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Panelists share insight on supporting the next generation

By Li Xinran | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-29 00:39
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The Beijing International Youth Innovation and Development Forum was held on Sunday at the Zhongguancun International Innovation Center in Beijing. This year's theme revolved around the key elements of youth innovation and development.

Youth Talks was the final segment on the forum's agenda. Shi Futian, host of Youth Talks and China Daily journalist, invited five youth representatives from diverse backgrounds and industries to share their stories and insights about cultivating innovation in the next generation.

Chai Xiangfei is founder and CEO of Huiying Medical Technology Company, a company contributing to digitization and smart technology in the medical field. Reflecting on his nine years of entrepreneurship in Beijing, he noted the openness of the city and the passion for innovation among talent here. Chai said they are not confined to traditional industries and professions, but are eager to take on challenges and new industries.

Wahed Ahmadzai, founder of startup NHub and secretary-general of nonprofit Alumni Talent Alliance, pointed out the deepening and evolving meaning of entrepreneurship.

"It's about taking responsibility, solving problems, creating innovative solutions that benefit society as a whole, and establishing ventures that are well aligned with market needs," he said.

Ahmadzai emphasized the importance of collective efforts from governments, businesses and educational institutions in fostering innovation and supporting the next generation. He also said we should guide and inspire the younger generation to engage in entrepreneurial dialogue early on. "Universities and large corporations must provide more targeted support and real-world experience for the younger generation, including a school-enterprise incubation system," he said.

Dylan Walker, a journalist at China Daily, also underscored the significance of creating an environment where youths feel empowered to pursue their ideas. "Innovation often springs from daring risks and learning from failures," Walker said.

Walker also stressed the indispensable role of studying abroad in youth development. "It broadens perspectives, fosters adaptability, and enhances cross-cultural communication skills. By experiencing diverse educational environments, we cultivate independence, creativity and resilience," he said.

Clementine Ebel, a teaching scholar at Peking University, shared her belief that a single innovation has an exponential impact, as it may inspire others to come up with new ideas and creations.

Over the past five years, Ebel created more than 10 curricula, taught over 300 students, and helped over 100 teaching staff members overcome intercultural challenges. She said the core of innovation consists of observation, investment in the subject, and constant experimentation. Ebel also said that for youths, the discovery of an answer is not the finish line, but a starting point in a quest for more questions.

Gong Wentong is founder and CEO of Xiong'an Xingyuan Technology Company. The company is located in Xiong'an New Area, a state-level new area that serves as a developmental hub for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei economic triangle.

Gong said entrepreneurs in the area are predominantly from Generation Y and Generation Z. He pointed out that these young talent possess an open mindset, diverse backgrounds, thirst for knowledge, and are adventurous and adaptable to the constantly changing global landscape.

Gong emphasized that in the future, the world will continue to undergo technological revolution, digital transformation, and modernization in education. He stressed that youth innovation is a driving force in these trends and changes, and that society should provide them with more support and opportunities.

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