Basic needs are not basic business: rural electrification in East Malaysia

Basic needs are not basic business: rural electrification in East Malaysia

The third Malaysia Young Leaders Programme (YLP) in Sabah will include an experiential learning component focused on providing a basic need: electricity. GIFT will be partnering with Tonibung, an ASEAN Energy Award-winning social enterprise that makes and distributes micro-hydropower generators to the 600 off-grid rural communities in Sabah. As part of their experiential learning, participants will produce a business plan with a view to attract investment for Tonibung’s microgrids, including recommendations on how best to manage this capital in a sustainable and transparent manner.

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10 things you didn't know about Xi'an: Experiential learning in China

10 things you didn't know about Xi'an: Experiential learning in China

China's rapid growth in the past three decades has mainly occurred along the coastal regions and in the global cities of Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. However, with the Belt and Road initiative and China's "develop the west" strategy, China's hinterland is becoming much more important.

Here are 10 things you may not know about Xi’an, the capital of the western province of Shaanxi.

Read on to learn why business leaders must know more about China and its lesser known western regions and how the GIFT learning methodology facilitates that.

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Honest Inquiry Interview: Zheng Bing

Honest Inquiry Interview: Zheng Bing

Madame Zheng Bing was voted as one of the top 10 rural entrepreneurs in China in 2008 for her visionary leadership of the Puhan Cooperative and the notable socio-economic benefits realised by its members.

Madame Zheng was a primary school teacher in Zhaizhi village, Puzhou township, Yongji, Shanxi Province in China before she started organising farmers’ training in 1998. Deeply committed to promoting the intrinsic value of rural communities, under her leadership, Puhan developed into a service oriented multi-functional cooperative with a strong focus on rural regeneration to creating liveable villages.

This Honest Inquiry Interview highlights much of Madame Zheng Bing’s leadership in practice and contains gems of wisdom highly relevant not just to rural entrepreneurs but to leaders of business, government and civil sector organisations as well.

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Learning Places: Hong Kong, China (v.1, ch.1)

Learning Places: Hong Kong, China (v.1, ch.1)

Hong Kong is a global financial centre, and one of the most prosperous cities in Asia, located at the edge of the Pearl River Delta. Through the unique ‘One Country, Two Systems’ political and economic structure, Hong Kong has built itself into one of the leading global cities of the world.

However, Hong Kong faces certain challenges as its population grows and economy expands. One is the lack of physical activity among its residents. Engagement in sport plays a significant role in promoting mental and physical health and building inclusive, vibrant communities. However, over 80% of Hong Kong residents fail to meet the WHO baseline indicator of physical activity.

The aim of the innovative SportLight Trust model is to transform idle spaces into vibrant venues where a community can come together and participate in sports, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or economic status. Adopting a financially viable and sustainable business model, individual sports hubs would be built and operated with input of local communities and be accessible to all.  

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Honest Inquiry Interview: Po Chung (Part 2 of 2): Hong Kong, China & the wider region

Honest Inquiry Interview: Po Chung (Part 2 of 2): Hong Kong, China & the wider region

The Honest Inquiry Interview Series: A conversation with Po Chung, Part Two: "Hong Kong, China and the wider region". China has focused on doing things right – getting things done effectively, efficiently, and cheaply. As we’ve seen from the “Made in China” phenomenon, this doesn’t yet mean that they are leading in the more valuable, services-driven upstream and downstream activities, like R&D, brand-building, and advertising. Recall that Hong Kong is still one of the pillars of the financial and service economy – it is part of the New York, London and Hong Kong trio that provides 24 hours of continuous services. Hong Kong is home to over 1000 regional headquarters, overseeing an eight-hour time zone stretch between New York and London.

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Diversity in Thinking: Shedding the corporate persona

Diversity in Thinking: Shedding the corporate persona

Diversity in thinking is critical for BIG problem-solving, truly innovative thinking and bringing fresh perspectives to the table. Unfortunately many perceive it as risky and even threatening. Though none of us like to admit it, "business-as-usual" is safe and often even desireable

Most of us are not comfortable engaging in open, direct, even challenging conversations. It requires patience, respect, humility, and a willingness to question our own position.

The mark of a truly diverse company is when leadership not only tolerate but welcome dissent and divergent views.

 

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Honest Inquiry Interview: Po Chung (Part 1 of 2): On Leadership

Honest Inquiry Interview: Po Chung (Part 1 of 2): On Leadership

This Honest Inquiry Interview features the legendary Hong Kong business leader and co-founder of DHL International, Po-yang Chung (a.k.a Po Chung).

In 1972, Mr Chung founded DHL Hong Kong, which was the territory’s first international air express company. He remained as Chairman until 2001, following the acquisition of DHL by Deutsche Post.

As Chairman of Hong Kong Institute of Service Leadership & Management, Mr Chung has been dedicated in large part to advocating and promoting a service leadership mindset applicable to the 21st Century, which has evolved from manufacturing to service-dominated economies, by nurturing and educating leaders and young generations to lead with Care, Character and Competence.

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