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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

CEIBS Hosts Global Business Schools for EFMD Event

January 21-22, 2019. Shanghai ― More than 300 decision makers from business schools around the world gathered in China’s economic hub for two days of talks aimed at clarifying and strengthening the role their institutions play, especially at a time when the world economic order is undergoing such dramatic change. They came together for the 2019 EFMD Conference for Deans & Directors General, hosted by China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) at its Shanghai Campus. This is the first time ever in the conference’s 46-year history it is being hosted outside Europe.

“We feel extremely honoured to be the local host, to welcome so many business education leaders here. I am sure the rapid rise of the Chinese economy and the growth and standing of Shanghai as an influential metropolitan city has played a role [in the decision to have CEIBS as the host],” said CEIBS President Professor Li Mingjun in his welcome address. “Chinese enterprises are becoming integrated into the global market, and have captured worldwide attention with continuous business and technology innovations. By co-hosting this conference, we hope we will learn from our peer schools and colleagues, and showcase CEIBS’ role in contributing to China business education and practices.”

 As EFMD CEO & Director General Eric Cornuel explained in impromptu remarks he described as ‘souvenirs of CEIBS history’ there is a shared past between CEIBS and EFMD. This shared history was also among the factors that made the school’s selection as this year’s venue an obvious choice. The EFMD was instrumental in the establishment of CEIBS, working closely with the Chinese and European governments to establish and nurture the school and providing valuable support over the last quarter century. Cornuel also spoke of the role that CEIBS has played in paving the way for many of the schools at the EFMD event, many of which are now in the China market though joint programmes or alliances, as well as the role CEIBS has played in China’s economic development that has seen millions lifted out of poverty. He also paid tribute to the school’s past leaders, and the role they have played in CEIBS’ development and growth, as well as the leadership team now faced with the task of taking the school into the next phase of its development. CEIBS is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Cornuel was speaking to an audience of more than 300 participants from 55 schools.

As CEIBS Vice President & Dean Professor Ding Yuan explained in setting the stage on the first day of the event, conference speeches and break out sessions focused on providing the framework for an understanding of advances in management development — with a China focus. This included discussions on the impact of the changing world economic order; issues such as diversity, talent, alliances, next generation leaders; along with a look at the broader topic of innovation, specifically areas such as online-learning, relevant business education, knowledge creation and societal impact. CEIBS’ strong China focus was also tapped to provide discussions on topics ranging from globalisation of Chinese companies, to an in-depth look at China’s financial reform. The first topic was presented on Day One from the perspective of CEIBS alumni working across different industries, in both the private sector and a state owned enterprise.  On the second day, CEIBS Adjunct Professor Jiang Jianqing, who is the former Chairman of one of the world’s biggest banks, ICBC, shared his views on “The Logic behind the Evolution of International Finance & Journey of China’s Financial Reform”. There was also a look at what it is like to make the transition from academic to practitioner, with a presentation by CEIBS Professor (on sabbatical) Chen Weiru, who is now Chief Strategy Officer at Alibaba’s logistics arm, Cainiao Network Technology.

But much of the two-day event consisted of participants engaged in frank discussions about management education. There were five different breakout sessions dedicated to the overall theme of an “Entrepreneurial Approach in Business Education” and four others on “Innovation in Different Areas of Business School Expertise”.

Discussions were slated to end with a wrap up by CEIBS President (European) Professor Dipak Jain. Cocktails and dinner at CEIBS Shanghai Campus were also on the agenda, providing participants with an opportunity to continue conversations begun earlier in the day — and to unwind a bit after two full days of scrutinizing the role they and their institutions are playing in shaping the global economy.

Charmaine N. Clarke