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!

Giving back to the startup ecosystem

You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.
Les Brown, The Power of Purpose

November is National Entrepreneurship Month, time to celebrate startup community and entrepreneurial experience.

Entrepreneurship matters. From economic development and transformation to sustainable community and life, it contributes to employment and business growth,  improves quality of life and work-life balance, inspires innovation and technology, supports diversity and communities in everyday life.

With Thanksgiving celebration and Giving Tuesday event, November is also the month about showing gratitude and appreciation to people and business around us, giving back to community and support good causes in many different ways.

Hard work, leadership, inspirational life and big dreams…entrepreneurship means different things to different people. To innovators and creators, it could be more about bring disruptive ideas to life and changing the world; to entrepreneurs and founders, it’s more about making impact on community and achieving their dreams. No matter you’re new startup, small business or a serial entrepreneur, the key is to take action, get started and keep doing…

Be a doer

So you want to be an entrepreneur? You have a good idea in mind, a target market to work and a great product to launch, here are a few tips about the experience of starting a company and running your own business:

1. Start smart, start well…It’s less important that you do something perfectly and more important that you do it with energy and motivation.

2. No pain no gain. Nobody is born gifted, every talent needs hard work and constant practice to chase his dream. Entrepreneurs are made, not born too. It requires sacrifice, hard work and a willingness to accept constant change in the business world.

3. Do the research and know the risks. Expect that failure will come, and minimize it where possible. Be flexible and resourceful to face the challenges along the way…

4. Identify your purpose and network with others. Resources and relationships are very important to entrepreneurship, keep in mind to form your alliance with business owners who can help grow your business.

5. Work with collaborators and get the word out about your business. Instead of doing everything on your own from marketing to finance, you can save time and energy with specialized services. Especially about marketing service and digital media projects, many entrepreneurs collaborate with marketing consultant for branding, social media marketing, event planning and public relations.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
– African Proverb

Being an entrepreneur is not a job, it’s a lifestyle. No doubt at all, there’s more to entrepreneurship than just a business idea. Anyone can acquire the knowledge and experience to transform a business idea into reality, but it takes business skills, entrepreneurial mindset, patience and perseverance to live an entrepreneurial life. Starting a business is hard, but the hard is what makes it great. Do what you love, and love what you do…so would you be up to take action and start your own business with a purpose?

Be a giver

It’s end of the year again, there are lots of ways that small businesses, corporations and brands can get involved in year-end giving. With Thanksgiving tradition and GivingTuesday event, end of year giving is a great opportunity to do more for the causes you support and get community engagement.

Doing business with purpose is not only market-driven to make money, and also impact-driven to help people and support the community. As a service-based creative business, we support good causes from fundraising event to public presentation. We give our time, technology and expertise to raise money and awareness for charities, connect with the organizations to collaborate nonprofit projects, and help them engage people effectively via social media platforms.

Being thankful is a mindset, having an attitude of gratitude is a virtue in business and life.

What goes around comes around, helping others actually helps yourself. From individuals to startups, when we become more grateful and give our time, talent and donation to help others, they benefit from our generosity and in turn more people benefit the same as well. For startup community, giving back means to pay it forward and build an entrepreneurial ecosystem. From green business to social enterprise, check out how little things can make a big difference:

    1. Start small. Get involved in the community and support charities and non profits by making a donation, volunteering time, spreading the word for good causes and helping the community engagement.
    2. Think big. As technology has an impact on all aspect of life and people, good tech can solve the problems and save the world. Go paperless with digital, go green with solar energy, and go global with social media…think about our environment and world, we support tech for good to use, design and build tech to address social challenges like global education, waste prevention, and healthcare with innovative solutions.
    3. Pay it forward. Business and success is not everything, think of our short and long-term goals with social responsibility, be generous with our time, talents and resources to invest in social, cultural and environmental issues, at the end we are the ones who receive the greatest benefit of a sustainable community.
    4. Build an entrepreneurial ecosystem. By giving, sharing and inspiring, together we support each other to make the change and create impact through collaboration. Creators, investors, leaders, incubators and entrepreneurs are all ecosystem builders in startup community, such as venture-friendly markets, quality business support and network, available finance to research and development, effective leadership and technology for creativity and innovation…

Be an innovator

NASA has just landed successfully a robotic geologist InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Transport) on Mars after 300-million-mile journey from Earth. By NASA, the Journey to Mars is humanity’s Next Giant Leap deeper into their solar system. 45 years ago, the Apollo missions blazed a path for human exploration to the moon and today that path extends to Mars and beyond. After landing on Mars, the robot will investigate processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system more than four billion years ago, and many more missions will follow on the Path to Mars including human landing and step foot on the Red Planet.

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Almost on the same time, SpaceX has made a historic launch of the first and largest rideshare mission on a US rocket. It also marks a new record of its 19th launch in the year, and the 3rd launch with the same reusable rocket by the company. The spaceflight brought together payloads from 17 countries including US, UK, Canada and Australia etc. total 64 small satellites aboard its reusable Falcon 9 rocket were deployed into low-Earth orbit in this single launch. They are university spacecraft, tech demonstrations, imaging and communication spacecraft from 34 commercial and government organizations, plus the companies seeking to revolutionize the Internet of Things.

Tech for good, tech for change. From national space agency to private space services company, from space tech to reusable rocket launch and digital tech, technology drives exploration and innovation. It expands our knowledge, helps our research and development, transforms our world, tackles social challenges and change our lives for the better. Many business and social enterprises get involved in tech for good to create innovative solutions and foster positive change at work, in the community and the world.

Tech for good is a community and a movement for long term sustainability, such as digital solutions, STEM education, social design, renewable and solar energy…it adopts a responsible technology approach for business, people and planet, creates collaboration between creators, designers, founders, incubators and leaders for working together to make a change in all aspects of our life.

Tech for Good is the intentional design, development and use of digital technologies to address social challenges. It is the combination of the most powerful and flexible tool we’ve ever had and good design approaches that are user-led and test-driven.

— Dan Sutch, Researcher and CEO at the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technologies

Entrepreneurs are innovators, and builders of startup ecosystem. We share knowledge of the marketplace, provide service, advice and information to help other businesses, use technology to support the community and change our life for the better. From tech for good to digital innovation, entrepreneurship has the potential to bring new ideas and technology in life that contribute to business growth and improve well-being of global community.

Collaboration creates opportunities. In entrepreneurship system, we value business ethics, supportive environment, best practices and strategies for collaboration. Entrepreneurs, members of the public and communities are expected to collaborate and deliver research and development projects, share resources and input insights within network, create solutions and opportunities for creativity and innovation.

Based on startup mindset and entrepreneurial spirit, giving back means to pay it forward and build an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Entrepreneurship can make an impact with innovation and collaboration, be a giver and innovator to make a difference in our community. Today we give thanks to collaborators, partners and supporters, and we’re grateful to be part of global entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Happy November and end of year giving!

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.

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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