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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

CEIBS Board Member Presented with Prestigious Magnolia Award

September 12, 2018. Shanghai – CEIBS Board of Directors Member Professor Eric Cornuel is among a group of 50 recipients of the 2018 Magnolia Award. First presented by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government in 1989, the prestigious award is given annually to foreigners in recognition of their extraordinary contribution to the social, economic, and cultural development of Shanghai.

As part of the awards ceremony, Prof. Cornuel was honoured to represent all of the recipients in addressing the many government officials, business leaders, and other distinguished guests in attendance. As well as thanking the award committee, he also used the opportunity to reaffirm his belief in the city’s Shanghai Master Plan (2017-2035) announced earlier this year.

“On behalf of all the individuals recognised today, I would like to express our gratitude for these awards,” he said. “I am convinced that the innovative policies outlined in the urban master plan will keep Shanghai on a trajectory of sustainable growth, strengthening its socio-economic tissue and increasing its national and international prestige.”

In addition to his role as a member of the CEIBS Board of Directors, Prof. Cornuel also serves as the CEO & Director General of the EFMD. The organisation’s mission is to act as a catalyst to promote and enhance excellence in management development globally.

Prof. Cornuel’s work with both CEIBS and the EFMD has placed him in a unique position from which to both drive and assess the impact CEIBS has had on Shanghai. Speaking prior to the award ceremony during a stop at the CEIBS Shanghai Campus earlier this week, he took some time to reflect on the origins of the school and the wider role it has played in pioneering management education in China.

“When we started in 1994, there was almost no management education in China. We have been a catalyst with CEIBS for the development of management education here,” he said. “All of the business schools that developed later on, CEIBS is not alien to their creation because we paved the way and directly or indirectly we have contributed to social and economic development of Shanghai and the country.”

Prof. Cornuel further mentioned that in just a short period of time, CEIBS has established its leadership in China and has become one of the top business schools in Asia and the world. He also pointed to the numerous ways in which its impact can be felt in Shanghai.

“Of course, the fact that the school has a world reputation and is a leading school in the world and training top business people is very good for the image of the city,” he said. “But, a leading business school can also develop incubators and help entrepreneurs develop and the city can become more dynamic and more jobs can be created.”

Furthermore, Prof. Cornuel stated that the quality of both foreign and Chinese alumni who have stayed on and continued working in Shanghai after graduating from CEIBS provides an additional measure of the success the school has achieved over the years.

“Many graduates have had incredible careers as CEOs or vice presidents of important companies and have taken on an important role in society, so the success of our alumni is obvious,” he said. “Here you’re among the very best in the world in terms of quality of education and research and job opportunities for students and our alumni play an important role not only in China, but also in the rest of the world.”

At the same time, Prof. Cornuel noted the invaluable contribution and support of the Shanghai Municipal People's Government and its various agencies in creating a pro-business environment and in leading the region in its continued growth. He also emphasised the importance of the role academic institutes such as CEIBS can play in supporting this growth and hinted at some of the ways in which this is possible.

“I don't see mistakes being made by the government of Shanghai. The development of infrastructure has been exemplary and they have facilitated the development of a strong economic centre,” he said. “My recommendation would be to continue the strategy that has been implemented so far, but also to insist on a knowledge and digital economy and to continue making contact with countries and companies in Europe to generate more value for the social and economic development of the region.”

The Magnolia Award ceremony also comes at a time when CEIBS celebrates the 15th anniversary of the landmark China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Despite the many in-roads already made, Prof. Cornuel stated that he believes China and Europe still have much to contribute to one another and he hopes CEIBS will play an even bigger role in facilitating this relationship in the years to come.

“Working hand-in-hand, China and Europe are leaders in trying to improve conditions, so it's critical to develop not only more understanding, more engagement, more friendship, more economic exchanges and industrial services, but also cultural and philosophical exchanges,” he stated. “One of my objectives would be to see CEIBS even more engaged in this process and to become one of the intellectual leaders in China and Europe.”

Michael D. Thede
Charmaine N. Clarke