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Cambridge Xiamen International Forum of "Success: on the theme Vision & Action"

XMUICE    Public:ICE    Datetime:2009/12/8
On March 20th , the Cambridge Xiamen International Forum opened at Xiamen University. Over the 2 days, 5 scholars and entrepreneurs from Britain, America, Singapore and China addressed an audience of students from Xiamen University, Cambridge University, Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, Finland, Jimei University and Huaqiao University. They spoke of their life experiences as a way of inspiring and deepening the students´ understanding of how the world sees China´s current situation, of broadening their horizons and helping them to discover how to realise their own value in today´s era of globalisation. The keynote speakers were: Professor Alan Barrell of Cambridge University, holder of the 2006 Queen´s Award for Enterprise Promotion; Professor Tan Teng-Kee, the Director of the Nan Yang Technological University College of Business in Singapore, and founder of the Nanyang Technopreneurship Centre; Mr Rob Valli, President of the US Investment Board of Parigi Equity Partners; and Dr Ge Dingkun, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the China Europe International Business School.

In the 2-day forum, apart from the formal presentations, the five experts also undertook in-depth discussions with students from the Xiamen University School of Management on topics such as how to start business as a college student, how to start a technology business in a developing country and how to identify opportunities in a time of crisis.

The opening ceremony was chaired by Deputy-Chairman of the Xiamen University Council, Gu Fangzhao, with President Zhu Chongshi delivering the opening address. The main topic of the forum was set as the current global economic environment, with 3 sub-topics: firstly, "What constitutes a good idea and how to turn it into a business?" secondly, "What are the channels and means to attract investment to a newly-opened business?" thirdly, "How can customers be attracted and target markets located?"

Prof. Barrell spoke on "Innovation and reform * from idea to action". His aim was to inspire students to take a positive view of the current financial crisis as presenting opportunities to be seized and adjustments to be embraced. In the discussions that followed, professors and students talked about how to understand an idea, with all the participants agreeing that if an idea is to be industrialised or experts also undertook in-depth discussions with students from the
Xiamen University School of Management on topics such as how to start business as a college student, how to start a technology business in a developing country and how to identify opportunities in a time of crisis.

The opening ceremony was chaired by Deputy-Chairman of the Xiamen University Council, Gu Fangzhao, with President Zhu Chongshi delivering the opening address. The main topic of the forum was set as the current global economic environment, with 3 sub-topics: firstly, "What constitutes a good idea and how to turn it into a business?" secondly, "What are the channels and means to attract investment to a newly-opened business?" thirdly, "How can customers be attracted and target markets located?"

Prof. Barrell spoke on "Innovation and reform * from idea to action". His aim was to inspire students to take a positive view of the current financial crisis as presenting opportunities to be seized and adjustments to be embraced. In the discussions that followed, professors and students talked about how to understand an idea, with all the participants agreeing that if an idea is to be industrialised or commercialised, it should first be shown to have a social value before
the dream and its creation can become a success. Conversations with the five guests continued in a relaxed way during the tea-break.

After the tea break, Prof. Tan restarted the Forum with a talk "I have a dream", which aroused greatly the enthusiasm of the students to pursue and realise their dreams. In his conclusion, Prof. Tan described today´s China as entering an era marked by dreams and hope, rather like a new Tang Dynasty. Following his talk, the students raised many questions which were answered explicitly and in depth by the experts on the platform.

On the second day, Rob Valli, Dr Seena Rejal, the Founder and Chairman of Cambridge Policy Associates and Prof. Ge spoke on issues of market location and marketing skills. Prof. Ge´s eloquence, his inspiring theories and practical experience won repeated bursts of applause from the audience. Teams which had achieved great success in the Challenge Cup simulated the process of fund raising for business by presented their projects and initial ideas. Following each presentation, they were interrogated closely by the expert-team, providing the audience with a true-to-life representation of a venture-investment situation.

The forum then entered a Q & A session during which a lot of questions ranging from the choice between going into business or continuing studies, to financing, life and even leadership were put by the students, to which the expert-team gave excellent responses taking the Forum on to its climax.

The Forum was co-organised by Cambridge University Education without Borders, and the Career & Entrepreneurship Association of the Xiamen University School of Management, Xiamen University Students T & S Entrepreneurship Centre and the MBA Association of Business and Administration School, Xiamen University. Cambridge University Education without Borders is a non-profit student society, registered with the Society´s Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, and a branch of the Education without Borders Organisation. It was founded on August 15th , 2007. It is dedicated to sharing international elite educational resources and promoting communication between education and industry. One of its main activities is to hold international forums, inviting world famous speakers to share their opinions and discuss academic questions with students from all over the world, an activity which has achieved great success and popularity among universities.

The Cambridge Xiamen International Forum is the second such event the association has held in China since its inception in 2007.

Comments and opinions

President of Xiamen University Zhu Chongshi
"Times create heroes. The current financial crisis is perhaps providing the young people of our time with their best opportunity to launch their own business. If we take initiatives, the crisis may well even provide a turn for the better, as well as be a stimulus for talented people with strategic views to come forward. Dear students, success belongs to talented people who have both vision and initiative."

Deputy-Chairman Gu Fangzhao:
"In the face of the sweeping financial crisis, it is important that our younger generation should exert their talents and wits, explore new ground, and contribute to the world economy. Today´s forum is intended to provide an opportunity for young people to talk directly to experts and masters in order to deepen their understanding of China´s current situation, to broaden the horizons of China´s new generation, and to help them understand how to realise their value in a world under globalisation.
The global financial crisis should stimulate entrepreneurship among college students. By combining the theories learnt at college with the practical experience of these masters, we can lay a solid foundation for future development. I have been greatly inspired by what has been said on how to turn business ideas into real industries, how to track down capital and build a market and customers and how to give your products value as well. I was also deeply impressed by some of the
mottos and stories of these leading experts."

Prof. Alan Barrell:
"Don´t push yourself over career planning. I have never over-planned my career but have always looked for the best route to self-development. University students seeking jobs and starting businesses need to be innovative and imaginative."

Prof. Tan Teng-Kee:
"It is important to understand the scientific approach to starting a business: understanding financing, establishing networks, nurturing a team. Knowing what kind of innovative idea has a chance to succeed in the market."

Zhao Pengfei, student from the Department of Finance:
"We need to look for opinions in line with globalisation when it comes to matters such as planning our careers after graduation."

Yang Han, student from the Department of Mechanical and Electronical Engineering:
"He put forward a lot of innovative ideas which are highly inspiring for a student of engineering."

EF6490A19A5F471/192.168.1.101/5651/2009年12月18日

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