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 Chi…

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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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