From Superpower Couples Therapy to Yangyang at the mic: What happened at the NEXT China 2019 conference - SupChina
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From Superpower Couples Therapy to Yangyang at the mic: What happened at the NEXT China 2019 conference

SupChina’s NEXT China conference was held in New York City on November 21, 2019. The conference was all about the future of China, and why it matters for you. Over 200 professionals and China-watchers gathered to make connections and hear from over 30 speakers and breakout session facilitators.

The day began with opening remarks from SupChina’s CEO, Anla Cheng. “Today is all about learning, networking, and making new relationships and tangible connections,” Cheng said. On SupChina’s role as an independent platform that covers “all things China,” she added, “Sometimes we do get accused of being too friendly to China. Sometimes we get accused of being too antagonistic to China. Either a panda hugger or a dragon slayer. Just for the record, we are neither. We shed light, not heat.”

anla cheng next china welcome remarks

Our opening keynote speaker was the renowned medical researcher David Ho, who pioneered treatment for HIV/AIDS. Dr. Ho gave a talk on the anxiety among Chinese and Chinese-American scientists as the U.S. government has suddenly ramped up scrutiny of funding and other activities, especially over the past year.

dr david ho keynote speech next china supchina

A few of the takeaways from Dr. Ho’s excellent presentation included:

Next, it was “Superpower Couples Therapy” time, with Christopher Marquis of Cornell University moderating an illustrious panel on the future of U.S.-China relations: Catherine Eng, a policy analyst at Google Jigsaw; Dave Rank, the former number two official at the U.S. embassy in Beijing; Cheng Li, the China lead at the Brookings Institution; and Roberta Lipson, the CEO of Chindex International and the chairman of the board of United Family Hospitals.

supchina next china superpower couples therapy

The NEXT China conference attendees then split into six exclusive breakout sessions focused on key industries and themes for the future of business in China:

  • U.S.-China Environmental Collaboration
  • Life Science and Healthcare in China
  • Digital Marketing in China – A Parallel Universe
  • Ever-Changing Supply Chains in China
  • Legal Services in China
  • Corporate Philanthropy in China

We are deeply grateful for our breakout session sponsors for making these presentations possible: King & Wood Mallesons, Deloitte, PingPong Digital, the California-China Climate Initiative, Dragon Innovation, and the Serica Initiative.

Also, a special thank-you to our overall conference sponsors, Greenwood’s Asset Management, Brattle Street Coaching, Pillsbury, Piedmont Bank, WeBranding, Palm Drive Capital, and Orbia.

After the breakout sessions, the main session of the conference reconvened in the afternoon, and Mark Roswell, China’s favorite Canadian entertainer, gave remarks to the audience via video:

Fan Dai, the executive director of the California-China Climate Institute, then gave a talk on opportunities for U.S.-China cooperation on climate change:

fan dai california china climate institute keynote speech next china supchina

Our afternoon panel, on the new technologies of governments, took on the issue of China’s development and application of advanced technologies like AI-powered surveillance and the changes that this has caused in relations with the U.S. and others. Adam Segal, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, moderated the discussion featuring: Seamon Chan, the co-founder and managing director at Palm Drive Capital; Naomi Wilson, the senior director of policy, Asia, at the Information Technology Industry Council; James Millward, a professor of inter-societal history at Georgetown University; and Anne Stevenson-Yang, the co-founder and research director at JCAP.

new technologies of government next china supchina

SupChina’s COO, Bob Guterma, then sat down with playwright David Henry Hwang to discuss his recent show, Soft Power, which explores Chinese and American identity and political perception.

david henry hwang soft power next china discussion

Finally, Jeremy Goldkorn and Kaiser Kuo hosted a live Sinica Podcast featuring Yangyang Cheng, the particle physicist and essayist whose writing we feature on SupChina.

yangyang cheng sinica podcast next china conference

A tweet from an attendee, Mike Miller, sums up the experience of witnessing Yangyang at the mic:

Thank you to all our amazing speakers, attendees, and sponsors for coming together for a day of learning and connecting about the future of China!

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