Shanghai Still Appeals to Young Migrant Workers. For Now.

This latest installment in our “Hope and Opportunity” article series, and last week's piece on Rat Tribes and Ant hills, we take a look at why young migrant workers are still drawn to Shanghai. Understanding Shanghai's Young Migrant Workers Young migrant workers born in the 1980s and 1990s now make up 60% of the total migrant population in China. Compared to their parents, the younger generation…

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Looking for a Change of Scene | Hope & Opportunity

A family incident brought her to Shanghai, and she hopes to find a change of scene and some distraction that can help her out of the sadness.  Back at home, she owned a small convenience store, but now in Shanghai, she’s one of the millions of migrant workers bringing prosperity to the city. It is a change of scene that did not come easy, and may not have brought the better life…

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The Future of China’s Left-Behind Children

This latest installment in our “Hope and Opportunity” article series discusses migrant worker trends with regards to children in rural China. When thousands of political and business leaders and experts gathered to discuss major economic, political, and social issues at China's recent Two Sessions, one of the most eye-catching and debatable topics raised was the current situation and futures of…

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China’s Labor Shortage: Are Its Cities Losing Their Appeal for Migrants?

This is the latest installment in our "Hope and Opportunity" article series discussing migrant worker trends in Shanghai. While the world debates the chances of robots replacing human labor and the Trump administration promotes the idea that China's "cheap labor" have stolen American jobs, on the factory floors, the conversations are quite different. Factory managers are wondering why labor poo…

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Generosity & Philanthropy in China: It’s About Context

THE QUESTION: IS CHINA GENEROUS? Much of our work here at Collective centers on the business side of "social entrepreneurship" in China – going beyond business as usual to work towards the development of a better world. Yet, we also run into a certain question from the more philanthropic side of that mission: Is China generous? Answering such a loaded question risks overgeneralizing a country…

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Automation & Manufacturing: 3 Insights of China’s Migrant Workers

With an increased number of reports and discussions focused on the impact of automation on jobs, there is a clear (and growing) concern in many areas of the world. It is a concern that we first studied last year as part of our work with the ILO in creating the Future of Work report. This concern, at the time, was seen as misplaced in the minds of many of the executives and factory owners we spoke…

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Moving Towards Home: “Hope and Opportunity” Revisited

At the beginning of 2016, we interviewed more than 100 migrant workers in Shanghai. We listened to their bittersweet life stories. One of the stories, in particular, touched our hearts. Check out the video below, and the following article explaining China's unique migration phenomenon. This is a story about 200 yuan and a dream. "Chunyun" refers to the travel season for the Spring Fest…

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China’s Left-Behind Children Disappear

"There are more than 9 million left-behind children in rural China, according to the latest figure announced on Wednesday. But compared to the previous number, 52 million left-behind children have apparently disappeared." Migrants provide the lifeblood for many economies, and nowhere is this more true than in China. As China's industrial revolution took hold, millions of migrant workers floode…

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What Brexit Might Mean for Global Trade and Policy

In an historical decision last week that shook the world, the United Kingdom voted through referendum to "Brexit", or leave the European Union, giving rise to numerous political, economic, and social implications. The social implications were already visible on a personal level over the weekend, as many people living in the UK — particularly ethnic minorities and foreign workers — have experienced…

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New Report: Hope & Opportunity – Exploring Shanghai’s Migrants

"Migrants who encounter these struggles and do not feel integrated into the city will most likely not be emotionally invested in the community. Therefore, cities should not overlook the importance of developing community-building and integration strategies to drive long-term migrant investment into the city. What is good for the citizens is good for the city. While younger generations are attracte…

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#Brexit: A Reminder About the World’s Migrant Workers

Migrant workers. We see them across the city, working the hard jobs on the street, studying for university degrees, and earning wages to support themselves and others. They are domestic migrants, traveling to urban Chinese centers of opportunity from rural hometowns in hope and pursuit of a better life – for themselves and their families. Considering the political turmoil and societal hesita…

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Shanghai’s Migrants Want to Return Home

“Shanghai can’t give me the feeling of home. I don’t know if you have same experience. Despite the fact I am not particularly close to my family, I am still most comfortable when I am in my hometown and knowing that my family is somewhere I can reach. Every time when I am heading back home, by just looking at how the landscape is getting more and more familiar, my heart would feel warm”. With C…

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China’s Eco-Cities Need to Do More than Win Awards

Last month while being interviewed for the New York Times piece China's City of the Future Rises on a Wasteland, I was asked about the importance of planning China's eco-cities... What should be the goal of an eco-city and why are they important to China? To me, this was perhaps one of the more important and interesting questions I have been asked on the topic, a topic I have been interviewe…

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Three Areas Where Social Entrepreneurs Should Focus in China

Following up from my post last week where I said "there is going to be a HUGE market for providing that capacity ", I was asked for a few examples of where I saw opportunities for products / services. 1) Urbanization and migrants With over 200+ cities with more than a million people, and a few hundred million expected to make a move to the city, this is one of the largest opportunities for…

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