The 2010 World Expo opens on May 1 in Shanghai. How excited is the city at the moment?
I believe all local Shanghai people are looking forward to its opening since it will be the biggest party ever in Shanghai’s history. You can find the expo logo, the mascot -“Haibo”, related news articles and videos in all possible media. Personally, I’m very excited: Only a few more days to go!
Have you bought tickets for yourself and your family?
Certainly. The ticket is actually quite affordable (about 25 USD) and with very flexible visiting dates between May and October. I believe I am one of the early purchasers among friends, having booked five tickets last summer!
Apart from that, SAIF will provide each faculty member and employee with three gift tickets. In addition, the Shanghai Municipal Government also promised one free ticket for each family and two additional public holidays before the opening ceremony.
What are you most looking forward to seeing ?
Actually, I am impressed a lot by the UK Pavilion, “Seed Cathedral”. I have no doubt it will be popular and become a lasting Expo icon like the Crystal Palace from the Hyde Park Great Exhibition in 1851.
After the sensational 1851 Great Exhibition, the UK Pavilion, "Seed Cathedral", has a tough act to follow
Another highlight of the World Expo in Shanghai is the introduction of Urban Best Practice Area (UBPA) where nearly 100 cities around the world present their best practices on city life. It will offer a vivid case study to visitors and is an example of how innovative the Expo continues to be.
Many believe this year's World Expo is the next showcase for China after the Beijing Olympics. What's SAIF’s view on this?
It will be a good opportunity not only to showcase Shanghai to overseas visitors, but also to educate Chinese people on sustainability and being green by introducing successful practices in other countries.
Balancing economic growth without sacrificing sustainability and quality of life has always been a challenge for China. By theming “Better City, Better Life”, Shanghai has tried hard to make this Expo a platform for exchanging thoughts and ideas with the rest of the world. In that sense, it is more relevant to common people than the Beijing Olympic Games which also explains why locals, including senior citizens and kids, are looking forward to its opening.
The expo also improves Shanghai’s infrastructure development. For example, a new Metro station opened right off the SAIF campus last week.
How is the World Expo going to influence the city of Shanghai, especially from a business standpoint?
Shanghai will move closer to catching up with other metropolitan cities by instilling the concept of social responsibility in common people. To be responsible and sustainable, we have to define this concept and educate people.
The Shanghai Expo will provide this educational opportunity to Chinese people. Ideally, once the mindset of people has been reshaped, they’ll push for change formthe inside at the companies where they are working. Multinational corporations in particular, might find it easier to deliver and implement its green concepts once all the people are on the same page.
How is the SAIF community participating in it? Are there any SAIF students volunteering at the Expo?
The SAIF community, especially the student body, has been an active participant in the Expo. Ms. Jiang Xiaojing, SAIF Master in Finance (Class 2009), is a student volunteers for the Expo. She recently invited Haibao – the mascot – to the SAIF campus as part of the countdown event.
"Haibo", the mascot of Expo, visited the SAIF campus and met the MBA students
In addition, Mr. Yan Hao, Part-time MBA (Class 2009) is giving backstage support to the Expo. His company, Shanghai Information Investment, provides multiple services to the Expo, from operations management systems to information security.
James Gao is the Senior Manager of International Affairs Office at SAIF