China’s future will no longer rest with an economy that simply relies on labor as a low cost item in the international environment, on heavy export, on the importance of government investment, but an economy that will rest on innovation, creativity, and the creation of new enterprises based on entrepreneurship, Condoleezza Rice, the 66th United States secretary of state said at a forum in Beijing jointly organized by Laureate China and the Center for China & Globalization (CCG), a leading Chinese global think tank dedicated to globalization of talent, enterprise and exchanges.
She said that there is great understanding across China that future economic growth is tied to the ability to innovate, create and grow new businesses, stressing that the 21st century belongs to countries and economies that can innovate.
“So if we think about innovation and creativity as essentially being ideas that then become solutions, that then become commercialized so that people can buy them, how do we get ideas to solutions for commercialization? That’s where we need people who can take an idea, apply to a solution, and commercialize it – we call those entrepreneurs, and they are needed in all elements of the economy.”
“At Stanford, there is something called the design school. It’s actually not a school: it’s a set of programs where students are encouraged to get together in groups collaboratively to solve certain problems put before them. A number of very good entrepreneurial ideas have come out of those experiments that the students have run,” added Rice, who is currently the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Rice added that the entrepreneurial spirit is strong in China, citing globally recognized names such as Alibaba, Tencent and Wechat as examples, which has also captured the attention of investors from around the world.
She ended by saying that as great countries think about their future – innovations, sources of economic growth, solutions to governance problems, and renovations of old economic assets, they need to also think about how they are going to train the next generation of people who might be entrepreneurs, but also how they are going to develop an entrepreneurial spirit and the population as a whole to be more tolerant of people who will take those risks.
“Will it be good if regulators have had a course on entrepreneurship? It might be easier for them to do their jobs. Entrepreneurship is one of those professions, one of those applications, one of those passions that is changing the world in which we live, and it deserves to be taught,” she said.
The event Professor Rice spoke at included attendees from the government, business and education leaders and was covered by leading news organizations.