From July 15th – 20th, Youth Time International Movement in collaboration with the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation hosted its eighth Youth International Summer School. This was to be the third event of its kind held in China. While the previous two had taken place in the capital, Beijing, the destination of choice this time around was one of the world’s most populated city and technologically advanced hub of Shanghai. As has become customary at Youth Time events, participants and experts from different countries, cultures and backgrounds travelled from all over the world to attend. A rich variety of keynotes, masterclasses, case studies and workshops took place, all centered on the event theme, “The Smart Revolution: the Interconnection between City and Society.”

The evening of Sunday 15th July marked the opening of the Youth International Summer School. Following official registration for the event and enjoying a jovial ice-breaking games session facilitated by Youth Time Ambassadors, participants who had journeyed from all corners of the globe sported traditional clothing as they joined together at the official welcome reception. As participants fragmented into smaller groups, they gathered around the Lazy Suzans and feasted upon local cuisine whilst enjoying a range of musical performances.

 

Julia Kinash

On the following morning, the formal activities commenced. The day was entitled, “Smart Society Day” and began with the official opening ceremony, moderated by Ms. Yin Lee and Youth Time Ambassador, Mr. Mohammad Shaheed Khan. The ceremony included a number of speeches including those made by the leaders of both organizing partners, Ms. Julia Kinash , President of Youth Time International Movement and Mr. Hang Yuanxiang, Executive Deputy Chairman of China Soong Ching Ling Foundation. During her opening speech, Ms. Julia Kinash chose to take the opportunity to define the purpose of the event by stating, “While the Summer School aims to provide participants with new information and ideas related to areas including smart infrastructure, transport and technology, it has also been strategically composed to encourage them to consider the importance of a smart society.” She continued by posing the question to all attendees, “Increased urbanization requires many technological innovations, but what about social innovations?” Her message was that for a city to be considered truly smart, it must begin with the evolution of its citizens.

 

Dr. Vladimir Yakunin

After an inspiring start, the working component of the program began with Dr. Vladimir Yakunin’s interactive masterclass on the topic, “The Evolution of Education in the Time of Smart Development”. Participants discussed the different types of learning techniques in the present day whilst also considering the importance of understanding people from different cultures in order to find solutions to the global challenges that face humanity.

 

Chen Zongnian

Dr. Yakunin’s session was followed up by local expert Mr. Chen Zongnian who presented on the topic, “Innovation: Theme of the Times for Global Youth”. During his presentation, he discussed the importance of creativity as a characteristic for young people during the technological revolution.

 

Cheng Weidong

In the afternoon, the first round of workshops took place. Youth Time expert and long-term friend of the organization Mr. Sven Anger presented on his topic, “The Ecology of Smart Leadership” whilst local expert, Mr. Cheng Weidong went into greater detail on the smart society topic with his workshop on, “Diversity and a Community of Shared Future for Mankind”.

 

Hrishabh Sandilya

With participants feeling a little fatigued from a combination of jetlag, a long day’s work and the oppressive Shanghai summer heat, the day was capped off with an energizing game conducted by Dr. Hrishabh Sandilya. The interactive session was designed to encourage participants to consider and discuss which values are necessary for a successful smart society.

The game on smart values seemingly gave the participants a much needed energy boost, as that evening they headed out into downtown Shanghai to explore a little more of the Chinese culture.

 

Dr. Oualid Al

The following day’s programme was focused on smart business and technology. A combination of interactive masterclasses and workshops took place which included trending topics such as smart energy, demystifying blockchain technology, and the role of big data and IoT in smart cities. The final part of the working programme took place in the form of a case study, whereby Youth Time expert, Dr. Oualid Ali presented on the topic, “Utilizing Innovation Labs, Startup Incubators and Accelerators for Entrepreneurial Success.”

 

Mohammad Shaheed Khan

The day’s events were concluded with yet another cultural excursion; This time to the theatre to observe an acrobatic show. Already serving as moderator, expert, and Youth Time ambassador at the Youth International Summer School, Mr. Mohammad Shaheed Khan had already established himself as a seasoned “Jack-of-all-trades”, but it was his contribution during the acrobatic show that impressed more than any other. During the spectacle, a knife-throwing routine took place with a member of the audience later asked to volunteer as the assistant who would be put in the line of fire. Mr. Khan wasted no time in putting himself forward and raced toward the stage quicker than a greyhound. True to form, he had the audience rolling with laughter during the performance and completely stole the show!

The final day of the working programme centered on the infrastructure that makes up smart cities. Topics of the masterclasses and workshops included climate smart agriculture and urban farming, smart transportation and autonomous vehicles, intellectual design, and smart cities vs smart villages to name a few.

 

Julia Kinash 02

As the formal part of the International Summer School drew toward a close, the day was completed with a concluding session. Both local and international participants conducted speeches expressing their thoughts about lessons learned during the event before Ms. Julia Kinash, President of Youth Time International Movement and Madame Song Jian, Deputy Director of the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation Department of International Cooperation and Exchange made their concluding remarks. Further, each expert was also awarded gifts as tokens of appreciation from both organizing parties during the ceremony.

 

Madame Song Jian

On the final day of the programme, participants rose early and jumped on busses headed for the International Peace Maternity & Child Health Hospital of China Welfare Institute where they gained insight as to the general running of a smart hospital. They then headed for lunch at the Sea Palace Floating restaurant before venturing on to the Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone. Here, they would learn more about the efforts being made to develop an innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem, emerging industries, talented people from around the world, and reform policies.

 

Dinner

Finally, the event was capped-off in style as all attendees joined together for the official gala dinner which took place on a spectacular river cruiser on the Huangpu River. The event began with leaders from the partnering organizations expressing their thanks to one another and all that had helped make the event possible. The group would then dine in style in front of a live jazz band as the boat made its way along the river with Shanghai’s standout landmark, the Bund lighting up the night sky.

The International Summer School in Shanghai set out to inspire and educate young people from all over the world about the importance of smart cities and societies during the time of increased urbanization whilst also creating and environment for them to establish new friends and partnerships. In their mission, Youth Time International Movement and the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation duly delivered and it is now up to the participants to take up their civil responsibility of initiating positive change within their communities.

 

What does IT offer today’s urban citizens? A group of experts from around the world discussed this simple and at the same time very broadly focused question on Day Three of the Youth International Summer School, which is being held from the 15th to the 20th of July in the city of Shanghai. Read on to find out how Smart Technology is being implemented in modern urban areas and learn about the innovations that we can expect in the near future.

Discussion about perhaps the most debated and widely-followed topic related to Smart Revolution – Smart Cities and began with a master-class led by Ni Linda, founder of Mai Tan Consulting Limited. She has worked in the Chinese transportation industry for over 15 years and has witnessed the rise of smart technology in one of the most developed local industries. According to Ms. Ni, during the past 20 years Chinese high-speed rail and the urban environment have developed quickly, in many respects putting improvements in place that some countries will need the next 100 years to do. In 1995, only Beijing, Shanghai, and Tanjin had traditional subways.  Today, urban railway transit in China comprises 6 railway systems: metros, automatic people movers, trains, mono rails, maglevs and suspended monorails.  


Ni Linda

Also, during last four years, advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and face recognition, now in use in the Chinese railway system, make the Chinese rail network one of the most innovative railways in the world. "Nowadays China's railway systems have their own standards, and our key technologies are based on domestic research and production», stated Ms. Ni. 

To conclude, Ms. Ni asserted that local railway system plans for the next few years are quite ambitious – including a driverless train operation and a super speed train projected to achieve a maximum speed over 1000km/ h. 

George Molokal, CEO of ALCOR Fund, continued the topic with some general rules about transforming cities into smart cities. Molokal brought up the example of Singapore and derived from the Singapore experience essential benchmarks for making a city truly smart:

Policy Framework and National government participation: what is the main sector in which the government plans to concentrate its efforts? The Singapore government started developing its framework plan in the year 2000. It defied the challenges it had to contend with, including the local weather conditions, and transformed Singapore into one of the smartest cities in the world.


George Molokal

Technology, systems and sensors integration: Singapore has integrated adaptable Technology and IOT (Internet of Things) to respond to urgent problems in education, telecommunications, and transportation. Social media and E-services are among the most integrated tech systems in Singapore, with the G-Cloud government cloud and Cube now in place as government-based platforms where local governments and local officers can share potential social issues and discuss their plausibility. On the other hand, the OBLS, which is business-oriented, was designed to make the investment process smoother and more efficient. 

Community participation: Data.sov.gov as well as the Oneinbox E-services enable citizens to receive the most up-to-date information from the local government and authorities. In consideration of all that has been mentioned, "the social benefits of living in Singapore are ranked number one in the world," says Mr.Molakal. 

According to Molokal, many cities in the world are implementing the Singapore model and adapting it to local conditions, including Chicago and San Francisco (USA), Seoul (South Korea), New Delhi (India) and Santander (Spain). "It is not replication. It is looking at the model and adapting it to each city. Each city is unique, education, structure, demographics of the population are unique. So local entrepreneurs have to consider those factors. But the core principals are the same", - explained Molokal. 


Mark Bradbury

Mark Bradbury, managing director of Vertical Thinking, raised the specific topic of smart agriculture, which can be integrated into an urban environment. He began by stating that "Smart is about looking backwards as much as it is about looking forwards". So he proposed thinking about smart technology in agriculture beginning with the very root question "Where does our food come from, and why do we eat it?"  He claimed that people do not eat to get nutrients any more, people are eating more than they need to without getting nutrients. "We are a growing population that relies on other countries, so to get food modern cities need to start cultivating their own food", he said. Mr. Bradbury mentioned the "Growing underground" project that is currently being implemented in London, UK. City bunkers that had not been used since the end of the Second World War have been converted into plants 33 meters underground.  With special lights and constant temperatures, vegetables grow there the whole year and ripen in 14 days instead of the 3 months required in a normal, above-ground environment. Bradbury emphasized that the food is not exposed to any random weather changes, which is quite an issue for the UK. "It is relatively simple technology, but it is the way it's been combined. A lot of innovation is taking stuff that is already here, but in different ways or in different combinations, and that's what we have done. We found a place which was unused and cheap, which was warm, then used a technology to make the plants", - emphasized Bradbury.  

With the Smart Cities topic, the study program of the Summer School in Shanghai is concluded. Stay with us to keep up with the latest updates from other Youth Time events. 

We would like to thank Hayet Bourki for her assistance in preparing this blog. 

Monday, 06 August 2018 09:00

From Institutions to Technology

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Could governments be replaced by governance the same way that currency could be replaced by crypto? Are we already on the way from insitutions to technology? How might those changes benefit businessand what should be considered as a potential threat? These are the questions that were discussed on Day Two of the Youth International Summer School that is being held from the 15th to the 20th of July in the city of Shanghai. Read on to find out how Smart Technology integratewith business today.

 

Li Guoneng, professor of Science and Technology atZhejiang Univeristy, opened our consideration of this topic with apresentation on Smart EnergyHe pointed out that the interconnection of business and technology has already brought significant results in the development of both the commercial and the public sectors in China. “Basically, developments in software allow us to connect many things together, collecting data and making more effective decisions based on the complex analysis of those data. For example, we have had a big issue with traffic management in Chinese megacities. Today we have automated and synchronized traffic lights based on the Internet of Things, and traffic conditions are becoming much better, people can feel it”, explained Mr. Li.


Li Guoneng

The expert sees the increasing efficiency of solar power generation as one of the most important fields for future investment and development. Mr. Li is convinced that there are tools available now for research and further implementation of smart technologies in solar energy. “The main source of our energy is the sun, if we learn to use it effectively, then the energy problem can be solved. I think that within five years, it can be solved”, he concluded.

After wide-ranging discussion, the program at the Summer School continued with broader Blockchain Technology. Mohammad Shaheed Khan, a board member at the Harvard Business School Club, emphasized that there are a lot of myths surrounding blockchain. Some think that blockchain is an equivalent of bitcoin, others that this technology can be used by financial people only. His main aim was to demystify those myths by telling participants how blockchain can be used as a service and embraced by governments and companies. To illustrate the difference between, for example, traditional and smart financial systems, Mr. Khan pointed out that it takes four hours to go from Dubai to Oman by car, and it takes at least two days to transfer money from Dubai to Oman using a traditional bank transaction. “In blockchain you remove the need for intermediaries and trust in one another and have it as a source of truth. The technology is hack proof, cyber proof and much faster than any of the alternatives. Of course there is permissioned and permissionless blockchain. For crypto transactions, moving money from one party to another is decentralized, so bitcoin doesn’t need an entity to control it. But for record keeping you still need a master record keeper like a government or a company that says yes, the transaction actually happened”, explained the expert. 


Mohammad Shaheed Khan

According to Mr. Khan, blockchain is not a revolutionary technology, but a foundational technology upon which things are going to be built. It is not, however, an overnight sensation that is going to change things immediately. But quite soon, big differences in terms of efficiency, costs, ease of doing business, and so forth will be seen. “For example, in Dubai local governments are giving themselves a target date of 2020 when the entire government will be entirely on blockchain. Identity can go through blockchain, as well as vehicle records, records of land registration, supply chain management, and the medical sphere”, said the expert. 

In the next session,the issue of Smart Revolution was raised to the level of a theoretical framework by Rob van Kranenburg, founder of the Internet of Things Council. He started his master-class on The Role of Big Data and IoT in Smart Cities with a reference to Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci, who back in the ‘30s of the last century forumlated the theory of cultural hegemony, according to which one needs to have cultural institutions in order to have political hegemony. Nowadays, thinks van Kranenburg, this logic has shifted towards technology. «It is not anymore about culture,  but about technology. Technological agency is what you need to maintain power. This shift is not only positive, there is also some loss there», he stated. 


Rob van Kranenburg

The shift is related to software mainly.  According to van Kranenburg, it is what people somehow lose control over. He stressed that in most places across the globe,just a few big corporations and governments are making decisions based on this process, but the publicmust struggle for its right to be involved.  «And this is exactly the moment when humans feel that they are losing full control over the environment. Because this is no longer mechanical (you see what you get, you get what you see), there is some kind of intelligence that may run in the systems, and we can't really control it or can't really know what it is. Before our systems go semi-autonomous or autonomous, this has to be negotiated with a lot of stakeholders. We have to have a clear understanding that this is the moment when humans may have to share decision-making with machines», explained van Kranenburg. 

As to future developments,according to van Kranenburg there are three possible scenarios: 

  • 500 gatedcommunities, smart cities,and mad max inbetween
  • Internet of neighborhoods, where people use all the open source technologies and all progressive things that are going on in the world, like sharing food, sharing cars, sharing energy
  • Model of pragmatic cybernetics

«In China, for example, the government as engineers have basically turned politics into  engineering and architecturing of the systems, clouds and platforms and have created a kind of intranet in which all the data stay within this intranet and the value of that data is enhanced, enriched within clouds and platforms that are in Chinese hands and then pay back to people where people pay taxes», that is how the expert explained the third option.

According to van Kranenburg, this third option is what should be technologically implemented in Europe. «Basically we want to create a 5 million zone in which data of 5 million European citizens are being hosted in our own clouds, our own platforms and are not only in thehands of big corporations such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple as they are now. This is a very dangerous situation in which zones lose agency and they need to get this agency back. In Europe we are in a position where we need to find ways to get that agency back», concluded the founder of the Internet of Things Council. 

The last session of the Summer School’s second day broughtparticipants back to smart technologies in business. A case study on Utilizing Innovation Labs, Startup Incubators and Accelerators for Entrepreneurial Successwas moderated by Dr. Oualid Ali, Founder and president of the Future Cities Council. He started his session with the claim that humanity today is living in the fourth industrial revolution, which is shaped by technology. As futuristic as this seems, there are many challenges to deal with. According to Dr.Oualid, by the year 2050, 75% of the world’s population will be living in cities – “the 21st century is the century of cities”, he asserts. Some of the challenges that we will have to deal with in the future are very basic: energy consumption will increase, meaning that there will be more CO2 in the air that will lead to serious health problems, and robots will have a monopoly on most of the jobs. Yet if there’s one thing that robots cannot do, that would be innovation. “Robots cannot innovate”, says Dr. Oualid Ali. 


Dr. Oualid Ali

From this point of view, individuals who wish to be successful in this age will have to be technically innovative, will have to come up with tech solutions to problems and will have to build tech startups like Airbnb or Uber. «Most successful startups are now built on technology», claims Ali. 

He admitted that there is currently a big gap between opportunities in cities and villages, as most of the eco systems of startups, incubators, and accelerators are based in big cities. However,he pointed out that lately a few virtual accelerators have emerged, so entrepreneurs basically can be based wherever they like. «You can just go online and get all the supportyou need. They get you connected to venture capital online. So I think, this a virtual accelerationandincubation startup ecosystem which is online and which will establisha lot of equality between villages and cities, and will reduce this gap», he concluded.

The program of the Summer School in Shanghai will continue over the next day with a deeper analysis of the Smart Cities narrative. Stay with us to keep up with the latest updates from one of Youth Time's major events of the year.

 

We would like to thank Hayet Bourki for her assistance in preparing this blog. 

The concept of Smart cities is relatively well developed. It involves the capture of big data to make urban systems more efficient. But could the capturing of data optimise the performance and wellbeing of society as a whole? This was the main topic during Day One of the Youth International Summer School that is being held from 15th to 20th of July in the city of Shanghai.

 

Discussions about the smart society narrative started with the opening plenary session presided over by Dr. Vladimir Yakunin, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board at the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute. He dedicated his lecture to the topic of education in the time of smart development. He set forth some basic notions such as the proposition that education is not only the process of learning but a comprehensive system that includes both social and economic aspects and that this has been so throughout history. He added that the values of a particular community define the educational context. To illustrate this, he mentioned a few examples from ancient Rome, where the educational context was set to prepare students to become military commanders, and from Medieval Europe, where the main context was to make people good Christians. According to Dr. Yakunin, today the main principles remain the same, but culture-based educational systems have to deal with greater cultural diversity, so it is crucial to be aware of other cultures and to be sensitive to them.


Dr. Yakunin

He does, however, express skepticism about the possible domination of technology in education. Dr. Yakunin believes that the concept of “smart” itself needs to be extended to the socio-cultural level. He admits that a smart society should be technologically advanced, but future development should be more complex. “Sometimes we use words and we don’t see meanings behind those words. I suppose that employing these sophisticated methods while integrating new technologies is an objective process, and it will develop in the future. From the other side, we need to consider that online education will not provide the ability to communicate with other people. I think that some new combination of online and offline interaction between pupil and teacher will be necessary”, he said. Dr. Yakunin emphasized, that technology is an instrument to improve conditions for people and not vice versa.


Cheng Weidong

Another speaker, Cheng Weidong, pursued similar themes with his lecture on the topic of Diversity and a Community of a Shared Future. He pointed out that a smart society should find the right balance between new and traditional standards. An example of a right balance would be to combine online and offline classes for students. He also emphasized, that even within the borders of one country, societies can be very diverse and that, as we consider access to technology when we are talking about smart societies, we are inevitably focused on big city dwellers. “For example, in China, in big cities like Shanghai or Beijing, people are quite tech savvy. Technology is part of their daily routine. They use it to develop their businesses, in addition to educating themselves and purchasing goods. But in rural areas of China nowadays there is not enough investment in technology and infrastructure to support it. So people basically don’t have the skills to use technology, so a smart society is very far away from them”, he explained.  


Sven Anger

Expert Sven Anger, who held a workshop on The Ecology of Smart Leadership, added to this perspective by noting that everything that people do or don’t do has an effect on their environment. So being aware of things that are happening is crucial and even more important now when technology is changing so much.  “To be a truly smart society we have to develop the ability to take some time and self-reflect. Furhter, to see how technology serves as a device, serves as a purpose, and how it distracts us from being the human beings that we are”, he said.

Dr. Hrishabh Sandilya

Dr. Hrishabh Sandilya expressed a different perspective on smart societies as he moderated the last event of DayOne - Smart Values Games. He noted that essentialchange will be found in even more diversification, but based on new principles. «We’re not going to have one standard smart society. We will have different types of smart societies in different parts of the world, simply because this what smart society is about. Take the values and behaviours from the already existing values. So like diversity in the past, we will have diversity in the future”, - he concluded.

Within the next two days,two more topics related to the «smart revolution» will be disccused atthe Youth International Summer School in Shanghai – Smart Business and Technology and Smart Cities. Stay with us to keep up with the latest articles from one of Youth Time's major events of the year.

 

We would like to thank Hayet Bourki for her assistance in preparing this blog. 

With the Youth International Summer School in Shanghai just a few months away, Youth Time International Movement begins to interview the experts who will be sharing their expertise throughout the event. One of these experts is Mr. Rob van Kranenburg, Founder of Council – the largest independent IoT thinktank.

Mr. van Kranenburg also works as Ecosystem Manager for the EU projects Tagitsmart and Next Generation Internet. He wrote The Internet of Things - a critique of ambient technology and the all-seeing network of RFID, Network Notebooks 02, Institute of Network Cultures. Together with Christian Nold, Rob van Kranenburg published Situated Technologies Pamphlets 8: The Internet of People for a Post-Oil World. He is co-editor of Enabling Things to Talk Designing IoT solutions with the IoT Architectural Reference Model, Springer Open Access. Further, Rob is in the SmartCitiesWorld Advisory Board and chairs AC04 - IoT Hyper-connected Society of the IERC, The European Research Cluster on the Internet of Things. Rob is also a member of The IoT Asia 2017 International Advisory Panel (IAP) and involved in building the ecosystem for the Next Generation Internet.

Mr. Rob van Kranenburg will be hosting a workshop on the topic, “The Role of Big Data and IoT in Smart Cities”. This interview aims to provide the Youth International Summer School participants with insight into what they can expect from the workshop, in addition to learning how to best prepare for it.

Mr. van Kranenburg, what is it about the Youth International Summer School in Shanghai that interests you most?

The people attending. Especially now I would like to know more how Millennials and the generations after them come to terms with their digitally hybrid world. Me, I am from the eighties. I still see a door and a key in the lock. I realize that for anyone after me there are just a thousand doors. Which one to open? Which one leads to a good room?

Are there any particular areas you will be focussing on with regard to the workshop on Big Data and IoT?

I will focus on the ‘thickness’ of data, the granularity of data that makes up real time analytics that makes sense for everyday life and living. I will talk about the growing centralization, crypto, and fintech. I will argue that as a society you need a system approach in order to build the best balance between centralization and decentralization.

What lessons can participants expect to gain from your workshop and how will they best apply them to their future endeavours?

I hope that in the years to come they realize they have agency and they should act when they feel the need.

Are there any additional topics or elements you wish to bring to our attention or add to the discussion?

Agency is the most important thing. Responsibility is second. Being true to yourself is the key.

Photo: From the archive of Rob van Kranenburg

As the Youth International Summer School in Shanghai is now less than two months away, Youth Time International Movement are gearing up to welcome the experts and participants that will be travelling from all over the globe to share their knowledge, ideas, and experiences with one another. To get participants in the mood for the event we begin to interview the speakers and trainers who will pass on their expertise and advice to participants at the event. One of these experts is Dr. Oualid Ali.

Dr. Oualid Ali is considered as one of the international well-recognized experts in the field of Future cities (Smart, Sustainable and innovative Cities) and has participated in several future cities projects as a researcher or as a consultant. He has been involved in the planning and implementation of future cities in many domains such as smart mobility and transportation, smart tourism and destination, smart energy, smart healthcare, smart logistics, smart waste management, smart parking, smart water management, smart education, smart security, smart policing and law enforcement, etc. Moreover, Dr. Ali is a member of several organizations related to the area of Smart Cities or Urban technologies. He has been invited on many occasions to local, regional and international events as a guest or keynote speaker to deliver talks and presentations about future cities and its domains. Dr. Oualid Ali is the founder and president of the Future Cities Council which has more than 70,000 members from government (cities), industry, academia and civic society. He is also the founder of Inno-Gate, a firm that is specialized in emerging & innovative technologies, innovation management, entrepreneurship and digital transformation.

Dr. Oualid Ali will be delivering his presentation on the topic, “Innovation Labs, Startup Accelerators and Incubators for Entrepreneurial Success”. This interview aims to provide Youth International Summer School participants with added insight and understanding as to what they can expect from Dr. Oualid Ali’s talk, in addition to learning how to best prepare for the event.

Oualid Ali, share with us a short introduction about yourself, your career and areas of expertise.

I gained my PhD in computer science at Laval University in Canada and have since lived in the UK, UAE and Oman. My field of interest is Future, Tech trends, innovation, Industry x.0 and smart cities. Presently, I’m travelling the world as a futurist and global speaker.

What is it about the Youth International Summer School in Shanghai that excites you most and how does it resonate with your personal interests and professional experience?

I have been delivering training sessions and speeches about smart cities at several summer school events across the world including Aachen (German), Trento (Italy) and Oman. The most exciting thing about the Youth International Summer School for me are the location of the event (I have visited Shanghai and it is an amazing city), the topics of the school (comprehensive topics about smart cities, society, etc.) as well as the network I’m going to meet during the event.

Innovation labs and startup acceleratorshave an important role to play in the future of our young entrepreneurs? Without giving too much away, could you explain how your presentation will go into this?

In my presentation I will talk about the innovation and the entrepreneur ecosystem in general and how this will prepare the youth for the challenges of the future. I will go deeper into how the spaces like innovation labs, accelerators and incubators have boosted the careers of creative young entrepreneurs and helped them to become successful. These case studies will help likeminded participants to enjoy the same success.

What lessons can participants expect to gain from your presentation and how will they best apply them both personally and professionally?

The attendees will learn a lot about innovation and entrepreneurship. As outcomes of my lecture, I’m sure that many people will discover their own great ideas and become motivated to grow their own startups in incubators and accelerator spaces (there are a lot in Shanghai and China).

Is there any advice you can offer in advance to Youth International Summer School participants before attending your talk?

My advice is the following: the future is fast and very challenging, and they have to be prepared for it. The only way to be prepared is to innovate and work very hard.

On the 5th of June 2017, Youth Time hosted its seventh annual International Summer School and the second in Beijing, China following the great success one year previously. In association with our partners and friends at the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, the event brought together experts, speakers, and participants together from all corners of the globe. Through a comprehensive series of masterclasses, workshops, and cultural exchange programmes, young entrepreneurs from far and wide were equipped with the necessary tools to formulate their own successful businesses and social enterprises.

 

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The highly impressive China Soong Ching Ling Foundation International Exchange Campsite and Science Centre was the venue of choice for this most special of events. Predominantly a center of education for young people, the setting seemed an obvious choice – especially considering the grandiose interior and state-of-the art facilities available.

This year’s theme was: ‘Startups and Exchanges as Pillars of a New World Order’. The program of the events comprised days that were dedicated to the topics, “Building”, “Collaboration”, “Sales”, and “Exchange” all of which were tied into the main theme. The idea behind the structured agenda was to provide participants with expert advice on the stages of initiating successful startups, followed by an equally important component, cultural exchange, which entailed visiting some of Beijing’s most famous landmarks and even learning how to make Chinese dumplings!

An opening ceremony marked the commencement of the event, with Standing Vice Chairman of the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, Mr. Hang Yuanxiang using the opportunity to acknowledge and thank the participants, “Young people from 23 countries are gathered here today in Beijing to carry out meaningful discussions and bridge together cultures through business. On behalf of the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, I would like to extend a warm welcome to every one of you.”

Throughout the International Summer School, Youth Time in collaboration with the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation stayed true to its mission and vision, encouraging all participants to keep in mind that with success comes social responsibility. Indeed, President of the Youth Time International Movement, Ms. Julia Kinash remarked during her opening ceremony speech, “It would appear obvious that youth entrepreneurship and cultural exchange are key to generating opportunities and providing sustainable livelihoods in the future. The International Summer School encourages young people to become active, creative, and socially responsible citizens. The lessons participants will learn over the next few days will help to sculpt a positive future not just for themselves, but for society and future generations.”

 

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Over the course of the event, participants had the chance to gain deeper insight into the world of modern business, in addition to learning a few things about themselves and others. The workshops and masterclasses hosted by local and internationally esteemed business academia were highly interactive, with attendees encouraged to ask plenty of questions and engage in team building activities with fellow participants and experts alike.

The series of educational and inspiring activities were kicked off by honorable guest, Dr. Vladimir Yakunin, Head of the department of Political Science, of Moscow State University. On Building Day, his key note speech “How to Start Your Own Business: Successful examples and contradictions for different parts of the world”, provided participants with expert knowledge and ideas applicable for initiating their own startups.

Later that afternoon, Dr. Yakunin also hosted an insightful workshop entitled, “How to choose the right business partners” in which participants learned the key elements required for establishing fruitful partnerships.

 

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But not all seminars were related directly to business as Mr. Nick Fewings, CEO of Ngagementworks demonstrated on Collaboration Day through his enlightening and thoroughly entertaining masterclass, “Collaboration for Future Success”. Participants not only discovered more about their own personality types, but also learned how to deal with those who had opposing traits in both a personal and professional capacity.

The final day of seminars saw a number of experts share their knowledge and advice in the field of sales and marketing. Ms. Wang Lili, Founder of Sidai International opened up with her masterclass on, “Brand Positioning and Marketing”. Using examples of highly successful brands, Ms. Wang delved into the thought processes and strategies behind marketing campaigns dependent on various target audiences worldwide.

Following a fruitful week comprising educational and thought-provoking activties, it was then time for participants to enjoy the historic sights of Beijing. Included in the itinerary were visits to the Forbidden City and Imperial Palace, before a trip to the International Makers Center.

 

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The event was capped off in traditional Youth Time style, with a closing ceremony and gala dinner hosted at the beautiful Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling. Among the activities were an awarding ceremony, a video summarizing the event, and speeches and performances from participants. Ms. Julia Kinash, President of Youth Time International Movement closed the event with remarks that summarized the week and embodied the true spirit of the organization and its credo, “Throughout the past six days, we have joined together to learn not only about business and entrepreneurship, but also ourselves and each other. New bonds, perhaps everlasting, have been made through intercultural and intergenerational exchange. All of you deserve to be successful, but with success, we have an obligation to fulfill. Share your newfound knowledge with others and become the positive change-makers you were destined to be.

Follow Youth Time movement and Youth Time magazine websites for more updates on future events and activities and do not miss your chance to participate in one of them. Furthermore, if you are interested in Sustainable Development and Social Entrepreneurship, make sure to apply for Youth Time Global Forum, which will be held in November.

From the 15th till the 20th of August 2016, Youth Time organized its sixth consecutive Summer School. This year the event was realized in Beijing, in close cooperation with the reputable China Soong Ching Ling Foundation. It was Youth Time’s second Summer School organized outside of Europe and it has become a memorable one. Hosted in spectacular facilities, 30 international and 20 Chinese participants, coming in total from 25 different nations, were offered a rich cultural program and a diverse working schedule.

The deadline for applying for the International Youth Summer School in Beijing, China passed. We received a high number of applications this year. As soon as we are done with the selection process we will inform everyone who appliaed via email. We will not be answering questions related to the selection process in the meantime. Please, be patient and stay tuned for more updates.

Did you know Central Banks only create three per cent of the money supplied while 97 per cent is created by commercial banks? Would you like to find out what is actually hidden behind banking crises and recessions that have stricken the Eurozone?  At the YT Summer School in Hamburg we made the acquaintance of the world’s leading expert on central banks, Professor of International Banking at the University of Southampton (UK) Richard Werner. During “Interview with a guest” session, he pinpointed several key issues that fit into today’s world themes. His speech will be published in two parts; the first one is about modern economy and its true essence.

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