Yenching Scholars Participate in Cross-Cultural Communication Workshop with the Alibaba Global Leadership Academy


On Thursday, 17 May 2018, the Yenching Academy welcomed a delegation from the Alibaba Global Leadership Academy (AGLA), based in Hangzhou. Alibaba is China’s leading commerce company; the AGLA is the company's flagship program for fostering international talent.

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During the morning session, 19 students from the second cohort of AGLA interacted with students from the Yenching Academy. The session started with lively introductions from David Moser, Associate Dean  of the Yenching Academy and David Clark, Vice President of Global Human Resources at Alibaba.

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The combined group was then broken up into five separate groups and tasked with discussing the topic of global leadership and cross-cultural understanding. YCA students and their AGLA counterparts shared their experiences from both educational and professional settings in China. They discussed similarities and differences between China and their home countries, as well as how to best acclimatize and succeed in China. Representatives from each group then gave brief presentations on their key findings.

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Yenching Scholar, Ravi Prasad said that the event was a “fantastic opportunity to exchange views with like-minded individuals and discuss the best ways to approach cross-cultural communication." Babette Lockefeer of the AGLA commented that “our interaction with the Yenching scholars was very insightful” and that discussion surrounding being a minority in China “raised my awareness that being a majority comes with an extra responsibility to be open minded”.

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The discussion and presentations were followed by a lecture given by Assisstant Professor Yi Xiwei of the Guanghua School of Management of Peking University. The lecture, titled, "Leading the Way in Global Expansion" focused on the business strategies of the world's largest mobile payment providers; namely Alipay, WeChat Pay and Apple Pay.

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The event was a great success, with new friendships formed. The two groups agreed to continue their interactions and build even stronger bonds between YCA and AGLA going forward.

by Ravi Prasad