“Human beings cannot see with their eyes in absolute darkness, but they can see with their mind,” says Cai Shiyin, an entrepreneur who started the social enterprise Dialogue in the Dark in China.
Some people think Chinese people and enterprises have not formed the habit of giving. Is it true? Although it is the world’s second largest economy and has the second largest number of billionaires, China ranks 144th out of 145 countries on the 2015 CAF World Giving Index, which measures engagement in charity and willingness to help strangers. It is also reported that China’s top 100 philanthropists gave $3.2 billion—which is less than the amount given by just the top three givers in America. But despite the disappointing numbers, there are reasons to believe philanthropy is on the rise, with an awakening of social awareness and increasingly new ways to give.
“As a father, I want our children to know that rhinos are not just pictures in the book,” says Prince Williams, the Duke of Cambridge, in a campaign video on wildlife protection. Behind this campaign is WildAid, an NGO with the catchy slogan: “When the buying stops, the killing can too.” WildAid’s mission is to end illegal wildlife trade and slow down climate change. It focuses on the end consumer hoping that reducing demand would force the supply side to curtail itself. In this interview WildAid’s Chief Representative for China May Mei explains the significance of the emphasis on demand reduction and WildAid’s successes in China so far.
In every country, there are vast populations that need to be educated about something, like say personal health or hygiene, but it’s hard to do that because they are too poor, too busy, too old or just plain shy. The challenge then becomes: how do you reach out to them and achieve the desired outcomes. A concept called ‘embedded education’ can help here. Embedded education, or the practice of educating people through encounters that they already have with existing delivery systems, might just prove to be more effective than traditional mechanisms. So don’t be surprised if your barber starts educating you on hypertension the next time you get a haircut.
Are you among those who worry about where their products come from? So you prefer to shell out an extra buck for fair trade coffee instead of a regular cup of joe. You look for the Fairtrade certification when you buy clothes. But what about your phone? Fairphone, an Amsterdam-headquartered company, is selling phones on the premise that they are made from conflict-free minerals. Is that a compelling proposition for customers? Will they pick an ethically produced phone over an iPhone which has greater functionality, more aspiration value and a style quotient?
In a bid to improve the environment, the Chinese government is considering imposing a pollution tax. But how exactly should it determine the tax amount?
A megalopolis six times the size of New York, JingJinJi will ease the pressures being faced by China’s capital Beijing.
In this series on The Chinapreneurs, we look at entrepreneurs’ experiences in starting a business in China. In the first one, Kevin Zhao, CEO of Wangli Bank, elaborates on starting up in China’s fast-changing internet finance sector.
Chinese companies are starting to realize that corporate social responsibility is an important part of their transformation into a reputed brand.
Philanthropy in China doesn’t exactly have a good track record. What are the chances that the country will turn it around?