December 1, 2011 - News
Chinese policy makers find inspiration to foster innovation and entrepreneurship at SPRIE education program
By Yan Mei
From November 14th to 22nd, the Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE) welcomed a delegation of leaders from Shanghai for intensive training on “Leading Innovative and Entrepreneurial Firms and Regions in the Global Economy”. The 20-member delegation was composed of officials and senior managers with responsibilities over high tech parks, human resources, finance and urban planning in Shanghai, which has a total population over 20 million, and burgeoning investment in banking and finance, IT, bio science and media.
The weeklong program included more than 30 hours at the Stanford Graduate School of Business’ state-of-the-art Knight Management Center, the Bay Area Council and Department of Environment in San Francisco. The Chinese leaders engaged in dialogues and exchanged ideas with Stanford faculty, policy experts in the Bay Area, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and NGOs on the key strategies to drive innovation and entrepreneurship.
Teaching sessions drew on the expertise and experience of 13 thought leaders who shared innovative strategies, current data, and lessons from Silicon Valley, and regions in the US, Europe and Asia. From the GSB, Professor William F. Miller, Professor William P. Barnett and SPRIE Associate Director Marguerite Gong Hancock, each led sessions, ranging in focus from the ecosystem of Silicon Valley to strategies for discovering successful business models.
The classroom experience culminated in team presentations to translate what was learned into the context of the Chinese leaders’ own experiences and responsibilities in the Shanghai region.
“During the seven-day training program organized by SPRIE, we have learned several insights…especially under the theme of Engines of Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” said one group. The culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, the driving force of linking universities and industry, and the support of non-profit organizations could all play an increased role in Shanghai, another group concluded in a written report.
While appreciating the differences in cultures, systems, and the roles of government between Shanghai and the Valley, the Shanghai leaders also discussed how the Valley’s culture of risk taking and tolerating failure, and empowering creativity and productivity in talent had inspired them to apply lessons learned to Shanghai.
This program on “Leading Innovative and Entrepreneurial Firms and Regions in the Global Economy” is one of a series hosted by SPRIE to welcome international policymakers to Stanford at the heart of Silicon Valley to explore what leaders in successful high-tech regions around the world do to foster innovation and entrepreneurship and become engines for economic growth. Classes are offered by an interdisciplinary team of experts comprised of Stanford University faculty, Silicon Valley thought leaders, and other regional decision makers. Previously, SPRIE hosted a three-day training program for 20 central, provincial and municipality government officials from China, featuring distinguished speakers such as George Shultz (right in the photo), former U.S. Secretary of State, and Burton Richter, a Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics.