19–23 Sep 2013, Beijing
For more than three decades, China’s economy has experienced unparalleled growth rates. Never before in the history of mankind have more people been lifted out of poverty more quickly. An even larger number of people are presented with entirely new opportunities.
The steady and sustained growth comes with a prize, however. Its impact on the environment and resources threaten to undermine some of its achievements. China’s geographical position makes the country particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. And no policy effort so far has been able to stop the growing gap between urban and rural areas.
In China, as elsewhere, the question of how to meet these challenges has long since stopped being a matter exclusively of the ruling elite. A growing number of social actors and civil-society initiatives are developing creative and hands-on solutions for social problems big and small. And although NGOs are tightly controlled and many issues continue to be off-limit, more and more new actors are taking advantage of the broadening opportunities.
All this strengthens our conviction that it is time for China.
During the 4th World Young Leaders Forum in Beijing, we want to find out more about civil society’s answers to China’s challenges. We are particularly interested in solutions that promote a shift from quantitative to qualitative growth – a task faced not only by China but also by the rest of the world.
The World Young Leaders Forum brings together leaders from all over the world, targeting all of the approximately 1600 participants and speakers who have taken part in the BMW Foundation’s past Young Leaders programs: the Transatlantic, Europe Asia, Indo-German, Russian-German, European, Arab European, Europe Africa, and APK Young Leaders Forums, the German-Russian Dialogue Baden-Baden, and the International Diplomats Programme. The World Young Leaders Forum aims to connect the links that have been forged over the years around the individual conferences. We want to regularly re-activate the resources, experiences, and know-how of this extraordinary network and leverage them in a global context.
Chairman of the Board of Directors, BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt
Former Chinese Ambassador in Germany
Anchor and Director, China Central Television Business Channel, Beijing
Editor-in-Chief, Caixin Media, Beijing; Dean of the School of Communication and Design, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou
Chairman Charitarian Group
Greater China Director, The Climate Group, Beijing
Senior Vice President, Global Head of SAP Labs Network, SAP China, Shanghai
The sustainability responsibility in business is a journey of transformation and engaging in new forms of value creation to serve the people (customers, co-workers, suppliers, and the community) as well as shareholders, and make a positive impact on the planet. By bringing innovation and sustainability together strategically, corporations can identify new business opportunities and reach a new level of “positive growth” – thereby creating more sustainable offerings for its customers, raising total resource productivity, becoming more resource and energy independent, and significantly enriching the lives of the people and the community.
Emerging economies like India, China, and Turkey are facing enormous challenges, such as a growing gap between rich and poor, the lack of integration of minorities and marginalized social groups, and inadequate public health and education services. Social entrepreneurship often combines innovative answers to these challenges with the ambition to either change existing systems or to bring the solution to scale. While India has a long-standing tradition of social entrepreneurship and a very vibrant civil society, these approaches are still fairly new in Turkey and China. In India and Turkey, social innovation is often an answer to inadequate state services, while social entrepreneurs in China seek to involve related government agencies and the private sector into pilot projects as key stakeholders, to eventually create an enabling environment for social innovation. This session compares experiences of social entrepreneurs from these three countries and will also discuss trends in social investment and the challenges and opportunities for mobilizing resources to support and scale the work of social entrepreneurs and enterprises.
Greenhouse gas emissions have surged since the year 2000. They are driven by a global economic upturn tied to population growth and a subsequent record demand for greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal. While temperatures are rising and storms, floods, and droughts are increasing, international climate policy is in crisis. Scientists agree that global warming is here to stay. As Young Leaders, we are challenged to initiate “quality growth” especially in fast growing economies like China or else we risk copying the mistakes made in the West. This panel will debate the paradox of rising temperatures and cooling political efforts and seek to explore reasons and answers.
A plethora of public policies, thousands of corporate CSR programs of, and millions of NGOs and social movements still seem not enough when confronted with the worsening of planetary life-supporting systems and growing social inequalities. Get to know to two players in South America who are developing innovative answers to this challenge:
Sistema B, a regional organization in South America, promotes new corporate DNA and legal structures, combining profit with environmental and social solutions. B-corp Guayaki is an example of a company that, as part of its core business, regenerates degraded and destroyed tropical forest in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay by fair trade sourcing yerba mate herbal tea to local rural and indigenous communities. More than 25,000 hectares of forest have been restored and 300 families included in the value chain with dignified wages. Avina Foundation’s vision of social innovation and inclusive markets focuses on the use of new technologies (or the application of existing ones) for the resolution of some of the main social inequalities of the region, incorporating business models that make it possible to tackle these challenges on a large scale. Plasma technology for water purification for low-income communities or management systems and processing technologies for waste picker organizations are only two examples of a strategy that is proving to be an interesting approach to developing public goods and new economies.
Many countries nowadays face severe challenges to the development of thriving civil societies. At the same time, many answers to social needs emerge out of personal engagements and in small associations active on the ground. This panel focuses on two countries, Russia and Zimbabwe, that are both in transition. In Russia, where a new law is restricting the activities of NGOs, the state increasingly hinders the development of civil engagement, seeing it as an opposition to government while it is often there that innovative answers to challenges like sustainable development, green economy, and climate change can be found. In Zimbabwe, the state has undergone a profound crisis during the last decade and hyperinflation has destroyed much of its market economy. Civil society here is offering new approaches and perspectives for poverty alleviation, health and education, and sustainable development. The panel will discuss how civil society can become more effective in both countries, despite socio-economic and political obstacles.
The global energy landscape is rapidly evolving. Over 86 percent of energy used worldwide and over 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from fossil fuel combustion. Concerns over this finite resource and the social and economic impact of global warming have seen increased investment in alternative fuel sources and technologies. In 2009, renewable resources such as sun, wind, and biomass accounted for 13.1 percent of global primary energy supply. A combination of government policies including transitional economic incentives have been deployed to improve energy security, encourage diversification of the energy mix to include renewables, and deliver environmental and social benefits. What are the trends, challenges, and opportunities for established and emerging economies, and how can we, as Young Leaders, contribute?
Given the growing pressures on land, water, food, energy, and demographics, securing the access to natural resources is likely to dominate the 21st century’s security agenda. BRICS and other emerging economies, new powers in international relations, are critically exposed to these pressures given their resource demand. Global governance is at a crossroads in its ability to respond to this complexity. Companies and investors already recognize the growing risks they face in host countries where they operate, as decisions over how land will be used, what will be produced, and the attitudes towards foreign interests are becoming more political. The Earth Security Initiative (ESI) is a new platform bringing together companies, investors and country governments to discuss the strategic, cross-sector cooperation agenda that is required to build sustainability of land and resources more centrally into global markets and geopolitical relations. The session will discuss the opportunities to activate this collaboration agenda, drawing on country risk data profiles assembled by the ESI and its partners. Later in the year, the ESI will be launching this as the Land Security Index, one of its practical proposals to help global companies, investors, governments and civil society improve their common understanding of resource security to move decisively to address global sustainability challenges.
There were no nurses before Florence Nightingale invented the profession of nursing, millions were unbanked before Muhammad Yunus developed his “bank for the poor,” and access to the world’s collective knowledge was heavily restricted before Jimmy Wales started Wikipedia: they and many more “social entrepreneurs” have come up, and continue to come up, with ideas that change our world and the way we live, learn, and work. But even the most innovative idea has to travel far and overcome countless hurdles before making a true impact. In this session we will look at successful scaling strategies of some of the world’s most inspiring social entrepreneurs – with a particular focus on “finance” and “talent management.” We will also discuss selected best case practices as well as some do’s and don’ts, the differences among social and business entrepreneurs and, last but not least, ways how each one of us can contribute.
For countries transitioning from conflict to post-conflict, early economic recovery is crucial: 40% of post-conflict countries return to violent conflict within a decade. The private sector, particularly SMEs, can present the most viable and effective target for economic development interventions. The private sector accounts for roughly 90 percent of jobs in the developing world; exists where there is no central government that is stable enough to accept foreign aid; and plays a crucial role in advancing reconstruction and establishing credible institutions that give post conflict societies a sense of ownership. Using Somalia as a case study, this session examines how to improve small and medium enterprise (SME) development, focusing on high-growth, high-impact enterprises, in post-conflict environments through innovative strategies which take into account the effects of conflict on managerial and entrepreneurial capacity and the business climate. The second part of the session will concentrate on Myanmar which emerged out of the shadows of a military dictatorship and pariah into the international limelight. The unexpected and drastic political transition lead by the new government of president Thein Sein since 2011 has triggered high hopes among locals for the improvement of daily life and overall stability. Yet, the speed of change and the inflow of international investments and players raise questions to whether sustained socio-economic development going hand in hand with democratization will be achieved. Sustainable economic growth, peace-building and political freedom are inextricably intertwined not only in Myanmar and are perhaps one of the most serious challenges of this century.
In recent years, I have increasingly coached successful executives and young leaders between the age of 30 and 55. I have met many wonderful men and women from whom I have been able to learn a lot. Through this work I have learned a great deal about internal and external “dragons and monsters,” which we encounter and hopefully overcome during our life journey, and I have realized that we often need to integrate contradictory aspects of our personality to be successful and happy. I have often seen and felt how tired and guilty we all can be. I will discuss with you the differences and commonalities between women and men, and the struggle between our feminine and masculine sides, which we all experience independently of our gender. Both men and women are invited to attend.
In the last decade, thousands of business professionals have collectively donated over $100 million pro bono services to NGOs in the United States with the Taproot Foundation. These are busy professionals who are already working 60-70 hours per week and yet they carve out five hours per week to do pro bono service. Why? Purpose, being able to do work that matters to you and the world, is increasingly becoming a core driver of labor markets and consumption. Taproot has been able to tap this pent up desire to create a $15 billion market for pro bono services but we are now starting to see this need for purpose reach a broader tipping point where it is likely to become the core driver of the economy in United States within the next two decades. It is evolving from a nice-to-have to a must-have for more and more people around the globe.
Picture, if you dare, 45 football fields a meter deep in poop. That’s how much fecal sludge a city like Mombasa, Kenya, generates each year. Currently, the majority of that sludge is dumped directly into the Indian Ocean without treatment. However, that “waste” has an average energy content of 18 GJ/tonne dry solids…more than that of wood pellets! Now imagine harnessing that energy to provide industries with a renewable biomass fuel that’s always available…Waste Enterprisers does just that! Waste Enterprise is an urban sanitation company operating in Sub-Saharan Africa that converts fecal sludge into carbon-neutral fuel called GreenHeat. By turning waste into a valuable commodity, Waste Enterprise flips the economics of sanitation. Through Green Heat, Waste Enteprise is simultaneously spreading sanitation to those who could not afford it otherwise and reducing unsustainable reliance on fossil fuels.
JUCCCE catalyzes transformative change in the greening of China through convening high-level influencers for cross-border and cross-sector collaboration. We focus on the key drivers of energy use in China:urbanization, industry, power grid, and consumption. JUCCCE also serves as a technology, best practices, and cultural bridge between China's key influencers and international solution providers.
At our six year mark, JUCCCE has helped catalyze key tipping points in the way China creates and uses energy: by introducing smart grid to China, training over 550 government officials on eco-cities, providing green consumer media coverage. We have also codified our collaborative leadership model into “Stone Soup Global Leadership.” Take a look at our flagship programs: Mayoral Training on building sustainable cities, and China Dream to reimagine prosperity to reshape consumerism.
Pupils from socially disadvantaged backgrounds are coached by a ROCK YOUR LIFE! student coach over a period of two years and are thus empowered to develop their potential and to realize job or education related goals in an independent and self-confident way. College students complete a professional qualification program which enables them to support and accompany pupils on their way to employment or higher education. Thereby, potential future decision-makers become part of a social movement that stands for social mobility and equal access to education. A Germany-wide network of partner companies complements the individual coaching and improves the pupils’ chances of a successful apprenticeship or job entry. On a societal level, we contribute towards social integration, mobility, solidarity and equal opportunity.
Sitawi – Finance for Good is a nonprofit that aims to develop financial infrastructure for social impact in Brazil. It believes that more capital, more types of capital, and more efficiency in the use and allocation of capital will transform more lives. Sitawi’s products include social loans – R$50–R$200,000 at below market rates coupled with strategic advice –, and social fund management for large corporate/family donors. As part of its research and advisory work, it is also studying the viability of social mergers in Brazil. Sitawi has consulted top businesses, foundations, and financial institutions in the country and directly placed over R$2.2 million in the social sector in Brazil impacting over 24,000 vulnerable people.
b-fit is Turkey’s first and largest sports and healthy living center for women only, featuring a 30-minute circuit training program. At b-fit gyms, members spend a fixed amount of time at each of 18 different aerobic and strength-building stations. Selected as “Endeavor Entrepreneur” in 2009, b-fit comprises over 220 female-owned franchises across the country, each of which staffs only female employees. More than just a place to work out, b-fit provides a community for health, wellness, and personal development. Today, b-fit has clubs in 46 Turkish cities with more than 200,000 women members.
Bethel China was China's first organisation to specifically support the blind and visually impaired child and orphan population across the country. Bethel China currently runs four care and education projects called 'Love is Blind'. The aim of these projects is to support blind and visually impaired orphans to live independently and to achieve fulfilling lives as equal members in society. Our speciality is in early intervention and early education. We have three Bethel homes in Beijing (with a focus on 24-hour loving care, quality education, therapy and life skills training) and a daytime care and education project for children with visual impairments living in the Zhengzhou Children's Welfare Institute in Henan province.
As a charity organization, Sun Village has been taking care of those children whose parents are convicts over the last 19 years, providing them shelter, education, medical service and other necessities. In Sun Village, we simultaneously offer special education, psychological counseling, and protection, hoping that the children could grow healthily in a stable and warm big family with protection and education. We hope to see families re-united with one-another!
Based in Beijing, Stars and Rain is a pioneer in adapting and implementing the applied behavior analysis (ABA) principles in China in order to improve the quality of life for autistic children and their families. Since its establishment in 1993, the foundation has helped over 6,000 people through its three-month residential parent training program, in which parents of autistic children are trained to apply behavior analysis with the goal of developing a structured and individualized education plan for their children. Stars and Rain also operates a group home, which has provided care and education for autistic teenagers since 2006. In addition to its educational work, the organization also works on improving the public perception of autism and related disabilities in China.
Driven by the belief that everyone has the ability to bring about change, Roots & Shoots for decades has been working to spread the message of “making a difference” and to change participants’ attitudes and behaviors towards the environment. The three local Roots & Shoots offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu respectively currently support 600 active participants in China, whose awareness of environmental and animal welfare issues has been proven to have an overall positive impact on the environment across the country.
The Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is the highest institution focusing on the study of theories of Socialism with Chinese characteristics and seeks to train senior and middle-ranking leading Marxist cadres for the country. Leaders from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and other central departments along with experts in various fields are regularly invited to give talks on domestic and international issues including national conditions as well as Party and state policies.
Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) works with its global network of nearly 300 member companies to build a just and sustainable world. BSR’s three-year CiYuan (China Philanthropy Incubator) initiative builds innovative cross-sector partnerships to enhance the value of social investment in China. With guidance from international and Chinese leaders in the field, CiYuan improves the capacity of local foundations and NGOs to serve as durable and effective partners with business. Ultimately, CiYuan will integrate philanthropy with core business strategy, foster collaboration, and inspire innovation.
The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Environmental Protection, directly affiliated with the municipal government, is in charge of the city’s environmental protection work. Its main functions include formulating regional regulation drafts and environmental protection plans as well as monitoring, supervising, and administering pollution control of air, water, soil, noise, solid wastes, toxic chemicals, vehicles in key regions and river basins.
One Plus One (Beijing) Disabled Persons' Cultural Development Center (OPO) was originally established in 2006 as the One Plus One Cultural Exchange Center. OPO is managed entirely by people with disabilities and most of our staff are disabled. OPO is a home-grown Chinese, non-profit, disabled persons' self-help organization. Set up as an independent media organization working in the field of disability, OPO is committed to establishing and developing local organizations for disabled people and other self-help groups, and to protecting the rights of people with disabilities throughout China. In 2011 OPO registered a non-profit organization, the One Plus One Disabled Persons' Cultural Service Center, in Beijing’s Fengtai District.
From the city’s evolution in ancient times to a world city to a low-carbon eco-city, the Exhibition Hall presents the history of Beijing, showcases the city’s achievements in urban planning and development, and provides an outlook to the city’s future. The Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall serves as a local education center and exchange platform for international experts and scholars.
Since its establishment in 2006, the Non-Profit Incubator (NPI) has worked to promote social innovation and cultivate social entrepreneurs in China by granting crucial support to start-ups and small- to medium-sized NGOs and social enterprises. NPI is dedicated to combining forces with those who have a keen grasp of social problems and demands, offer innovative solutions, and demonstrate the perseverance and capacity needed to advance this cause. First introduced and practiced by NPI in 2007, the concept of Venture Philanthropy has won high recognition. To date, the Venture Philanthropy Funds managed by NPI exceed RMB 50 million and support more than 300 excellent charity projects.
Little Bird Hotline is a non-governmental organization which specially provides legal services for migrant workers. It was founded in 1999 in Beijing, and established branch offices in Shenzhen and Shenyang in 2006, and a hotline was set up in Shanghai in 2011. Currently, there are 20 full-time staff, 7 part-time staff, 560 volunteer lawyers and 4,500 volunteers from the other sectors in Little Bird. Besides providing legal counseling services for migrant workers, Little Bird Hotline, especially Beijing Little Bird Hotline also deals with labor disputes through mediation or non-lawsuit procedures to reduce the contradictions between enterprises and workers to the largest extent and promote a harmonious labor relationship. Since 2006, Little Bird has been providing trainings on occupational security and urban integration for migrant workers, teaching them how to recognize their own roles in the society, master necessary social etiquettes and useful social public information, learn how to communicate with employers, and get along well with workmates, know how to work safely and take precautions against occupational diseases. By doing this, Little Bird can help migrant workers to better work and live in cities, gain personal developments and protect their rights and interests.
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) is the highest comprehensive academic research organization and leading think tank in the fields of philosophy and social sciences in the People’s Republic of China, affiliated with the PRC’s State Council. Established in 1977, CASS is currently made up of 31 research institutes and more than 50 research centers. The academic exchanges between CASS and foreign countries have been continuously increased over recent years. At present, CASS has academic exchanges with more than 200 social sciences research institutions, academic groups, universities, foundations, and government departments in more than 80 countries and regions worldwide.
The Rural Education Action Program (REAP) is an impact evaluation organization that aims to inform sound education, health and nutrition policy in China. REAP’s goal is to help students from vulnerable communities in China enhance their human capital and overcome obstacles to education so that they can escape poverty and better contribute to China’s developing economy. REAP’s research focuses on three key areas:
Huizeren was founded in 2003 to support NGO’s through capacity building programs, advocacy work and establishing cross-sector cooperations. Huizeren is at the forefront of building a strong, sustainable civil society in China today by working to ensure that everyone has the ability and opportunity to contribute by volunteering. Huizeren’s focus is on enabling NGOs to develop and operate professionally and does this by brokering and managing Pro Bono services through a network of professional volunteers. Huizeren also provides a variety of training to volunteers and volunteer-involving organizations, as well as organizational consultancy in order to improve the standard of volunteer management systems and organizational management.
Teach For China is working to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting China and the United States’ most promising future leaders in the effort. In partnership with the global network Teach For All, Teach For China recruits, trains, and supports outstanding Chinese and American graduates to work side-by-side to deliver an excellent education in high-poverty Chinese communities. In the short term, Teach For China’s Fellows serve full-time, two-year teaching commitments at under-resourced schools, where they meet the pressing need for exceptional educators. In the long term, motivated by the conviction that all children can achieve, these Fellows will form a bicultural corps of leaders working across many sectors to ensure that one day, all children in China will have access to an excellent education. In fall 2013, more than 300 young leaders will enter low-income Chinese classrooms to serve as Teach For China’s largest class of Fellows yet, impacting more than 30,000 students in need.
Narada Foundation is dedicated to initiating and supporting programs that develop the infrastructure of the philanthropic industry to foster social innovation and help build a harmonious society. It was established in 2007 with financial support from Shanghai Narada Group Co., Ltd. Convinced that the country's basis for a robust civil society lies in grassroots organizations, the foundation aims to empower and support these groups. It provides financial support to strategic programs involving supporting organizations and leading organizations; and it offers specific field programs such as education of migrant children and disaster relief, as well as other programs that cultivate excellent charity talents
INCLUDED, formerly Compassion for Migrant Children (CMC), strategically builds community centers in the heart of migrant neighborhoods. Through these centers, INCLUDED offers programs for migrant children and their families. The Life-Vocational Skills Training program addresses the gap between older migrant youth and their access to the labor by training and integrating them into fair and sustainable employment, while the After School program and the Teacher Training programs address current gaps in education.
YES is a non-profit organization initiated by Horizon Research Consultancy Group, Shanghai Technology Entreprenurship Foundation For Graduates, and the renowned investor He Boquan. YES aims at giving support to youth social engagement, cultivating young philanthropy talents, and promoting the institutional development and organizational governance of non-profit organizations in China.
Launched in 2010, the Black Apple Youth Project seeks to promote youth social engagement in China’s philanthropy world by targeting college students and young white collars. The ultimate goal is to awaken young citizens’ self-directed actions and forward-looking responsibilities in social engagement. Six main programs are included, which are National Collegiate Social Entrepreneurship Program, College Student Internship Union Program, Social Interview Program, One-day Executive Assistant Program, Flash Gathering Program, and the Four-season Meetings Program.
During the site visit the participants will be introduced to the work of Youth Business China (YBC) – a non-profit organization with focus on youth entrepreneurship. As an educational program, YBC was established by the All-China Youth Federation, All-China Federation for Commerce and Industry, and other Chinese government agencies in 2003 and has now 19 local offices in China's main cities in 9 provinces. YBC provides seed capital, business mentoring, technical support and business network to the youth to help them start up their own businesses successfully.
At the 4th World Young Leaders Forum we want to lower the environmental impact of the anticipated 250-plus participants and Foundation staff traveling to Beijing. For this reason, we have decided to cooperate with Marten von Velsen-Zerweck, one of our German Young Leaders. Marten is the founder of nserve, a company that has specialized in carbon compensation for more than a decade. Nserve has identified an emission reduction project in China through which we will compensate for the Forum’s emissions. We would be delighted if as many participants as possible would join our efforts and offset their flight emissions. In the Chinese province of Hunan, in the town of Anhua, the biogas digester utilizes biomass residues - waste from housing and farming activity - in order to generate renewable electricity. The biomass would otherwise be left to decompose or be burned by the farmers. This project thus doubly benefits the environment, avoiding methane emissions and providing clean, renewable energy, whilst supporting a particularly poor region of rural China. For more information on this exemplary project and the carbon offset mechanism please see the documents below.