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Fair explores ways to promote talent development

09-19-2023

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The 4th International Employment, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise (3E) Fair held in Shanghai over the weekend was a success.

This year's 3E fair, co-organized by The Expatriate Center, City News Service, and the Global Shapers Community Shanghai Zizhu at the Gubei Civic Center in Changning District, focused on the theme of "Resilience + Innovation," exploring new development paths for talent and promoting their high-quality development in the city.

Talent culture forum

One of the highlights was a forum on "Promotion of Talent Culture in the New Era."

Over the last four years, more than 50 theme forums, workshops, and lectures have been held to meet the demands of diverse organizations and individuals in business and talent management, career planning and development, and cultivating Shanghai's international talent and business landscape.

On Saturday, five guests explored the changes digitalization and artificial intelligence have brought to talent culture and how businesses and employees may adapt and survive in the new era.

Joey Yeo, managing director of recruiting firm Robert Half China, quoting from the company's "Jobs and AI Anxiety" report, said that tech and business experts expect AI to impact companies' ability to build and maintain a highly skilled workforce and drive a robust talent management culture.

"Talent culture evolved more than what we did before, developing a value-centric employee engagement program, because it has changed quite a deal in the post-pandemic era, and AI has expedited that," said Yeo.

According to Bessie Lee, CEO of JLL Greater China, people's relationships with their employers and the workplace have evolved since the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Before the pandemic, remote working was uncommon and thus unacceptable. The epidemic, on the other hand, normalized remote working, and for the younger generation, this is what they're used to," she explained.

"If you have children in your family, they will play games. If it's a group play, they work with people from all over the world. They work together but do not always sit next to each other."

"One of the most significant strategies organizations can employ is having an effective talent culture that requires new leadership thinking, life-long learning and regenerative models, which include soft skills enhancement," Yeo said.

The panelists said that there's no need to fear AI as it's already here, and both employers and employees should embrace new technology to adapt to the new era.

"Technology can be a complement to our existing business and help enhance our ability to serve our customers," said Ervin Yeo, CEO of CapitaLand Investment (China).

"Maybe AI is going to come in and replace jobs, but I'm already seeing new jobs being created, such as the chief prompt officers who put in questions to train machines. That's even more exciting," said Lee.

"So I'm very optimistic about the future where we coexist with AI."

Chidi Osisioma, vice president of Customer Satisfaction and Product Quality of Jaguar Land Rover China, said companies should focus on talent and organizational culture.

"There is a saying that culture eats strategy for breakfast," he said. "It doesn't matter how intelligent or effective you think your strategy is. If you don't have the right people and you don't have the right organizational culture, then you won't survive as a business, especially in the age of AI and innovation."

He said organizations now needed to review their culture, be more flexible and open-minded, and innovate to stay competitive.

Social entrepreneurship competition

The fourth annual Social Entrepreneurship Competition was launched on July 2. Six teams advanced to Saturday's final round after a five-week entrepreneurship program.

Team Oasis emerged as the winner with its app for youth to meditate, use positive affirmations, and improve their mental health.

The EcoLink team, a platform founded by William Romero and his partner to prevent e-waste by making it easy to transfer and trade electronics from businesses to consumers, finished second.

A Colombian master's student at East China Normal University, Romero used the competition to learn about entrepreneurship. He found the five-week training useful. "We learned pitch development and business model validation. We had a rare chance to cut all the details and finish the greatest project."

China's business environment also excited Romero.

"I believe China is the best place for me to start a new company," he stated. "Logistics here allow me to receive samples from companies in under two days. In Colombia or South America, it would take one or three months. If you want to create a new product in a couple of weeks, you can get it done in Shenzhen."

The four-year Social Entrepreneurship Competition attracted 236 applicants from 57 nations and regions with 73 project concepts.

Dr Natacha Tarascon, founder of the French personal care business Doucea and a representative from the previous three competitions, highlighted her successful entrepreneurship and International 3E experience at this year's event.

She said that China is a great place for small businesses.

"The market is here, the strong support is here, and the quality is here," she said.

"I'm very proud to say that all my products are created in China from A to Z. Despite the fact that we had many chanllenges, we remained optimistic about our brand's future because the Chinese market is so active."

Connection and community

The "Vibe Up! Hongqiao" Youth Innovation Talent Cultivation Project was also launched on Saturday.

"We hope that through this program, we can continue to connect and cultivate various types of talent in work, life, and community services, and attract young talents to give back to the international community and participate in public service projects," said Hongqiao Neighborhood Party secretary Guo Kai.

Hongqiao Subdistrict Office director Cui Lixia said the subdistrict will use this event to develop an international talent community, promote the "Hongqiao Service Window for Overseas Talent" brand, and foster innovative foreign talent.

She stated they would work with CNS, TEC, and other expatriate platforms to revitalize Changning's Hongqiao Subdistrict and Shanghai, a global city.

The Expatriate Center head Linda Painan said: "As we embark on this enlightening journey together, expect to harvest wisdom, share insights, and emerge with renewed determination. Let's embrace resilience and innovation to build a better home away from home together!