The history of innovation in China
Ancient China contributed some of the greatest innovations to the world: papermaking, printing and the compass. In modern China this culture of innovation continues, as we have seen that China has become the source of many great technology breakthroughs and new paradigms of living. Through these innovations, the Chinese people showcase their insights, ideas and creativity to the entire world, as well as their global reach and impact.
Emerging Social Innovation Trend in China
Over the past thirty years, China has been well known for its rapid economic development. That said, the shadow of economic prosperity has been an increase in various social issues, such as pollution, inequality in education, and health problems. As the country is shifting its development roadmap towards sustainability, the demand and potential for social innovation is growing at a rapid pace.
Indeed, social entrepreneurship is emerging in ways impossible a decade ago. The Chinese government is increasingly speaking on the importance of innovation-driven growth model, and has implemented policies and provided funding for innovations and ventures in all sectors. Universities and schools are teaching students with skills and knowledge to create new ideas. Business leaders are recognizing the value of social entrepreneurs and collaborating with them on various issues. Furthermore, the rapid growth of social media in China has also led to an increased awareness of social issues and a strong desire to act, and the opportunities to seek solutions.
Ashoka China Outlook
Ashoka is working across sectors to build an ecosystem where social entrepreneurship and social problem solving thrive in China. We want to contribute to a China where all sectors of the society (i.e. government, business and the citizen sector) and every individual are able to see and act as social problem solvers. We want China to be seen as critical source of social innovation, a place where social entrepreneurs thrive, and a nation where everyone is contributing towards addressing the globe’s most challenging social problems.
Therefore, we look forward to working with domestic and international individuals and groups that commit to take the lead in this journey. We deeply hope that Ashoka’s expertise, experience and network can truly inspire and empower Chinese leaders and citizens to become real game changers in the years to come.
As Xi Jinping, the President of China, once said: “Innovation is the primary force guiding development… Only with the courage to innovate and reform can we remove bottlenecks blocking global growth and development.” We believe in China’s ability to influence the region and “tip the world”, and expect China to become a critical player in achieve an Everyone a Changemaker world.