Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jiaotong University, Xi'an China and the Han Feng Tai Fruit Wood's Manor

The experience of traveling to mainland China is always filled with great adventure. We live about 15 minutes from the border. Our subway route ends in Lo Wu or (Luohu) which is Shenzhen, a large up and coming industrial city. The train approaches Lo Wu with thousands of people who cross the border daily between China and Hong Kong.  There are special immigration lines for school children who attend their classes in Hong Kong but live in China. The fluidity of the "come and go" of this area is an experience difficult to explain in words, you must come to experience it.

Such are the happenings of the border that many times it is just easier and cheaper to fly around China from the border. My experience traveling to Xi'an was to teach and learn at the new Center for Valued Based Leadership, founded by Dr. Ping Ping Fu. The center is new and has Ph.D and other master level students working on Chinese leadership research. The range of studies will shed a new perspective on learning and understanding Chinese leadership. The research is rich, filled with incredible rigor from the committed students at the Jiaotong University.
It was my privilege to spend two days lecturing, teaching and in discussion with this group of Xi'an young people. Xi'an is a historical city, where the dynasties meet and the power of the history of China unfolds. The Terracotta Mausoleum is located about 30 minutes from the center of Xi'an. There is the famous Walled City, the Bell Tower and Drum Tower.  Having the opportunity to sit with such passionate people about their history was an incredible honor. On a beautiful Friday evening, Matthew and Fang took me to the square where the largest Chinese water display happens. Every evening, a water fountain goes live with music, while the water moves to the rhythm of the music and lights. It is truly an amazing experience. The sunset was beautiful the walk around the park and the Pagoda- the lights.......an evening so wonderful with great conversations.

The time spent served to encourage those who are directing and moving the center forward,  discussing the
research themes and methods among students and also being able to learn from these outstanding students. The Jiaotong University , a national key university under the direct jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, is one of the country's oldest institutions of higher learning. Founded in Shanghai in 1896 as Nanyang Public, it was renamed Jiaotong University in 1921.  It holds awards and visitors from around the world. It is a place where learning is global and the students exposed to the most current issues.



The final part of our time with Ping Ping engaged female leaders across Xi'an. These are successful women paving a way for a new generation of leaders. There success stories and challenges inspire as they speak of their desire to continue to move forward in their industry and business. The Han Feng Tai Fruit Wood's Manor- a vineyard and cherry farm-  We spoke to the owner of her beginnings and how the farm is now a model for all vineyard start ups in Xi'an, lead by a dynamic and highly committed woman. We ate fresh cherries as the women gathered to tell their stories. As the evening approached, we moved to the manor's restaurant where we were fed the most wonderful Xi'an food. The conversations continued in learning how wonderful these women are.

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