Think big, build smart and create for change

We create, we build, we innovate, we change, and we are women.

Starting and growing your own business are never easy, especially for women. Female entrepreneurs usually face much more challenges from business skills to financial resources and industry opportunities. The reasons and levels can be varies by countries and regions, such as male domination and gender gap, lack of gender equality and equal rights at workplace about business skills training and professional opportunities…building smart solutions are necessary to make the world a balancer and better place, and all deserves to be treated equal regardless of gender, ethnicity or race.

Today is International Women’s Day – March 8, the UN theme for IWD this year focuses on innovative ways to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women:
Think equal,
Build smart,
Innovate for change.
So what’s the meaningful way to celebrate Women’s Day? Do our effort to care women more and treat them one day for anything, or make a call to action for everyone’s participation and contribution to build a balancer and better future with innovative spirit and mindset…

Empowering women is definitely good for unleashing success. Women’s empowerment means a business woman can access resources and grow her business based on equal footing and competing with business men. Working women, professional women, business women, all women are great and deserve for the equal rights and opportunities across the industries.IWD 2019_EN_InFocus 960x450

Women who tech

This past January, the annual showcase of consumer technology innovation CES kicked off the new year 2019 as usual. As the largest influential technology event, the Consumer Electronics Show drew a big crowd all over the world including business leaders and thinkers, industry professionals and innovators, creative players and women in tech.

From smart cities to 5G, from drones to self-driving technology, from AI to robotics…this is truly a global stage to connect, learn and be inspired about disruptive technology and innovation. I experienced AI powered playground and smart home, visited innovation awards showcase, talked to virtual assistants and robots, met some great entrepreneurs at networking events, connected with multiple startups for further discussion…What I learned from CES? Get ready for a smart future and 5G revolution.

Technology is changing business and female-owned tech companies become a fast growing force in the Americas and the world. So how we can embrace disruption for good? Supporting women empowerment in this growing industry opens up a new business and develops a prosperous path of cooperation between North America and Asia Pacific in different sectors and ecosystems. This is indeed an opportunity to be part of this very energetic and empowered female workforce with the power of learning and networking.

Among many world-class speakers and panels at conferences, some women brought their innovative ideas on some mind-blowing topics, such as be your own boss in sports technology, a keynote discussion on data, blockchain, AI and computing, create content to connect with audiences and branding strategy…when women get together and learn from each other, to share best practices and conduct discussions about the latest trends, all women can benefit from it. We all play different professional roles like Emmy Award winning journalist, CEO and CMO, founder and entrepreneur…and we are also women in tech as innovators and disruptors shaping the future of technology.

Women who create

Creativity is power, it’s truly original and inspiring.

Last month at the 91st Academy Awards, Domee Shi, who’s Chinese-Canadian, won the Oscar for best animated short film “Bao”, she is also the first female director of a Pixar original short.

“Bao” is an allegorical tale about an aging and lonely mother who receives an unexpected second chance at motherhood when she makes a dumpling (baozi), and an adorable Chinese dumpling that comes to life as a boy. Eventually the child grows up as a young adult, he increasingly wants independence, while his mother wishes for more attention from him, feeling ignored. One day, when the dumpling introduces his new fiancée and wants to move out, his mother tries to stop him from leaving and finally eats him…Later, her real son enters the room, revealing that the whole sequence was an allegorical dream. Then the whole family sits at the table and makes dumplings together…

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Through this short film, the audience can get a taste of the great Chinese food, culture, and people that she grew up with in Canada. Shi said she used to take her Mom’s dumplings for granted, making “Bao” helped her better understand her mother. Shi shared that the journey to making this film come to life. Seven years before becoming the director of an Oscar-winning film, Shi began her journey at Pixar as an intern and contributed to multiple films as storyboard artist. Now being one of the first female writers and directors for a major studio, she said it’s been challenging to make the film: “One of the most challenging things is when you’re walking into the room and feeling like one of the only females in this room, it took me a while to build my own confidence, but I kind of use that as a way to motivate myself.”

Cinematography, photography, design, screenwriting, video editing, copywriting, content strategy and digital media production, creative minds come from our own stories, imagination, dreams, brainstorm and inspiration by others. As an artist and filmmaker, Domee shi won an Oscar, created value for her industry, and showed the creativity and innovation that comes from diversity and women’s empowerment.

To all the nerdy girls out there who hide behind their sketchbooks, don’t be afraid to tell your stories to the world. – Domee Shi, filmmaker

Women who change

Women are everywhere: tech startup and entrepreneurship, filmmaking and creative arts, innovative business and science, journalism and healthcare professionals…female leaders are shaping the future of innovation and making the world to a better place with their insistence for good and persistence in the face of adversity.

Today to honor Women’s History Month and IWD, it’s really important that we see examples of successful women and powerful women doing things that are outside the box, so people can have role models and be inspired. By celebrating women leadership around the world, let’s look at women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and design (STEMD) , and their outstanding inspiration to others including the next generation of female professionals.

Let’s check out this series of numbers from the Nobel Prize Organization. Over 100 years, 51 women have been awarded the Nobel Prize between 1901 and 2018 with 52 awards in total. There are
1 woman in Economic Sciences,
3 women in Physics including Marie Curie in 1903,
5 women in Chemistry including Marie Curie in 1911,
12 women in Physiology/Medicine including Tu Youyou in 2015,
14 women in Literature,
17 women in Peace including Mother Teresa in 1979.

They are women who changed the world with their inventions, medical research, writing novels, analysis of economic governance, thought thinking in new and creative ways, engagement in social issues and the peace movement…what they achieved are the greatest benefit to humankind. In 2018, 3 women among 12 new laureates of the Nobel Prize were awarded for their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems, as well as combating war crimes. They are

  1. Donna Strickland, a Canadian optical physicist and pioneer int he field of pulsed lasers, who was awarded in Physics for “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics” and with Gerard Mourou “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses.”
  2. Frances H. Arnold, an American chemical engineer, who was awarded in Chemistry “for the directed evolution of enzymes”.
  3. Nadia Murad, a Yazidi human rights activist from Iraq, who was awarded in Peace with Denis Mukwege “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”.

Among these 51 remarkable women of the Nobel Prize,19 women who changed science with their unique contributions. From the early 1900s to now, they are scientists represented in this experience include biochemists, X-ray crystallographers, pharmacologists, neuro-embryologists and nuclear physicists. Some are the children of teachers, grocers, scientists and artists, some rarely left their labs, some travelled the world to collaborate with other scientists or to advocate for a cause. Each of them is as unique as her contribution to scientific knowledge, but all possess common traits: creativity, vision, passion and – perhaps most importantly – persistence.

With a new and more scientific approach to drug development, Gertrude Elion altered and accelerated medical research by creating the drugs and alleviating human suffering. Tu Youyou is the first mainland Chinese scientist to have received a Nobel Prize in a scientific category for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria. And she did so without a doctorate, a medical degree, or training abroad. She turned to Chinese medical texts from the Zhou, Qing, and Han Dynasties to find a traditional cure for malaria, ultimately extracting a compound—artemisinin—that has saved millions of lives…

The world cannot afford the loss of the talents of half of its people if we are to solve the many problems which beset us.
— Rosalyn Yalow, Nobel Laureate

Celebrating and exploring the careers and lives of them aim to transform not only how we experience the powerful stories and perseverance behind their scientific achievements but also empower the next generation of young women to change our world.

Women are power

Innovation and technology disrupt business and impact our lives.

Women hold up half of the sky according to a Chinese saying. Actually women could hold up entire industries from tech and science to media and creative business by affecting the future of business. A growing number of women are business owners and decision-makers to bring innovation to the market and changing the way we work.

With education and hard working, women are not only tech users also digital creators. Social media is playing a pivotal role in their business decisions, with many popular short video platforms out there, and blogs expanding their influence in marketing sector and beyond. They build local business community and solar-power projects, connect with customers, and grow business with enhanced digital tools like mobile technology, cloud-based open source system, big data driven platform, online marketing and eCommerce etc.

Around the world, women are making an impact with this type of social media influence every day. Women’s fresh, relevant thinking also brings transformative change to the businesses and services that benefit our lives. Women and girls, who are not only consumers of innovation, but also become kind of innovators to engage, design and execute practical solutions from creative work and tech business to green energy and renewable industry. With a greater balance of men and women at some places, women have increasing opportunities to realize their potential and achieve their dreams in a stable and inclusive environment.

…as industries prepare to adapt to disruptive change, tackling gender gap could also unlock new opportunities for growth. – World Economic Forum

Who run the world?

Balance for better is the global campaign theme of International Women’s Day 2019. On this global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, it marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity and creating balance for better. The first IWD gathering in 1911 was supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Over a century, many international groups from grassroots activism to worldwide action campaigned for women’s equality.

Gender equality is basically a question of power. According to the UN, women still face major obstacles in accessing and exercising power. As the world bank found, just 6 economies give women and men equal legal rights in areas that affect their work. Living in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture, gender equality and women’s rights are fundamental to global progress on peace and security, human rights and sustainable development. In recent decades, we have seen remarkable progress on women’s rights and leadership in some areas, such as increasing the number of women decision-makers and women in senior management, more efforts to protect and promote women’s rights, dignity and leadership…

When women rise, we all do

Innovation and technology have shaped the lives of women worldwide, also provide opportunities for women and girls to play an active role in building more inclusive systems, efficient services and sustainable economic growth to accelerate the achievement of the gender equality.

Innovation and technology reflect their designers and makers. From mobile technology to artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT), it is vital that women’s ideas and experiences equally influence the design and implementation of the innovations that shape our digital future. From UN Women to IWD community, from STEM education to global innovation for change, more and more initiatives and community projects are helping women and girls to develop coding skills and train the tech leaders of tomorrow. All of the work is not only to challenge stereotypes that limit girls’ ambitions and dreams, but also to empower them to play the decisive role in emerging industries by unleashing their limitless imagination and boundless strength.

Balance drives a better working world. Building our world so that it works for everyone with innovative ways and smart solutions are upon us. To create long-term sustained global community and sustainable economic growth, everyone’s contribution counts. Industry leaders, game changers, social entrepreneurs and women innovators… on one is left behind, everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere.

We are women

We are women, do proud every day for embracing our strength, drive, dreams, femininity, sense and sensibility, take the lead and be our own hero everyday.

Being professional women, we usually wears many different hats in family and at work, wife, mother, daughter, business owner, entrepreneur, founder and CEO…from household role to leadership role, women can do anything. When reflecting on our journeys that led us to where we are today as a successful woman, whoever your are a talented woman, a strong woman, a powerful woman, an inspirational woman, an independent woman or an influential woman…no matter whoever inspires you or you inspire whomever as role models, no matter whatever like community and connection motivates you or you value whatever like challenges and opportunities…be yourself and believe in yourself, we are women, we can do anything!

Doing business with cultural diversity

May is one of the most busy and beautiful months of the year. Mother’s day, World Press Freedom day, Endangered Species day and International Day for Biological Diversity, a long list of important days can be found throughout the month of May, there’s also the ongoing month-long celebration like the following one.

The Asian Pacific Heritage celebration is a time to honor and appreciate Asian heritage and contributions to the growing and prosperous communities within North America. This is an opportunity for people to celebrate the multicultural heritage and explore Pan Asian history and traditions in Arts, culture and business. People like May as the month of sunshine and flowers, in UK it’s National Smile Month, and it’s commemorative month of Asian Pacific Heritage across North America, in the US it’s called Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, in Canada it’s simply called Asian Heritage Month.

Culture matters

When we say Asia, what comes to your mind firstly? Panda, green tea or lotus…Check out some Asian cultural icons and find out their meanings in oriental traditions and philosophy. Many Asian people see green tea as green mindset. Tea culture has thousands years of history in Asia. Over a thousand varieties of tea can be found in Eastern Asia and beyond, one of the main types is green tea. With mild smell and light taste in general, green tea has spread across the oceans from Asia to the world. Behind its popularity and health benefits of drinking, people really enjoy the oriental culture and traditions such as mindfulness, meditation, peace and harmony.

Be like a lotus, let the beauty of your heart speak, be grateful to the mud, water, air and the light.
~ Amit Ray, Indian author and spiritual master

Everything in nature has a spirit, and lotus is one of the most spiritual symbols with profound cultural meanings. The lotus is to the East, as the rose is to the West.¹ Lotus is a summer flower that rises from the muddy water and blooms gracefully like a pure beauty. In Eastern cultures, people love lotus for its purity and serenity with long and deep roots in the mud. Live like the lotus flower, be enlightened by peace and harmony: the deeper root you have, the stronger growing you are.

Culture connects us

Every culture has its profound identity and deep root through the generations, it connects people, enriches our life and defines our communities from historical footprints to cultural milestones. From Asian people to Asian community, we have seen many success stories coming from this diverse, vibrant and growing community in all aspects of life.

With the importance of transmitting culture and heritage across generations, Asian descendants and immigrants contribute actively their talent to the thriving and diverse society. To emphasize the valuable contributions by women of Asian descent, here are some notable Asian figures who have made a significant impact in different fields of arts, culture, sports, entrepreneurship and business.

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.
–Mahatma Gandhi

Since 3 decades, Asian American writer Amy Tan has written some stories about Chinese immigrants and how they embraced Chinese heritage. Her best seller The Joy Luck Club explores Chinese American experience, Chinese culture and family relationships between two generations. As the former Governor General of Canada, Asian Canadian Adrienne Clarkson, has played an active role in multicultural environment with a long and successful career in broadcasting from journalist to arts show producer.

The award-winning geneticist and broadcaster David Suzuki is widely recognized as a world leader in sustainable ecology and environmental protection. He has received numerous honors and awards throughout the lifetime, his work, documentaries and books about nature and the environment are inspiring others “to find the ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that does sustain us.”

CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai grew up in India, studied at Stanford University, and has worked at Google to the top is a remarkable personal journey and success story to inspire many people. The professional basketball player Jeremy Lin is one of the few Asian Americans to play in the NBA with impressive athletic achievements through the years. Talented and humble, he represents a younger generation of Asian descent with higher education background and influential public image today.

David        Jeremy Lin

From the East to the West

The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people, and the beauty of life is in living it with different traditions and cultures. Open, pacific and colorful, Asian culture is well characterized by the peaceful mindset and vibrant spirit. As one of Asian culture icons, Asian food is extremely popular across North America. Noodles, General Tso’s Chicken, sushi and fortune cookies…have a look at some famous Asian food and learn more about Eastern cuisine and culture in good smells!

General Tso’s chicken is sweet and deep-fried chicken dish and almost universally available in North American Chinese restaurants. It’s named after a Chinese military leader in the history, and the origin of the dish can be traced back to over 200 years ago with the stories connecting to Chinese traditions and history. The making of dish replicates traditional Chinese cuisine of Hunan province, it’s lightly battered and covered in a mildly spicy sweet & sour sauce in a way that adapts the recipe to fit the western taste. No doubt this chicken dish represents a typical Asian American experience about cultural connections and integration.

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Healthy and fresh, sushi is another typical Asian food combined with a variety of ingredients such as cooked rice, seaweed, seafood, vegetables and more. As many other Asian cuisine, the sushi culture is rooted in Eastern traditions and Japanese lifestyle. Traditionally, sushi is served on wooden platter along with soy sauce, pickled and sliced ginger, wasabi and chopsticks. With a colorful presentation and aesthetic style, making sushi is more like crafting a work of art with different combinations and recipes. In North America, the western-style sushi has evolved to become something completely different from its Japanese origins. By inventing some new types like brown rice sushi and latin flavored sushi burritos, sushi art has become more and more interesting and creative with mixed cultural influences.

How can we talk about Asian cuisine without noodles? Unlike Italian pasta, Asian noodles are typically handmade from fresh dough which is stretched, extruded, rolled and cut into a long and thin shape. As a staple food originated in China, noodle is a symbolic cuisine of representing Chinese culture and traditions everywhere. In the animated movie series of Kung Fu Panda, Panda Po had a dream about noodles but finally becomes a Kung Fu warrior, and his father Mr. Ping is master of noodles having a secret ingredient to make noodles and run the shop…From movies to real life, making noodles is an art of perfection with passion and inspiration behind its long history and culture.

Fortune cookies are another staple of Chinese cuisine in Chinese restaurants within North America, they’re crispy and sugary wafers and folded around a small slop of paper written with a so-called lucky message. People love cracking it to open one of them at the end of a meal, be delighted or surprised to read the words: good things come in invisible packages, accept the next proposition you hear….whatever is wisdom quote, Confucius phrase or vague expression, it’s fun and entertaining by the end. Now this bite-sized dessert has become an iconic symbol in North American culture, inspiring many businesses and cross-cultural communication between the East and the West.

Cultural diversity in business

Over the last 2 centuries, immigrants have journeyed to North America from all parts of Asia, they bring in a rich cultural heritage of many languages, ethnicities and traditions. Now more than 200 million people of Asian decent are living on this land, mainly Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Indonesians and Mongolian etc. Like many diverse communities out there, Asian Pacific communities have a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit that continues to grow and strengthen local economy.

Natural diversity is essential for a healthy ecosystem, and cultural diversity is in the lifeblood of vibrant economy. By integrating into local communities, the emigrated Asian Pacific Islander people have made various achievements in every aspect of life including entrepreneurship and business. In the US alone, there are 1.5 million Asian American Pacific Islander – owned businesses, with more than 500 billion of sales and 2.8 million workers, they are certainly fueling job creation and strengthening local communities and American economy.

Cultural differences makes the world more complex and interesting, especially when it comes to some differences between Eastern and Western cultures. Eastern culture is deeply rooted in its long history of traditions and based on a wide variety of concepts and philosophies from Confucianism, Tai Chi to Yin and Yang. Extremely complicated and profound, it emphasizes the balance of Yin-Yang and highlights the harmony through the energy movements in tranquility of Tai Chi.

Western culture has its roots in Christianity and European civilization, it has developed many themes and traditions in arts, humanities, philosophies and scientific evolutions. Based on logical and rational concepts, it focuses on the values of legal system and innovative creation through technological revolutions and discoveries along the way. Physically and culturally, Asian descendants and immigrants are different and identified with oriental colors, Asian traditions and pacific culture, but we all represent the big image of multicultural heritage, belong to the culturally diverse and prosperous communities.

The East is East and the West is West, neither is better nor worse than the other. In global community and digital age, the cultural integration and diversity are more important than ever, a good understanding of both cultures is truly practical and valuable in doing business effectively. Diversity is colorful, beautiful and powerful with the strength to broaden our mind, create the opportunity and encourage people to reach their full potential and participate positively in all aspects of life from communities to business.

Culture connects us, it brings people together to celebrate our rich and cultural heritage and promote the harmony in our communities.

To the end, culture is a tool of communication by all measures, it’s a great way of learning from each other and understand the world. Identity, language, tradition and heritage…culture is everywhere, it enriches and enlightens people’s lives from hearts to souls. In the multicultural environment, cross-cultural communication is effective for people to collaborate and grow together since it’s a creative process to interact and share with different perspectives through an open and dynamic conversation. Culture inspires people, it reminds us that we always have the power to change ourselves and make the world a better place.

Going for green in digital way

April is earth month, and earth day happens again this weekend. Celebrating earth, participating in nature’s rebirth in springtime are all about green life and green environment. Ocean, water, trees, animals and nature…the earth laughs in flowers with feelings of hope and joy, spring is certainly a good time to go outside and enjoy everything in green!

Nearly last 5 decades, earth day ( “jour de la terre” in French) along with environment issues are getting more and more attention in global business and community, now more than 1 billion individuals, families and industries take part in this world’s largest environmental movement every year.

Spring has returned, the earth is like a child that knows poems.
–Rainer Maria Rilke

Doing business with a sense of green

Today the environment is as important as the economy. Facing the bad effects of waste and pollution to nature and human, no doubt that environmental problems are really pressing concerns in the US and around the world, such as smog pollution, climate change, global warming, declined biodiversity, tree loss and deforestation, extinction of species and endangered wildlife etc. Our green earth and blue planet are calling the social responsibilities and participation of the business community.

To plant a tree is to believe in tomorrow. As the global ecological awareness and green community are growing, more businesses and organizations are responding quickly with a variety of green solutions: sustainable design, zero waste, eco art, low carbon economy, water for life, food security and clean water projects…Environmental programs and sustainable developments need to be worked on the schedule.

In springtime, the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!  –Sitting Bull

Go green, go digital

If spring brings the sun to earth, then digital brings green to the business. Innovative green projects become a good strategical development across the industries: electric car, green building, solar and renewable energy, reuse and recycle of wastes, clean tech and digital media…taking care of the planet and maintaining business ecosystem are now or never.

Spring is the time of plans and projects, taking social responsibility of environmental sustainability is getting critical in doing business. Saving trees, consuming less, going paperless and protecting environment….how to take action in green business development and what’s the digital strategy for business growing?

Recently Apple has announced the entire company including every Apple store, data center and corporate office are now powered by 100% renewable energy. Meanwhile it’s also launched a new GiveBack program with introduction of a new robot to recover and reuse materials. For all trade-in and recycled devices during this month, it says to make a donation to the non-profit organization – Conservation International. Like Apple, many businesses started working toward smart solutions to address climate change and conserve resources on earth, do something good for the planet through environment-related programs with high tech and green innovation.

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April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks go.
–Christopher Morley

The natural world that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihood, the business world that people expect on sustainable development and green future for our planet. Keep a good balance between business development and green environment is big issue for companies, more and more digital technology and green solutions have been used as business strategy to meet both of innovation and conservation:
1. Reduce its carbon footprint by using renewable materials and driving energy efficiency in company’s products, services and facilities
2. Focus on mobilizing the reusable resources and green technology
3. Support green community associated with digital media and strategy
4. Create green impact through the beneficial partnership along with business growth
5. Reduce consumption with the mindset of sustainability and green environment
6. Promote green business with cost-effective ways, paperless and digital solutions

 Everyday green tips

Mother earth is giving us energy, food, water and ecology. It is our only home so make it a better place to live well. We heard that buying things and acquiring wealth don’t really make us happy, connecting to others and our natural environment are rather the keys to happiness. Spring is here, time to go out and playing in the nature. Playing is our truest form of connection and happy life, how to play for good and play for fun at our earth home?

The beautiful spring came, and when nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also. –Harriet Ann Jacobs

Consume Less and play more…by keeping green life in our mind, let’s follow some simple and easy tips to go digital, save trees, protect the earth and make a difference in green community:

Be digital:
1. Plant a tree, use cloth towels instead of paper ones
2. Save trees with paperless, use online billing and documents without printing
3. When you need to use paper, make sure it’s 100% post-consumer recycled paper, and print paper in two-sided not one side only

Food security:
1. Buy organic food to keep your body and the environment free of toxic pesticides, and support farmers and companies who use organic ingredients
2. Grow your own organic garden, or join a farm-share group
3. Compost kitchen scraps to use in your garden — turning waste into fertilizer

Save water and energy:
1. Install solar panels on your roof
2. Contact your utility company and find out about renewable energy options
3. Use energy-efficient appliances and electronics
4. Turn off lights, and unplug electronics you’re not using including computers
5. Take the stairs instead of the elevator to save energy (and get exercise!) if possible
6. Take a shorter shower and use a water-saving shower head
7. Fix leaky faucets and shower-heads
8. Wash your clothes only when necessary with cold water and line dry

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Consume less with reusable items:
1. Reduce your carbon footprint: use environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products
2. Collect used printer, fax, and copier cartridges to recycle
3. Use reusable bags, mugs and bottles as much as possible
4. End plastic pollution: stop using disposable plastics, especially single-use plastics like bottles, bags and straws
5. Recycle paper, plastic and glass: reduce your garbage by 10% and your carbon footprint by 1,200 pounds a year
6. Donate your old clothes and home goods instead of throwing them out, and consider buying used items if you need something

Play more and wisely:
1. Get dirty, play outside and do gardening in your backyard to have outdoor fun
2. Visit the forest and parks, be careful with fire to prevent wildfires and conserve wilderness areas for future
3. Bike more, drive less…take public transportation or drive an electric or hybrid car, and reduce your carbon footprint by one pound for every mile when you do not drive
4. Take Earth Day Challenge to go outside and exercise for at least 30 minutes
5. Volunteer for a local environmental group and/or make a donation

See the future, be the change

Being entrepreneur is never easy, and the business world never stops changing. We say once you step into the entrepreneurial world, you can only go forward to follow your dream and constantly stay competitive in the changing global environment. It’s the lifelong learning and never-ending journey for entrepreneurs to pursue the goals and success.

Today we’re in digital age, and the digital economy has transformed the world with many growing tech companies. China-based ecommerce giant Alibaba hosted its biggest ever US event in Detroit last week. Including Jack Ma, Charlie Rose, David Abney, Lisa Ling and more featured speakers, about total 60 presenters and panelists from inside and outside of Alibaba talked about the China opportunity in front of a big crowd over 3000 entrepreneurs and SME owners across the North America. All is about how to source from China and sell to China with digital technologies and power.

The Internet, big data and mobile innovation….the fast-changing technology offers so much opportunities for the business to grow rapidly and globally. In the era of digital transformation, digitalization can be a powerful tool to win the world. We have so-called Big 5 of digital economy – Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and we also have so-called Big 7 tech companies that really control big data – Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu. Digital is everything, and tech companies are literally leading the world.

Looking at now and the future, some businesses that master digital technologies are getting a big piece of cake in the market. As one of top tech companies in China, Alibaba manages multiple businesses and platforms for different markets, such as the consumer-to-consumer marketplace Taobao, the business-to-consumer T-mall, and the business-to-business Alibaba.com, plus digital media and entertainment, online banking and a cloud computing service, it’s all in one. Having been called as China’s Amazon, Alibaba identifies itself more like an ecosystem to be different from the Amazon model. Alibaba’s CMO Chris Tung said that unlike Amazon as shopping channel to make the profit margin, Alibaba services as a marketplace, a bridge between the seller and the buyer through consumer data. The chairman of Alibaba Jack Ma also differences the 2 companies: “Amazon is an ecommerce company, we are not. We help other companies become ecommerce companies.”

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Thinking of Alibaba as a combination of Google, Facebook and Amazon…” Tung made a point about Alibaba’s global popularity in many countries like Russia and Southeast Asia with a presence in some countries in Europe and South America. Recently a report was published about Chinese consumers and their online shopping habits. Some very interesting data is shown the online shopping differences between the west and China. In the west, people are more likely searching online sources and going different platforms for buying experience. And in China, people are more dominated with online exploring and discovering on 1 or 2 large platforms for shopping experience. With digital power and platforms, people go online for everything: education, trendy content, entertainment, shopping and sharing on social media. From the west to the east, living in digital environment with a digital-oriented lifestyle is now and future.

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Digital makes life easy, and also raises the challenges to be able to succeed in everyday life. To win or to lose, to succeed or to fail…the stories about entrepreneurship keep going around in the business world:

Today will be terrible, tomorrow even worse;
but the day after will be beautiful.
Most companies die tomorrow night.
~Jack Ma

The struggling business can be real, entrepreneurs need a digital strategy to empower their businesses, and keep up with technology for the future. Be digital, be the change, it’s now or never, just like the famous abstract of “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. 

From Amazon to Alibaba, from big companies to small business, digital is powerful and disrupting everything, digital transformation is now and future. On the past Gateway’17 event,Jack Ma presented the Chinese dream to US sellers about cross-border business opportunities in China, and closed his an hour long keynote talk with a compelling message:

Small companies will be the future…
Embrace the change, see the future,
change yourself, don’t miss the chance!

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What design means to you

Design worth doing, ideas worth spreading.

TED annual conference kicks off today April 24 2017 in Vancouver Canada. Hundreds and thousands of artists, designers and storytellers gather again for a week of great talks about technology, entertainment and design.

People look at TED as a vast and mighty creative and design community. From the logo branding to stage designing, from the speaker lineup to global TED community, we have experienced a creative boom of all things designing and inspiring over the years. Checking out the programs and topics like future, mind, meaning and planet……reminds you that design has become everyday life, now it’s time to celebrate creativity and get inspiration by connecting to the community.

Design is thinking made visual. — Saul Bass

What’s design?

It’s a graphic image, a trendy concept car or a green building…In one word, design is a visual creation. In design world, color, shape, image…everything is combined differently and freely with creative concept and practice. It can be one of a kind object, a unique creation or a practical making. Visually speaking, design is all about creating and making things in style and originality.

Architecture, technology and automobile……design is everything everywhere. We say design is about making nice things, and people like pretty stuff and beautiful look. Creating something beautiful for viewing pleasure is primary idea of design concept. Many popular brands have a creative design for their innovative products and remarkable images, such as Google, Tesla cars, TED talks, Apple computers and iPhones etc. , so what does the process of the creation look like with design thinking?

As an art of creative thinking and visual making, design in business means innovative solution. For instance, good architecture is for a safe and comfort living by saving cost and making most of space, eco-fashion design is not only for dressing to kill and also for dressing to save the world with environmental purpose, as well as good branding design is easy to stand out with quality creation and original content. Making things easier and nicer, good design changes the way of our thinking and viewing the world.

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Design matters

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. — Leonardo da Vinci

Less is more, color, culture, style and environment……ain’t we seen so much more in design? Kenya Hara, the Japanese graphic designer shows the notable design concept of tranquility and emptiness in his book Designing Design. Another great design is toilet paper by architect Shigeru Ban. He simply redesigned the round roll to a square core which becomes a nice package with the purpose of saving space and reducing the consumption.

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Create, make, solve and change…design is a solution, creativity and innovation. In the world of business and technology, there is boundless inspiration to be capable of creative thinking and visually speaking with the design thinking. If design mind is more about creative beauty and life, then design thinking is more about spirit and strategy of innovation for business.

Being a part of creative community, it’s like keeping up with constantly changing technology, looking for the solutions with curious minds, and being design thinker with a passion for research, making and solution. Whatever is green tech or digital media, the way of doing business can be very different with design thinking. Keep short and sweet:design for less, design for all, design for change. 

Think big, think global. Open your mind, visualize the future with design thinking… Insights, outlook and impact, how much more we can do with design thinking for the global environment and a better future? Contributing to the solutions, presenting best practices and visions to the world , that’s the power of design!

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. — Pablo Picasso

Design for change

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TED2017 is taking place this week. Every spring, the global TED community unites thousands of creative people all over the world for a week of conference filled with imagination, invention and inspiration. During 5 days, total 50+ stage talks and 11 sessions bring the spotlight on curious minds and inspirational content including The Future us, Tales of Tomorrow, robotic and AI challenge, genomics and sustainable energy…The full program guide can be found here.

Speaking design, the TED experience offers much more than talks with eye-catching visual design. The famous TED stage is designed with multi-functional platform for a custom theatre experience, ever noticed the big red logo on the stage along with huge screen in background to bring a visual impact of interactive talks. On the stage, color and light are everything. The overall visual look is made with the contrast between bright logo and dark stage, the balance of different levels of audience areas around the stage, and the spectacular impression of light and color for a theatrical image. All is to create and design a stylish environment for sharing ideas freely and visually to the world.

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TED talk on VR. Photo by Marla Aufmuth / TED

The week-long TED2017 experience includes main stage program of ted talks, art exhibits and tech demos, dinners and parties in the city, and much more. As usual, the speaker lineup is impressive with researchers, business leaders and designers of different creative industries including some big names: tech giant Elon Musk, tennis icon Serena Williams, roboticist Marc Railbert and acclaimed healthcare reformer Atul Gawande.

Last year, the theme of TED conference was Dream, this year is The Future You. And the topics look quite exciting with futuristic artworks, sustainable designs, microsculpture series photography and ironman style flight system…..literally the future is now!

So inspiration comes with a big question, how do we thrive in a world full of change? Well, the world is full of surprises and possibilities. Our answer is to keep calm and be part of change, see the future coming and design it for a better place.