The tech conference in the first two days was held in the sprawling University of Hong Kong. Then a one day trip to Shenzhen to see the eco-systems being developed to incubate and assist e-startups. The next three days included factory and historical site visits in Henan to demonstrate the practical application of the ideas seen and learned during the conference. The event was represented by 100 delegates from 14 countries. Beyond the knowledge gained in the eight days program, lifelong bonds of friendship were formed.
My trip was made possible thanks to the support of Dr. Ellen Palanca and Confucius Institute-ADMU, and of course the Dragon Foundation which sponsored the program.
The Dragons participated in the 2017 Global Youth Entrepreneurs to listen to the inspirational stories of technology and innovation trailblazers from across the world. The first part of the workshop was held in Hong Kong and the second part was in Shenzhen.
Some key lessons:
- Smart people don't work under you, they work WITH you.
- Make your passion your career/business.
- Problems are helpful...helps you learn new things and be more open-minded.
- Today's world is more silo-ed that ever.
- Technology innovation is not about reinventing new things but new synergies.
- Building ecosystems mean looking at win-win-win scenarios.
It would have been hard to believe had I not seen it with my own eyes. A fully-functional farm besides a coal power plant. We even ate the peaches and cucumber that was harvested the same morning! The company prides itself of having developed sustainable ecosystems in the field of coal power plants. Although they acknowledge much work needs to be done to perfect the model, this is a good first step in the right direction. Throughout the visit, I noticed that across the different levels of staff we met, the plant employees seem to exude a relatively high level of contentment in the work-life balance.
The visit to the Longmen Grottoes was a breath-taking experience! It is said Buddhism crossed this way from India to China-- perhaps as part of the ancient silk road. The carvings are claimed to be the ultimate in architectural perfection of the Tang dynasty.
Of the nine huge carved statues, the largest and most beautiful statue, is the Vairocana Buddha (676 A.D.) and considered as "the quintessence of Buddhist sculpture in China."
These were carved at the orders of Empress Wu Zetian. It is said that Empress Wu Zetian donated the funds to complete this edifice. Hence, story has it that Vairocana Buddha was carved to resemble the Empress herself and termed a "Chinese Mona Lisa, Venus or as the Mother of China".
We also visited the Shaolin Temple and Millennium Peace Park.