up the EMBA Philanthropy Scholarship.

Faculty Insights on ESG & Social Innovation

Seeking Common Prosperity from a Global Perspective

The amount of disruption brought about by technology, together with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has exacerbated the already serious income and wealth gaps, highlighting the urgent need to promote inclusiveness and common prosperity within the global sphere...

Developing ‘Business for Good’ in China

In this day and age, companies are no longer being evaluated only through their economic dimensions. In a post-pandemic world, stakeholder capitalism as a value creation structure is simply no longer sustainable...

Why We Have Been Understating the Costs of Air Pollution

Like other public policy decisions, evaluating an environmental regulation should be based on comparing its social costs to its social benefits. Reducing air pollution may require costs such as abatement equipment, compliance personnel, research and development expenses, and reductions in...

Chasing Carbon Neutrality

China plans to peak carbon emissions in 2030 and be fully carbon neutral by 2060. How will this impact on economic activity...

Changing Consumption and Production Behaviors

The growth of the manufacturing sector has left us with a lot of waste. Like many nations grappling with the same problem, more rational consumption is needed in China, too...

Why Social Innovation Matters?

Inequality is one of the drivers of social unrest recently experienced on almost every continent...

International Insights on ESG & Social Innovation

Peking Emissions

The ambiguity of China’s carbon reduction goals has resulted in short-term emissions increases, and the targets may not be realistic...

Achieving the SDGs in a Post-pandemic World: The Role of Social Innovation

Social innovation plays a critical role to get us there. Defined as the “conceptual, process, product or organizational change which improves the welfare and well-being of individuals and community,” social innovation shares the SDG’s ultimate objective of a...

Making Social Innovation Happen: How to Lead for Impact

Leaders exist to create impact. The drive to shift conditions, context or consequence is what separates leaders from the rest of the world...

From Poverty Reduction to Common Prosperity: Challenging Reforms, Big Upside

The beginning of the 2020s marks an important threshold for China’s economic development. In the coming decade China will very likely cross the threshold to high income...

Philanthropy in China

The rapid changes to China’s philanthropic sector brought both opportunities and challenges for local and international NGOs and put pressure on the whole sector to strengthen operational capabilities to increase transparency and accountability...

Social Innovation is Key to Safe E-Waste Disposal

In terms of limiting waste, a key area that demands more attention is electronic waste or e-waste generation. Electronic devices have become commonplace. They are proven enablers...

Reducing Our Global Footprint

For decades, mass consumption has been deeply rooted in people’s minds. It has long been considered a personal achievement. It is now time to change that cultural model...

A Steph Towards Mutual Prosperity, Putting Purpose into Practice: The Economics of Mutuality

Today, there is a duty and an opportunity for business leaders, investors, management schools and policy makers to reposition the corporation positively, in ways that reflect the changing needs of society and the environment...

The Future of Green Finance and Impact Investment

The Chinese government’s expectations for carbon neutrality are not limited to only the green transformation of China’s traditional industries, but they also include the further industrial upgrading and social modernization that can be achieved by advancing the green...

Bridging the Environmental Sustainability Gap

In exposing the many vulnerabilities of our interconnected world, the COVID-19 pandemic has also brought to light the criticality of increasing the sustainability of development at a faster pace, as countries look to shore up resilience against future disruption...

Radical Innovation – Only Half the Story

To reach ambitious climate targets by mid-century radical innovation will be critical and it won’t happen unless we deploy unprecedented levels of collaboration...

Infrastructure and Climate Change: The Role of Sustainable Infrastructure in the Transition to Low Carbon Economies

The role of infrastructure is to stimulate and facilitate social and economic development by connecting, supporting and protecting society. Unfortunately for society at this time, the vast majority of the infrastructure we have is not fit for purpose against the...

Leading a Lower Carbon Future

Under most third-party scenarios developed by the United Nation’ Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change that meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, oil and natural gas will continue to play an essential role for decades in meeting the increasing...

Creating A Sustainable World One Product at a Time

We know that people care more and more about the impact of the products that they use and our own data show that environmental concerns are shared by people around the world...

How a Technology Platform Can Contribute to Net Zero

Our constructed environment, life on land and under water, as well as humanity’s health and wellbeing are damaged, polluted and threatened by man-made, oil-based materials...

What I Learnt from the Pandemic about Education

During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was a student, an instructor, an ed-tech social entrepreneur, and a mother. I was juggling these roles as best as I could without losing my mind. In the process...

Making Social Responsibility a Competitive Advantage for Multinationals in China

Business can be the driving force of leading transformative and innovative solutions to help solve these societal and environmental challenges...

CKGSB Alumni Stories
on Social Innovation

The next generation are much more issue-orientated which I personally think is a great trend.

Brain Gallagher

Former CEO, United Way Worldwide


The purpose of business is to develop profitable and scalable solutions to the problems of people on this planet.

Bruno Roche

Former Chief Economist of Mars Incorporated, Founder of the Economics of Mutuality

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The Goji Berry Project

During a trip to Gansu, China, in 2015 for the Gobi Desert Challenge, a group of CKGSB professors, alumni, students and staff who were participating in the business school race realized that the impoverished local farmers were not making full use of a great local resource, the Goji berry. Hence, CKGSB organized its community to voluntarily help the villagers sell Goji berries using innovative business strategies to design, market and distribute their product, raising the entire community’s annual income by 35% and helping lift them out of poverty. 

The Ji’an Project

In 2017, CKGSB initiated a three-project campaign to alleviate poverty in Ji’an, an impoverished district in Jiangxi, China, through an all-round, diversified effort. These three projects utilized CKGSB’s industry expertise in education and business to improve access to basic services of the community, reduce the impact of disasters and raise the living standard in Ji’an.

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CKGSB’s MBA Professor Training Program for Western China

Since 2007, CKGSB has been working with the China National MBA Education Supervisory Committee on an annual training for MBA professors from universities based in the less developed areas of western China, so as to narrow the gap in management education between eastern and western China. Thus far, we have trained more than 400 MBA professors from over 50 universities across 20 underdeveloped provinces in China.

Press Release

The Cheung Kong Education Development Foundation (CKEDF)

With social Innovation embedded in CKGSB’s DNA, the Cheung Kong Education Development Foundation aims to support the sustainable development of CKGSB, its alumni and society. 

The Foundation supports the school and its alumni with an efficient, professional and transparent platform on which philanthropic projects in the areas of education, science and technology, healthcare, poverty alleviation and the environment can be carried out.

CKGSB Scholarships

At CKGSB, we offer scholarships to eligible business leaders who work to advance the environment, philanthropy, and ethical business ecosystems to help them advocate social innovation and generate positive social change.

Learn more on how you quality.

Events and Partnerships around Social Innovation

CKGSB hosts regular events that serve as a platform for businesses, governments, multilateral institutions, non-profit organizations, and civil society to have meaningful conversations that aim to generate solutions to society’s most pressing issues. 

Women in Leadership

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China Economic Symposium

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Event: CSR in China: Why To Do It & How To Do It Well

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Understand China from the Inside

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