Dialogue, passion, innovation and achievement was on show at Dulwich College Beijing’s 2022 Worldwise Academy (WWA) event. Firstly launched in 2019, the Worldwise Academy builds bridges between students, parents, teachers, and the world of work, helping students to explore their passions, make connections and further progress on their career path.
The DCB 2022 Worldwise Academy annual summit was held on Saturday, 17 September 2022 in partnership with the Penn Wharton China Center. Under the annual theme of Sustaining innovation in a changing world, DCB students, parents, staff and the wider community were engaged in lively conversations across a variety of activities on the day.
The summit started with a range of Career and Industry Insights mini talks happening simultaneously with two Focus Presentations and a STEAM expo.
College leaders and parents from a variety of backgrounds led the mini talks and shared their experiences and insights in different careers, including
- Working in law, by Mr Wai Yue Loh, Partner and Chief Representative of Beijing Partner, Hong Kong, Joint Managing Director of Incisive Law, and Snr Acc Spec (Maritime & Shipping) of Singpapore Academy of Law
- Working in finance, by Mr Andy Yin, Managing Director of Noah International
- Technology transfer and sustaining innovation, by Dr Yi Jiang, Executive Director and Sustainable Innovation Initiative at Tsinghua University
- College Preparation, by Ms Lana Chen, a DCB alumna and a current student of Tsinghua University
- Innovative leadership, by Mr Anthony Coles, DCB Head of College
- Working in international education, by Ms Jacinth Gurdon, DCB Head of Junior School
- Working in PR and communications, by Ms Cecilia Liang, DCB Director of Communications
Dr Yue Zhuge, Co-Founder and CEO of QuarkStar, hosted the Focus Presentation Positive Parenting, and Rachel Garcia, DCB Head of University and Career Counselling, presented on the topic of College Readiness.
At the STEAM expo, student clubs and organisations in the community showcased their projects.
The panel discussion was co-created, hosted and moderated by several Senior School student leaders, fully reflecting how student agency is embedded in every aspect of DCB life. Benjamine Z, the Prefect of Approaches to Learning, enthusiastically hosted the panel discussion, introducing College leaders and participating panellists. Head Prefects Joe W and Victoria H skilfully and wisely introduced and closed the panel discussion, giving insights into their student journey at DCB, as well as to life in a changing world. Media Prefect Sofia S and MUN/Debating Prefect Brian L moderated the seven-person panel, asking questions that are relevant to student expectations and prompting the discussion to evolve into more depth.
The parent panellists discussed their experiences and perspectives under the theme of Sustaining innovation in a changing world, sharing genuine examples from their careers and personal lives. Different aspects related to innovation were addressed, including idea generation, sustaining innovation, possible challenges in the process and strategies to counteract, necessary values and attributes for an innovative idea to land and succeed, as well as the importance of teamwork and collaboration along the journey.
Dr Zhuge started the conversation and encouraged young students to be courageous when they have an idea. “Nobody gets it right in the first shot.,” said Dr Zhuge. “And if your idea sounds too unrealistic, you may be just ahead of time.” In summary, she said, “No idea is too small for innovation, either. Innovation can happen anywhere around you. The core of innovation is to solve problems, big and small.”
Dr Yufeng Chi, Founder and Chairman of Perfect World Group and Founder of Hongen Education and Technology, agreed with Dr Zhuge that innovation should address real-life challenges. “Innovative ideas should come from the practical needs and urgencies in everyday life,” said Dr Chi. He also advised that innovators take traditions and heritage into consideration when they apply innovative technologies to daily scenarios, so that innovation can generate “a positive social impact on the wider community.”
Technologies no doubt play an integral role in innovation. Ms Di Zhang, Principal and Founder of the waa, UK registered architect (ARB/RIBA) and also an award-winning architect, spoke about the changes that innovative technologies have brought to the architecture, design and construction industry. She shared several successful cases where innovative technologies reshaped the process and made a positive difference. “When you have a different way of demonstrating ideas, people will see the differences. Innovation has helped with that.”
Ms Elaine Chang, Corporate VP and Managing Director of Amazon Web Services Greater China, shared her journey where she has overcome numerous challenges and stood out as a top female leader in the science and technology industry. The secret to success, as Ms Chang concluded, lies in one’s passion - “When you work on something hard, you have to be passionate about it.” Ms Chang also encouraged the female students who are considering a STEM career, which is commonly perceived as a male-dominated industry, to confidently pursue their passion. “Figuring out a way to chime in and bringing your point of view to the table takes a lot of courage,” said Ms Chang. “Just believe in yourself and find your voice.”
Ms Janice Hu, CEO of China, CREDIT SUISSE, echoed Ms Chang while giving an analytical observation on why gender differences are obvious in the adult world, though research indicate that children generally show few of these differences in childhood. She summarised the reasons into three factors – “parent intervention that grooms children differently, social reasons, and family responsibilities.” Ms Hu elaborated on each of the factors, called for the community to overcome any stereotypical concepts, and encouraged female students to “spread your wings, and the sky is the limit.”
Like other panellists, Mr Kui Zhou, Partner of Sequoia China, emphasised the importance of passion for sustaining innovation. “Finding your passion and making the right choice will be crucial,” commented Mr Zhou. In terms of how to make a right choice, Mr Zhou recommended students apply the skills of risk management in crafting their career pathway. “Changes mean risks, but keeping the status quo will result in higher risks. The key is to figure out a way to reduce the risk level and manage risks. For personal careers, that means finding your passion and sticking to it, instead of aimlessly wandering around.” When discussing the necessary factors to sustain innovation and land an idea, Mr Zhou said that “innovation is a process, not an idea.” He also advised students to learn to appreciate others because “the potential and resources of a group are always bigger than those of one individual.”
Mr Zhou was not the only one who thought that collaboration is key to success. Dr Maokun Li, Associate Professor of Department of Electronic Engineering at Tsinghua University and Co-Founder of Infivision Medical Imaging, advised the young people in the audience to “Value friendship in school or in your future university. This will help you in the place where you want to innovate. Innovation is never a thing that only one person can do; it’s always a group of people who do it together, no matter in science or in other industries.”
In her concluding remarks about the 2022 Worldwise Academy event, Head Girl Victoria H deftly encapsulated the ethos of the thematic discussion. She firstly encouraged the audience to embrace changes: “To change is to acknowledge diversity, continuation, and betterment. With so many topical possibilities across infinite sectors of activity, a changing world is quite inescapable, and we must respect that.” Then Victoria summarised the core values necessary for sustaining innovation. “Sustaining innovation is about continuation. Resilience is key. The sustainability of ideas is not a one-off change, but relies on a lingering process.”
Continuing the process of putting passion into action and innovating in education, Dulwich College Beijing leaders and staff look forward to continuing to engage more students and parents through future events and initiatives.