The two-week Global Management School Summer Program jointly organized by Tsinghua University and University College London (UCL) attracted nearly 20 students from China, India, Belgium, and other countries. This intellectually stimulating and culturally diverse academic experience aimed to deeply explore the complexity of innovative ecosystems and their immense potential in addressing significant global challenges. The program took place at UCL under the theme of "Innovative Ecosystems for Major Challenges."
Arriving at UCL:
Stepping onto the historic campus of University College London, students felt the atmosphere of intellectual inquiry and innovation. UCL, renowned globally and in the UK, offered advanced research facilities that created an inspiring learning environment. However, what truly left a lasting impression was the diverse group of students from different cultural backgrounds. Engaging with peers from around the world, students experienced profound cross-cultural interactions, fostering inclusiveness and collaboration. This vibrant multicultural environment inspired unity and a sense of purpose, laying the foundation for this transformative journey.
The course content and activities, led by distinguished instructors, were designed to be inspirational and challenging. Renowned expert in innovative ecosystems, Magda Hercheui, revealed the complexity of collaborative solutions to major challenges through an enlightening framework. She emphasized the importance of trust, cooperation, and knowledge sharing in fostering a harmonious and collaborative innovative ecosystem. Additionally, her courses on business model innovation and platforms presented disruptive strategies for redefining industries and creating sustainable value. Students were captivated by real-life cases of successful enterprises leveraging platforms to drive growth and innovation. Encouraged by these insights, students aspired to develop platform-based businesses to address global challenges more efficiently and effectively.
Business planning and data analysis were also integral components of the program. Hercheui, in a lucid manner, explained the importance of evidence-based decision-making and high-quality data in formulating robust business strategies. Guided by research-driven insights, students gained confidence and insights to adapt to the ever-changing business landscape.
Moreover, Alastair Moore delivered an engaging lecture on artificial intelligence (AI). By showcasing AI's transformative potential in various fields, from healthcare to environmental sustainability, he led students to explore technology's role in shaping a better and more sustainable world. These inspiring lectures ignited students' passion for utilizing AI to tackle urgent global challenges.
Paolo Taticchi also presented captivating sustainability cases to demonstrate that businesses should prioritize not only profitability but also integrate social and environmental responsibilities into their core values. He encouraged students to actively engage in envisioning enterprises that create positive impacts on society and the planet, incorporating sustainable development into their core values.
In addition, in the final phase of the program under the guidance of Magda Hercheui, students worked in groups to develop entrepreneurial plans in the fields of energy and medicine, putting their learned knowledge into practice.
This practical activity allowed students to integrate classroom learning with real-world entrepreneurial practice, enhancing their ability to address practical issues and laying a solid foundation for future entrepreneurship. This academic journey not only enriched knowledge but also forged friendships and collaborations, opening new horizons for young learners.
Short-term Study Tour:
Apart from academic pursuits, another purpose of the study tour was to have the opportunity to experience different cultures and environments. Knowledge gained from books may seem superficial; it is only through firsthand exploration that we can unearth some traces and capture the past and present of the once glorious British Empire.
Cambridge, one of Britain's oldest university cities, has an 800-year history and is a renowned global academic center. Walking on this ancient land, one can almost feel the long river of time flowing in every corner, with the medieval town full of fascinating historical stories. Legend has it that 800 years ago, an apple fell on Newton's head, becoming the catalyst for the discovery of the law of gravity—a story that continues to intrigue people to this day.
UCL thoughtfully arranged a visit to Windsor Castle, which in this digital age, seems like a unique sight, symbolizing a return to tradition and a pursuit of history. It stands strong, witnessing the changes of time and human development. Every visiting tourist is infected by the sense of history and dedication it exudes, as if listening to the call of history.
Around Windsor Castle, you will find a group of unique toy soldiers. These toy soldiers, tall and erect, donning ancient uniforms, seem to silently guard the city's past and present. They are one of Windsor's iconic landscapes, attracting countless tourists to admire their charm. These toy soldiers are lifelike, and every day, according to tradition, they perform an impressive changing of the guard ceremony. During the ceremony, the soldiers stand solemnly, staring ahead, holding their weapons, as if prepared to face any challenge. Although they are only dolls, they convey a sense of solemnity and honor of soldiers.
The British Museum is one of London's most famous museums, housing precious artifacts and art from all over the world. Here, you will be amazed by the past glory of civilizations and history. Whether it's the Egyptian pharaoh's civilization, China's ancient civilization, or the Greco-Roman cultural heritage, it's an overwhelming experience. In front of these precious artifacts, we draw wisdom from history and understand the rise and fall behind the glory of the British Empire.
One of the significance of studying abroad is the profound insight we gain into the heritage and development of human civilization in such a historical context. Visiting University College London, exploring the ancient city of Cambridge, and stepping into Windsor Castle not only allowed us to touch the threads of history but also made us realize the connections between history and the present. The rise and fall of history tell us that no empire can remain eternal, that the world is ever-changing, and society continues to progress. Such historical transformations inspire us to cherish the present, and to be prepared for the future.
Reflecting on this UCL program, we not only acquired professional knowledge and practical skills but also experienced the charm and inspiration of British humanities and history. This study tour has been a valuable journey on our academic path, not only fostering our academic growth but also helping us understand our own values and future directions. Just like the dazzling treasures in the British Museum, we too shall carry forward the wisdom and knowledge we have gained, continuously exploring the unknown realms, and contributing our efforts to build a better and more sustainable world. This journey will accompany us throughout our lives, serving as a driving force for our pursuit of excellence, and keeping our passion and persistence alive on the road ahead.
In this era of globalization, the intersection and integration of diverse cultures add even more significance to study tours. Interacting with fellow students from different countries and backgrounds, we have learned to listen and understand, broadening our horizons and cultivating a global mindset. Such cross-cultural exchanges and collaborations not only enrich our academic knowledge but also broaden our perspectives on life and society.
Photos taken during the program