Changing China

The first response from my academic colleagues in The Netherlands when I announced I would study innovation in China in 2004 was, “That must be a short project!” Today the world is embracing China as an innovation nation, one where residents have a “ringside seat to entrepreneurial development”, according to Thinkers50. Facilitating the talent development of hundreds of elite students and next generation change-makers is my passion. Receiving multinationals eager to study new technologies and business models but also delegations from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors is my contribution to building bridges — who could have thought that 13 years ago?

Read More: China Daily

Interview with Thinkers50 – Shortlisted for the 2017 Thinkers50 Radar Award

August 2017 Thinkers of the Month – A Dutch academic based in Hangzhou, China with a ringside seat on fast evolving developments in Chinese management and leadership, Mark Greeven is an associate professor at Zhejiang University’s School of Management. In addition, he is a research fellow at China’s National Institute for Innovation Management. Says Greeven: “Innovation does not come from guidelines or subsidies; it comes from creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and experimentation with allowance of mistakes and failures.”

Mark is on the 2017 Thinkers50 Radar list of 30 next generation business gurus and shortlisted for the 2017 Thinkers50 Radar Award.

Read more: Thinkers50 Q&A

2017 G20: China to deepen role in globalization by innovative global talent development

After successfully hosting the G20 in 2016, China’s participation in the G20 in Hamburg this year may prove an important next step to further integrate and lead important global developments. As former US vice-minister for energy Professor Terrance Sandalow vividly expressed during his Beijing trip last year, China is now holding a mirror to the rest of the world. China’s vision for an emerging world order may be less fiction and soon more reality.

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Biking 2.0: Innovations in bike sharing in China

You would think that the Netherlands as a biking nation is leading in smart biking technology. In many ways that is indeed the case but in one area the Netherlands is behind: bike sharing. In Chinese cities we can see the colourful shared bikes everywhere on the streets, predominantly driven by the widespread popularity of mobile payment solutions like Alipay and WeChat Pay.

Read more (in Dutch): Elsevier

New wave of digital entrepreneurs rises in China

The time when tech unicorns, digital disruptors and celebrity entrepreneurs came exclusively from Silicon Valley is long gone. A new generation Chinese entrepreneurs is quickly gaining strength. These new change-makers are digital natives, disrupting the world of industry incumbents, creating hero-entrepreneur identities and relentlessly pursuing growth.

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Talent development is key for innovation

The presentation of the Government Work Report during the two sessions in Beijing last week is always reason for discussion and reflection. As an observer and researcher of Chinese innovation for over a decade, I pay particular attention to the support and regulation regarding innovation. In recent years innovation has been a key strategic direction for reform, increase of productivity and overall economic development.

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Global entrepreneurs should dare to take the responsibility to lead the frontier

The reality is that the world has always been more complex and interdependent than we would like to admit. The current negative trends and national emotions are probably a result of the disappointment of the large group of common middle class citizens in the lack of tangible positive rewards of a global economy. In my opinion, as a business school professor, the answer should probably be in an increasingly important role for entrepreneurs in shaping the future and making changes not only in the economy but also in the society. Entrepreneurs are the real change makers and social entrepreneurs may be able to mobilize key stakeholders, including governments and citizens, most effectively. China, as one of the largest stakeholders in the world economy and society, will inevitably play a large role in this process. And, China has proven in the past years to be a supporter of entrepreneurship and innovation; China’s economic power is mostly driven by entrepreneurs.

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China’s inevitable role in pushing the frontier of innovation

The official Davos website points out that Global events this year have reminded decision-makers that the more complex a system, the greater a community’s concern about its future. The weakening of multiple systems has eroded confidence at the national, regional and global levels. And, in the absence of innovative and credible steps towards their renewal, the likelihood increases of a downward spiral of the global economy fuelled by protectionism, populism and nativism. What’s your outlook for the world economy in 2017? How can we innovatively and solidly foster the renewal of the global system? What kind of responsibility do you expect China to take within that process?

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Respect local market, priority for Chinese entrepreneurs going abroad


As the One Belt One Road initiative rolls out, many Chinese corporations are stepping up to co-finance, invest or contract projects with local companies along the Silk Road, while investors tend to be more worried about localizing projects and financial risks. Could you give some suggestions to Chinese companies to deal with this?

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