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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Learning Places: Esfahan, Iran (v. 1, Ch. 2)

Learning Places: Esfahan, Iran (v. 1, Ch. 2)

Volume 1, Chapter 2 of Learning Places takes us to historic Isfahan, classically referred to as “Half the World” for the overwhelming beauty of its gardens and architecture. The group also travelled to Semirom, a rural plateau two hours south of Isfahan, both a rich agricultural region and an increasingly popular tourist destination for Iranians and foreign visitors.

The Global Institute For Tomorrow was invited to Iran by the Esfahan Chamber of Commerce (ECCIMA) and the Semirom Farmers’ Union, both of whom were seeking fresh analysis and proposals for how to revitalise the local apple industry and improve the prospects for smallholder farmers in the region

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The Power of Purposeful Engagement

The Power of Purposeful Engagement

Purposeful Engagement sits at the heart of GIFT’s experiential learning methodology - a key element in developing successful outputs for multi-stakeholder projects and promoting the powerful personal realisations that participants gain through the process.

We created a personal assessment tool — the “Purposeful Engagement (PE) Quotient” — as a means to internalise its principles and apply it within one’s team.

How do you and your team score against the pillars of:

  • Knowledge,
  • Communication and
  • Empathy?
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