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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.