In an interview the Czech novelist Milan Kundera once said that “you can only understand the world if you see it from several sides.”
I had not expected my general views on China to be fundamentally changed by an Australian man sitting in a small office somewhere in Shanghai.
Yet the words of Udo Doring, CEO and Executive Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, did just that. During a briefing with Udo as part of the Symposium, he emphasised that there are many misnomers about China, that it is not about to collapse or that it is “behind” in every way. Above all, he said, we must question our typical beliefs, and challenge these ideas when they might be untrue. This became more of a reality with every new perspective we heard.
I left for China knowing it is both one of the four great ancient civilisations and an advancing modern society.
We’ve all been there, New Year, New Year’s resolutions (that will likely go unfulfilled) – this was me in a nutshell. The year was 2015, I was going into the third year of my undergraduate degree, I had just started working for Macquarie University, and I felt that I wasn’t making the most of my Macquarie University student experience. However, that was all about to change when a friend of mine recommended that I consider doing the Global Leadership Program (GLP). I’d never heard of the program before, but I signed myself up in a heartbeat. However, I recall sitting in my undergraduate welcome session, and thinking to myself, that “I’m not going to be able to do this – I’ve only got till 2017 to finish this program – I don’t have enough time” – lesson #1 self-doubt will be your downfall.