Global EMBA Classes 1995-2020 Reunite on Campus
On Sunday 24th September, around 130 alumni arrived at the CEIBS Shanghai Campus for the long-awaited Global EMBA Alumni Reunion, made up of no fewer than 25 class cohorts.
The reunion started with a series of welcoming remarks and moments of recognition for the achievements of outstanding individuals within the assembled alumni. Professor Zhang Weijiong, CEIBS Vice President and Co-Dean, gave a warm address to the gathered GEMBA graduates, telling them:
CEIBS Vice President and Co-Dean, Zhang Weijiong
“It is such a great pleasure to be able to welcome so many friendly faces – stretching all the way back to 1995 – to the campus, and I must say thank you to all of you for making CEIBS the best business school in Asia and one of the best schools in the world. You are among 28,000 CEIBS alumni, and you serve as our ambassadors and global citizens, connecting China and the rest of the world. You demonstrate the true power of international collaboration, despite the distrust and division the world currently faces.”
The professor then went on to describe the importance of pursuing lifelong learning with as much passion and open-mindedness as possible, praising the alumni for always demonstrating both qualities. He referred to their constant willingness to share their experiences and hard-won insights with their GEMBA peers and the wider CEIBS community, with so many alumni eagerly giving their unique business perspectives to CEIBS events as keynote speakers, panellists, forum leaders and even organisers of bespoke company visits. Professor Zhang closed his address with heartfelt thanks for the audience, reminding them that this kind of dedicated support is the lifeblood of any community.
Next, it was time to recognise the achievements of 12 alumni, drawn from across the assembled classes, whose contributions towards the Global EMBA community went beyond the call of duty in 2022. These ranged from strengthening the appeal of the GEMBA programme in the public eye, to supporting the admissions process and forging lasting links between different elements of the alumni community.
CEIBS Associate Dean and GEMBA Programme Director, Professor Bala Ramasamy, then took to the stage to provide the alumni with an overview of the programme's recent successes as well several updates that outlined its future direction. These ranged from an overview of recent years' student admission rates and future targets, to the impact of the welcome resumption of Global Modules (with new modules planned for Spain, the UK and elsewhere), and plans for a new "GEMBA Club" in support of the growing student club network.
In closing, the professor asked all the assembled alumni to continue their exceptional support of the programme however, whenever and wherever they could, saying:
Professor of Economics, Associate Dean, Director of Global EMBA Programme, CEIBS, Bala Ramasamy
“When you have a beautiful garden, some people will stand at the gate, appreciate its beauty, and then walk away. Some people may open the gate, come into the garden and smell the roses, but then still walk away. However, there are a few people who come into the garden, deeply appreciate its beauty, and then become gardeners themselves. My hope is that you will chose to become gardeners, gardeners who can help us make the school and the programme even better than when you found it.”
In the late morning and early afternoon, the gathered GEMBA alumni were treated to the latest research-based insights of CEIBS faculty members Professor Zhang Yu and Professor Majid Ghorbani, alongside Alfredo Montufar-Helu, Head of the China Center for Economics and Business, The Conference Board. Between them, these leading academics delivered three lectures outlining many of the most acute challenges, opportunities and business realities faced by organisations operating in today's VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world.
In Foreseeing and Shaping Industry Change, Professor Zhang took the audience through some of the technological and wider business trends that are leading to a complete reimagining of key industrial sectors in China and across the world. He challenged alumni to think beyond their immediate operational setup and risk landscape, highlighting ways to think and act proactively, using foresight to anticipate how and when these global forces may impact any individual and their parent organisation.
CEIBS Professor of Strategy, Programme Co-Director of CEIBS Venture Capital Camp, Zhang Yu
Professor Ghorbani gave his lecture on Entrepreneurs' Trials in the Era of Global Disequilibrium, focusing on the true extent of the difficulties faced by those with an entrepreneurial spirit when trying to bring something new to market in a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty.
CEIBS Associate Professor of Management Practice, Academic Director of CEIBS eLab, Majid Ghorbani
Finally, Mr. Montufar gave the assembled alumni a fascinating glimpse into the future direction of the Chinese economy in his lecture – China's New Development Paradigm. After explaining the unique characteristics of China's current economic situation, he then outlined how China aims to solidify its position at home and abroad by transitioning to a higher-quality growth economy that makes the best use of Chinese-grown innovation, entrepreneurialism and strategic collaborations with a broadening range of good-faith partners.
Head of the China Center for Economics and Business, The Conference Board, Mr. Alfredo Montufar-Helu
We hope that everyone who attended this long-awaited reunion was able to enjoy it to the fullest, engaging with friends new and old while also refamiliarising themselves with the current state of GEMBA, and taking inspiration from another example of the kind of learning experiences that make it the world-renowned programme that it is.
As the GEMBA alumni community grows, so does the number of gardeners invested in its constant, careful improvement. This is a fitting parallel for the wider mission of CEIBS itself – to encourage mutual understanding, appreciation and collaboration between China and the world.
GEMBA Administration Director Ms Isa Luo was the event's MC.
CEIBS GEMBA Administration Director Isa Luo hosts the event