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Melissa Morgan
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In a memo from March 2021, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin outlined new mandates for the Department of Defense to modernize, encourage innovation and “invest smartly for the future” in order to meet the dynamic threat landscape of the modern world. Writing in the same memo, he acknowledged that this goal cannot be met without the cooperation of stakeholders from across the board, including private industries and academic institutions.

In keeping with that priority, on April 5, 2022, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and her team joined a cross-departmental roundtable of faculty and students to hear more about Stanford's efforts to bring Silicon Valley-style innovation to projects at the Department of Defense and its interagencies.

These students are working under the umbrella of the Gordian Knot Center for National Security Innovation (GKC), a new program at the Center for International Cooperation and Security (CISAC) at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI). GKC aims to coordinate resources at Stanford, peer universities, and across Silicon Valley’s innovation ecosystem in order to provide cutting-edge national security education and train national security innovators.


This is a great place to be doing this. Here in Silicon Valley, there’s a huge amount of opportunity and ecosystem available across both Stanford and the broader research community and commercial sector.
Kathleen Hicks
Deputy Secretary of Defense

At the core of GKC is a series of classes and initiatives that combine STEM skills with policy know-how in a way that’s meant to encourage students to leverage entrepreneurship and innovation in order to develop rapid, scalable solutions to national security issues. Students from both undergraduate and graduate level programs, regardless of their prior experience in national defense, are encouraged to participate.

“We’re really trying to empower students to pursue national security-relevant work while they’re here at Stanford,” explains Joe Felter, GKC’s director, co-founder, and senior research scholar at CISAC. FSI and CISAC have deep roots in this type of innovative, interdisciplinary approach to policy solutions GKC is working to implement. Michael McFaul, FSI’s director, is a founding faculty member and principal investigator for GKC, and David Hoyt, the assistant director of GKC, is an alumnus of the CISAC honors program.

Results from GKC’s classes have been very encouraging so far. Working through "Hacking for Defense," a GKC-affiliated class taught out of the MS&E department, Jeff Jang, a new Defense Innovation Scholar and MBA student, showed how implementing a rapid interview process and focusing on problem and customer discovery has allowed his team to create enterprise software for United States Air Force (USAF) fleet management that has vastly improved efficiency, reduced errors and enabled better planning capabilities into the workflow. Their product has been given numerous grants and awards, and the team has received signed letters of interest from 29 different USAF bases across the world.

In another GKC class, "Technology, Innovation, and Great Power Competition,” Abeer Dahiya and Youngjun Kwak, along with Mikk Raud, Dave Sprague and Miku Yamada — three students from FSI’s Ford Dorsey Master’s in International Policy program (MIP) — have been tackling the challenges involved in developing a domestic U.S. semiconductor strategy. They were among the student teams asked to present the results of their work to Dep. Sec. Hicks during her visit.

“Attending this class has been one of the highlights of my time at Stanford,” says Mikk Raud (MIP ‘22). “It’s been a great example of how important it is to run interdisciplinary courses and bring people from different fields together.”

He continues, “As a policy student, it was very insightful for me to learn from my peers from different programs, as well as make numerous visits to the engineering quad to speak to technical professors whom I otherwise would have never met. After meeting with and presenting to Deputy Secretary Hicks and hearing about the work other students are doing, it really hit home to me that the government does listen to students, and it really is possible that a small Stanford group project can eventually lead into significant changes and improvements of the highest levels of policy making.”

This kind of renewed interest in national security and defense tech among students is precisely what the Gordian Knot Center is hoping to foster. Building an interconnected innovation workforce that can “think deeply, [and] act quickly,” GKC’s motto, is a driving priority for the center and its supporters.


We’re really trying to empower students to pursue national security-relevant work while they’re here at Stanford.
Joe Felter
GKC Director

The Department of Defense recognizes the value of this approach. In her remarks, Dep. Sec. Kathleen Hicks acknowledged that reshaping the culture and methodologies by which the DoD runs is as imperative as it is difficult.

“My life is a Gordian knot, day in and day out at the Defense Department,” she quipped. Speaking seriously, she reminded the audience of the tremendous driving power DoD has had in creating future-looking national security defenses.  “Because of its sophistication, diversity, and capacity to innovate, the U.S. Defense Industrial Base and vibrant innovation ecosystem remains the envy of the world,” Hicks emphasized. “Every day, people like you are designing, building, and producing the critical materials and technologies that ensure our armed forces have what they need.”

But she also recognized that the challenges facing the DoD are real and complex. “There are many barriers in front of the Department of Defense in terms of what it takes to operate in government and to make the kinds of shifts we need in order to have the agility to take advantage of opportunities and partner effectively.” She reiterated that one of her key priorities is to accelerate innovation adoption across DoD, including organizational structure, processes, culture, and people.

Partnerships with groups like the Gordian Knot Center are a key component to breaking down the barriers to innovation facing our national institutions and rebuilding them into new, more adaptable bridges forward. While the challenges facing the Department of Defense remain significant, the work of the students in GKC’s classes so far proves that progress is not only possible, but can be made quickly as well.

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A visit from the Department of Defense’s deputy secretary gave the Gordian Knot Center a prime opportunity to showcase how its faculty and students are working to build an innovative workforce that can help solve the nation’s most pressing national security challenges.

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Black Markets and Militants: Informal Networks in the Middle East and Africa

Khalid Mustafa Medani joins ARD to discuss his recently released book, Black Markets and Militants Informal Networks in the Middle East and Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

Understanding the political and socio-economic factors which give rise to youth recruitment into militant organizations is at the heart of grasping some of the most important issues that affect the contemporary Middle East and Africa. In this book, Medani explains why youth are attracted to militant organizations, examining the specific role economic globalization, in the form of outmigration and expatriate remittance inflows, plays in determining how and why militant activists emerge. The study challenges existing accounts that rely primarily on ideology to explain militant recruitment.

Based on extensive fieldwork, Medani offers an in-depth analysis of the impact of globalization, neoliberal reforms, and informal economic networks as a conduit for the rise and evolution of moderate and militant Islamist movements and as an avenue central to the often violent enterprise of state-building and state formation. In an original contribution to the study of Islamist and ethnic politics more broadly, he thereby shows the importance of understanding when and under what conditions religious rather than other forms of identity become politically salient in the context of changes in local conditions.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER 

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Khalid Medani
Dr. Khalid Mustafa Medani is currently associate professor of political science and Islamic Studies at McGill University, and he has also taught at Oberlin College and Stanford University. Dr. Medani received a B.A. in Development Studies from Brown University, an M.A. in Development Studies from the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the political economy of Islamic and Ethnic Politics in Africa and the Middle East.

Dr. Medani is the author of Black Markets and Militants: Informal Networks in the Middle East and Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and he is presently completing another book manuscript on the causes and consequences of Sudan’s 2018 popular uprising and the prospects and obstacles for Democracy in that country. In addition, he has published extensively on civil conflict with a special focus on the armed conflicts in Sudan and Somalia. His work has appeared in Political Science and Politics (PS), the Journal of Democracy, the Journal of North African StudiesCurrent HistoryMiddle East ReportReview of African Political EconomyArab Studies Quarterly, and the UCLA Journal of Islamic Law.

Dr. Medani is a previous recipient of a Carnegie Scholar on Islam award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York (2007-2009) and in 2020-2021 he received a fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars to conduct research on his current book manuscript on the democratic transition in Sudan.

This event is co-sponsored by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies and the Center for African Studies at Stanford University.

Online via Zoom

Khalid Mustafa Medani Associate Professor of Political Science and Islamic Studies McGill University
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Cover of book "Drivers of Innovation"

Innovation and entrepreneurship rank highly on the strategic agenda of most countries today. As global economic competition intensifies, many national policymakers now recognize the central importance of entrepreneurship education and the building of financial institutions to promote long-term innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. Drivers of Innovation brings together scholars from the United States and Asia to explore those education and finance policies that might be conducive to accelerating innovation and developing a more entrepreneurial workforce in East Asia. 

Some of the questions covered include: How do universities in China and Singapore experiment with new types of learning in their quest to promote innovation and entrepreneurship? Is there a need to transform the traditional university into an “entrepreneurial university”? What are the recent developments in and outstanding challenges to financing innovation in China and Japan? What is the government’s role in promoting innovative entrepreneurship under the shadow of big business in South Korea? What can we learn about the capacity of services to drive innovation-led growth in India? 

Drivers of Innovation will serve as a valuable reference for scholars and policymakers working to develop human capital for innovation in Asia.

Contents

  1. Educating Entrepreneurs and Financing Innovation in Asia 
    Fei Yan, Yong Suk Lee, Lin William Cong, Charles Eesley, and Charles Lee
  2. Fostering Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Education, Human Capital, and the Institutional Environment 
    Charles Eesley, Lijie Zhou, and You (Willow) Wu
  3. Entrepreneurial Scaling Strategy: Managerial and Policy Considerations 
    David H. Hsu
  4. Innovation Policy and Star Scientists in Japan 
    Tatsuo Sasaki, Hiromi S. Nagane, Yuta Fukudome, and Kanetaka Maki
  5. Financing Innovation in Japan: Challenges and Recent Progress 
    Takeo Hoshi and Kenji Kushida
  6. Promoting Entrepreneurship under the Shadow of Big Business in Korea: The Role of the Government 
    Hicheon Kim, Dohyeon Kim, and He Soung Ahn
  7. The Creativity and Labor Market Performance of Korean College Graduates: Implications for Human Capital Policy 
    Jin-Yeong Kim
  8. Financing Innovative Enterprises in China: A Public Policy Perspective 
    Lin William Cong, Charles M. C. Lee, Yuanyu Qu, and Tao She
  9. Forging Entrepreneurship in Asia: A Comparative Study of Tsinghua University and the National University of Singapore 
    Zhou Zhong, Fei Yan, and Chao Zhang
  10. Education and Human Capital for Innovation in India’s Service Sector 
    Rafiq Dossani
  11. In Need of a Big Bang: Toward a Merit-Based System for Government-Sponsored Research in India 
    Dinsha Mistree
  12. The Implications of AI for Business and Education, and Singapore’s Policy Response 
    Mohan Kankanhalli and Bernard Yeung

 

 

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Entrepreneurship, Education, and Finance in Asia

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Yong Suk Lee
Fei Yan
Fei Yan
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Shorenstein APARC
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Chong-En Bai
Ruixue ia
Xin Wang
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This article was first published in Vox China. Read the full article online.

In 2021, over 10.78 million Chinese high school students took the college entrance exam (Gaokao): a historical high. While the Gaokao is the most important talent selection channel in China, many questions about the Gaokao system remain unanswered. Does the exam measure ability? What type of ability? Does the exam score make a difference for a young person’s future career? Are higher-score individuals more likely to work in government, become entrepreneurs, or earn higher wages?

It is impossible to provide comprehensive answers to all of these questions in a single study, but here, we provide partial answers to some of these questions. Our results come from a recent study, motivated by a theoretical literature on talent allocation (e.g., Baumol 1990; Murphy, Shleifer and Vishny 1991; Acemoglu 1995). This literature has long noted that talent is general and can be used in both the entrepreneurial and non-entrepreneurial sectors, and that its allocation depends on the reward structure of a society. While this important theory of talent allocation has been developed for three decades, few empirical studies have directly tested it due to data challenges.

In Bai, Jia, Li and Wang (2021), we study whether talented Chinese are more or less likely to become entrepreneurs. Empirically, we link the universe of college admission records in 1999–2003 with the universe of Chinese firms and their owners, and then use a random sample of 20% of the linked data to examine who have become entrepreneurs and how successful their firms are. In total, this yields a sample of 1.8 million college graduates who created approximately 170,000 firms by 2015. We supplement this linked data with a large survey of Chinese college graduates that we conducted during 2010–2015 to study waged jobs. We use students’ Gaokao score as a proxy for talent and validate our measure with data.

Research design: within-college comparison

We focus on within-college analyses -- comparing individuals in their mid-30s with others in their cohort who graduated from the same college -- for conceptual and empirical reasons. Conceptually, the within-college comparison helps to control for the confounding factors of college reputation and network. Empirically, we find that most of the variation in firm creation comes from within colleges. For instance, although college fixed effects can explain up to 19% of the variation in wages of paid jobs (in our survey data), the effects can account for only 1.2% of the variation in firm creation. In addition, we find that the college fixed effects can explain only 46% of the variation in exam scores, leaving the majority of the variation to occur within colleges. The wide variation in scores within a college is driven by considerable uncertainty and political economy factors (particularly provincial quotas) in the college admission process. In addition, because Gaokao scores are comparable only for students from the same province and year, as well as the same academic track (social science vs. natural science), we isolate province-year-track fixed effects in our analyses.

We control for a set of individuals’ personal characteristics, which include gender, Hukou (rural vs. urban), high school quality, birth county’s GDP per capita, and age fixed effects. Although we do not have a specific measure of socioeconomic status (such as parental income), it is reasonable to assume that those from better high schools and wealthier counties have higher socioeconomic status. Within colleges, higher socioeconomic status is positively associated with exam scores.

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Hongbin Li's research finds that "In China, the college entrance exam score is predictive for both firm success and wage-job success in the future, yet higher-score individuals are less likely to create firms."

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Naho Abe
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Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan is an online course offered to high school students in Japan. It is offered annually in fall and spring by SPICE and the Japanese NPO e-Entrepreneurship, led by Yusuke Matsuda. The instructors are Irene Bryant (fall) and Maiko Tamagawa Bacha (spring). The goal of the course is to foster creative thinking and problem-solving skills in students with a focus on innovation to address social issues.


Because of my experiences with social issues in Brazil, Argentina, the United States, Japan, and Mexico, my decision to apply to Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan—a course for those with a passion in social issues and innovation—was immediate. However, when I started taking the course, I had little idea of the connection between business and social issues. Soon after classes began, I saw real-life examples of how unique innovations can improve the world. Every two weeks, a different professional gave us a lecture. Getting to hear stories of their first-hand experiences as entrepreneurs was an opportunity I never received at school, and I embraced it fully by asking question after question.

My favorite lecture was one given by David “Mas” Masumoto, who runs a sustainable peach farm in California. Through his lesson on growing organic peaches and passing down the farm to his children, I was able to make connections to a larger social issue in Japan: the lack of young people in agriculture. His lecture provided insights on specific ways professionals were practicing social entrepreneurship.

The course was certainly demanding. After the lectures, we had to work on group projects to come up with our own solutions, which enabled me to further understand and practice aspects of social entrepreneurship. It took hours of preparation and as I was one of the only students who lived abroad, I sometimes had to work with peers at ungodly hours. Nonetheless, all the hard work was absolutely worth it. The diversity provided by the unique regional backgrounds of other students located all around Japan exposed me to important perspectives on social issues.

For the final project, which included an individual research report on a social issue and a group business pitch, we had full control of what we wanted to do. The individual paper was refreshing for me because at school there is never this much flexibility, and it was a perfect chance for me to explore my interest in addressing social issues like environmental sustainability through entrepreneurship. For the group project, we created a business plan for a sustainable toothpaste. I have never worked with such motivated, diverse, and brilliant students willing to put in so many hours of work. Through the project, not only did I get to put skills that I learned during the program into practice, but I also made lifelong friends who shared the same passions as me.

Finally, Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan has grown my interest in how social issues can be resolved through entrepreneurship, and has motivated me to pursue not only the exploration of social issues, but business in college. It is a course like no other, with wonderful peers, invaluable lessons, and a supportive teaching staff. I encourage people who are curious about social issues or business in general to take advantage of the program.

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The following reflection is a guest post written by Naho Abe, an alumna of Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan.

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Gary Mukai
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Stanford e-Kawasaki is an online course for high school students in Kawasaki City, Japan, that is sponsored by Kawasaki City. Launched in fall 2019, it is offered by the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) in collaboration with Kawasaki City. SPICE is grateful to Kawasaki Mayor Norihiko Fukuda whose vision made this course possible. 


The two key themes of Stanford e-Kawasaki are entrepreneurship and diversity, and Stanford e-Kawasaki Instructor Maiko Tamagawa Bacha invites guest speakers with these themes in mind. Most guest speakers address one of the themes. However, when Victoria Tsai—a Taiwanese American entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of Tatcha—agreed to speak, Bacha noted that she could not imagine anyone more qualified to share her insights on both themes. Tatcha was founded by Tsai to share the geisha’s wisdom with modern women everywhere, and to further the belief that true beauty begins with the heart and the mind. Launched in 2009, Tatcha is now one of the biggest skincare retailers in the United States.

While listening to Tsai’s guest lecture on February 5, 2021, Bacha and I were especially struck by her resilience, approachability and gift for empowering youth, openness to diverse perspectives, and respect for traditional culture. We both quickly realized what a great role model she is for all of the Stanford e-Kawasaki students but for the girls, in particular.

Resilience
While sharing her experiences as a young professional on Wall Street, Tsai mentioned that she was 21 and was next to the World Trade Center buildings when they were hit by a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. She recalled, “We saw lots of people jumping and dying and then my husband got very sick and it made me question my purpose in life. And at that time, I didn’t know anything about ikigai [a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being”] but I knew that if I was going to spend the hours that I am awake working and not with my family and not playing, that I wanted my work to mean something.” After experiencing various jobs and going to business school, which “looked good on paper,” she decided to seek work with a greater purpose.

This led her to establish Tatcha. Tsai mentioned to the students that she hadn’t taken a salary at Tatcha for nine years. This prompted a student to ask about her motivation, to which Tsai replied, “When I think of my life’s purpose, I don’t expect it to be easy, but I do hope that it’s worthwhile. This work is my life’s purpose, so even when it gets hard, I just think, ‘that’s part of life.’” During the pandemic, I imagine that Tsai’s resilience really resonated among the students.

Approachability and Gift for Empowering Youth
I knew from articles about Tsai that she is a Harvard Business School graduate and an extremely successful CEO. Yet, by accepting the invitation to speak to the high school students in Kawasaki—some of whom are aspiring entrepreneurs—she demonstrated her desire to pass on her wisdom to the next generation. Prior to Tsai’s guest lecture, Bacha had sent her a list of questions that the students had written based on their reading about Tsai’s background. In her opening comments, Tsai noted, “You are much more advanced than I was. I could not compete with you.”

This comment seemed to quickly put students at ease. One of the students commented, “I think it’s wonderful that you found purpose in life and help people… A lot of young people like me and my friends feel lost in life, don’t have a dream or long-term vision of our lives, so I want to know how can we find our own purpose in life or dream.” This comment prompted Tsai to describe an activity that was devised by Harvard Business School’s Dr. Tim Butler, who has noted that as youth, they actually already have a hunch about what they want to be when they grow up, but just don’t know the specific names of the jobs. Tsai continued, “then, the problem is when you get older, you start hearing your friends, parents, and teachers saying, ‘oh, you should do that.’ And then in your head you can’t tell anymore if you really want to do something, or if you simply think you should do it because everybody else thinks you should do it.” The activity that Butler recommends is in two parts: (1) read articles that interest you, and identify patterns (specifically, areas of interest) in them; and (2) while keeping these interests in mind, write about what you envision yourself doing in ten years as you are the happiest that you have ever been—that is, completely focused and engaged. Tsai encouraged the students to try this, and some already have.

Openness to Diverse Perspectives
When a student asked Tsai about overcoming gender- and culture-related differences, she reflected upon three experiences: one on the trading floor on Wall Street and two in Kyoto with a taxi driver and geisha. Concerning her Wall Street experience, Tsai recollected, “When I first worked on Wall Street and I walked onto the trading floor, I was so scared. One, there were no women, and I couldn’t even understand what they were saying because they were speaking financial language… I remember being so intimidated. Then one year later, I could understand everything.” She came to the conclusion that “These people are not smarter than me. They’re just older, and the harder I work, the faster I can close the gap in knowledge. I have a great education, I have a decent mind, I have a very strong work ethic, I’ll just keep asking questions. So I figured it out.”

Concerning her experience with a taxi driver in Kyoto, Tsai noted that he is the one who taught her that there’s a difference between a job and a purpose. Through his actions, the driver taught her that his job is to be a driver but that his purpose is to make people happy. When he met Tsai for the first time, she was not feeling well and thus didn’t seem happy. After dropping off Tsai at her hotel, he went home to make CDs of images of Kyoto and delivered them to the hotel, thinking that the images would make her happy. They did and he felt only then that his job had been completed. Tsai reflected, “… and that just stuck with me and I did not know what omotenashi [hospitality that goes above and beyond the expectations of the person receiving the service] was back then, but then I felt it in my heart.”

Lastly, concerning her experience with geisha, who inspired Tatcha’s skincare products, Tsai noted “People in America don’t understand what a geisha is. The importance of a geisha is they were trained in a lot of the classical Japanese arts, such as dance, music, flower arrangement, and the tea ceremony. These are classical traditions that have very important meanings. I think that if you forget where you come from, then you don’t know where you are going. And so I try to hold on to tradition, because it matters. I just thought that’s a beautiful thing… I learned so much from geisha about entrepreneurship and about women’s empowerment through Japanese traditions.”

Respect for Traditional Culture
Her emphasis on Japanese traditions prompted a student to comment, “I was surprised that you made an innovation from old Japanese culture. However, there is a trend to discard old customs. So, how can we get a balance between new trends and old customs?” Tsai shared that what is so interesting about ancient civilizations like China and Japan is that “there is a lot of wisdom in this and something to learn from the past. What we try to do [at Tatcha] is to innovate within tradition, so I never tried to change the core of the tradition, because if it lasted 1000 years, there’s a very good reason for its continuity.”

What Does It Mean to Be a Global Citizen?
One very interesting part of Tsai’s presentation was to learn about Tatcha’s work with Room to Read, which seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income communities in Southeast Asia and Africa by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. A percentage of each Tatcha purchase is donated to Room To Read. Despite the enormity of some of the challenges that these youth face, Tsai noted that “they have a dream and they show up every day and they study hard and they work hard because they want that dream to come true. Nothing that I will ever face in my life will compare to what these little girls are going through, but then I think if I do my job and I don’t give up, then I can make sure thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of those girls can have a different life, and then my life meant something.” This really resonated in Bacha, who is very familiar with Room to Read as her husband works for the organization.

Reflecting upon the session, Tsai noted “I learned about the concept of sekaijin [global citizen] when studying the writings of D.T. Suzuki, and I fell in love with the idea. As people who live between cultures, we have the opportunity to share the best of both worlds to advance society and uplift individuals. It was an honor to share my story of cross-cultural entrepreneurship with the students, who were inquisitive, earnest, and wise beyond their years. I believe that Stanford’s e-Kawasaki program is helping to nurture tomorrow’s sekaijin.” When I consider the question, “What does it mean to be a global citizen?,” Tsai immediately comes to mind, and believe that Tsai’s talk really encouraged the students to aspire to become sekaijin as well.


The SPICE staff would like to express its appreciation to Tsuyoshi Inoue of Kawasaki City and Hisashi Katsurayama from the Kawasaki Board of Education for their unwavering support of Stanford e-Kawasaki.

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The entrepreneur and businesswoman spoke to students about how certain key experiences in her life influenced her path.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economies and expectations for economic growth and development the world over. But even before the pandemic, Asian economies were reassessing their growth strategies.

In a podcast conversation about the new edited volume Shifting Gears in Innovation Policy: Strategies from Asia, APARC's Korea Program Deputy Director Yong Suk Lee discusses some of the impediments Asian countries face in trying to encourage economic development and entrepreneurship, but also the inherent strengths that could allow innovative strategies take hold and grow in East Asia. Listen to the full conversation below.

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Edited by Lee, Gi-Wook Shin, and Takeo HoshiShifting Gears in Innovation Policy is the first of three volumes resulting from APARC's Stanford Asia-Pacific Innovation project that produces policy research to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in East Asia and the greater Asia-Pacific region.

Lee explains, “Many Asian countries achieved economic growth by importing new technologies from advanced economies like the U.S., using them very effectively, and then expanding exports. But now where East Asia stands, many of these countries have already successfully caught up to the technological frontier of advanced economies, so if they want to maintain growth, there needs to be a shift in their strategies.”

The shift Lee and the other volume authors propose is one towards economic growth that is driven by innovation and entrepreneurship rather than the ‘catch-up’ model that Asian economies have commonly relied on. Unlike startup hubs such as the San Francisco Bay Area of California, Asian countries often lack an entrepreneurial tradition because of antagonistic financial structures and differences in cultural definitions of success. These additional financial and social risks have cast entrepreneurial endeavors in an unattractive light for multiple generations of workers.

But encouraging entrepreneurship and endemic innovation are crucial to maintaining stable economic growth. With rapidly aging populations, greater interconnections in both trade and diplomacy, and transformation in the workforce, workplace, and work itself, effectively adapting development strategies to meet present and future challenges remains a central priority for East Asia policymakers and innovators alike. As Lee advises, “There’s strong infrastructure in East Asia, both physically and digitally, which is a great advantage. But they’re now at a frontier with no trajectory to follow, and there needs to be indigenous growth and continuous innovation in order to not be surpassed by competitors.”

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University Entrepreneurship Programs May Not Increase Entrepreneurship Rates, Stanford Researchers Find

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APARC Offers Fellowship and Funding Opportunities to Support, Diversify Stanford Student Participation in Contemporary Asia Research

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A man with interacts with 'Emiew,' a humanoid robot.
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“Co-Bots,” Not Overlords, Are the Future of Human-Robot Labor Relationships

Yong Suk Lee and Karen Eggleston’s ongoing research into the impact of robotics and AI in different industries indicates that integrating tech into labor markets adjusts, but doesn’t replace, the long-term roles of humans and robots.
“Co-Bots,” Not Overlords, Are the Future of Human-Robot Labor Relationships
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Yong Suk Lee explains in the new volume, Shifting Gears in Innovation Policy, that while ‘catch-up’ strategies have been effective in promoting traditional economic growth in Asia, innovative policy tools that foster entrepreneurship will be needed to maintain competitiveness in the future.

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Yong Suk Lee and Charles Eesley examine how university entrepreneurship programs affect entrepreneurial activity using a unique entrepreneurship‐focused survey of Stanford alumni. OLS regressions find a positive relationship between program participation and entrepreneurship activities. However, endogeneity hinders causal interpretation. They utilize the fact that the entrepreneurship programs were implemented at the school level.

Using the introduction of each school's program as an instrument for program participation, they find that the Business School program has a negative to zero impact on entrepreneurship rates. Participation in the Engineering School program has no impact on entrepreneurship rates. However, the Business School initiative decreases startup failure and increases firm revenue. University entrepreneurship programs may not increase entrepreneurship rates, but help students better identify their potential as entrepreneurs and improve the quality of entrepreneurship.

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Strategic Management Journal
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Charles Eesley
Yong Suk Lee
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Entrepreneurship classes and programs in colleges around the world have proliferated over the last quarter of a century, yet the literature examining the impacts and effectiveness of such initiatives is still relatively sparse and limited. Do these initiatives make a difference in the long-term entrepreneurial activity and success of their students and alumni?

Yong Suk Lee, SK Center Fellow and APARC’s Korea Program deputy director, and Charles Eesley, an associate professor and W.M. Keck Foundation Faculty Scholar at Stanford’s Department of Management Science and Engineering, have been collaborating on research that aims to fill in some of the information gaps in assessing the efficacy of entrepreneurship education programs.

In a new article published in Strategic Management Journal, Lee and Eesley examine the entrepreneurship consequences of Stanford University’s two major entrepreneurship education programs that were founded in the mid-1990s. Their findings are sobering but offer lessons for improving such efforts. Lee provides a synopsis of their findings in the video below.

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Using a unique entrepreneurship-focused survey of Stanford alumni, Lee and Eesley investigated how the Stanford Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (CES) at the Business School and the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) at the Engineering School affect entrepreneurial activity. They administered the survey to a well-defined population of comparable individuals from multiple industries, in total generating 27,783 responses. Respondents reported information on their entrepreneurial status, participation in angel investing and venture capital, and on the founding, duration, and success of start-up ventures. Respondents also indicated to what degree, if any, they had participated in the CES or STVP programs.

The survey results reveal that overall participation in the Stanford Business School CES had a negative to zero impact on entrepreneurship rates and participation in the Engineering School STVP had no impact on entrepreneurship rates. However, the data suggests that participation in the Business School initiative decreased startup failure and increased firm revenue in the long-term. “University entrepreneurship programs may not increase entrepreneurship rates,” Lee and Eesley conclude, “but help students better identify their potential as entrepreneurs and improve the quality of entrepreneurship.”

These findings provide important context to broader questions about entrepreneurship development and incubation, such as whether entrepreneurship is an intrinsic or acquired trait, and as such, whether firms should seek to develop entrepreneurial capabilities internally or acquire them from external sources. This question equally concerns universities and the strategies institutions of higher education employ to foster entrepreneurial talent.

Lee and Eesley note that it is important to take into account variation in entrepreneurship training programs in course content, emphasis, and other dimensions. Their research suggests that general entrepreneurship education that targets a broader spectrum of startups, rather than one that solely focuses on technology startups, may be more effective in reducing the uncertainty in entrepreneurial ability or improving startup performance.

These findings may generalize to other samples of selective-admission college-educated alumni, although there is certainly need for future work that explores the effects of entrepreneurship education in different institutional environments.

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A study by Yong Suk Lee, the deputy director of APARC’s Korea Program, and Management Science and Engineering professor Charles Eesley investigates the efficacy of two major Stanford entrepreneurship education initiatives, suggesting they may not increase entrepreneurial activity.

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Samsung is a veritable business empire. In 2017, it passed Apple as the most profitable tech company. But there is more to the company than flat screens and smartphones. In Korea, Samsung is ubiquitous not only as a leading electronics brand, but as a major shaper of culture and politics.

In the episode "The Republic of Samsung" from Business Insider's “Brought to You By . . .” podcast, APARC and Korea Program Director Gi-Wook Shin gives his perspectives on how Samsung transformed from a small family produce shop to become a core pillar of Korean identity. “Samsung really has become a very powerful group in Korea,” reflects Shin. “Their influence is everywhere, not only in business, but in politics, in education, and in culture.”

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This blurry intermingling of business interests, politics, and identity is both the key to Samsung’s success and the source of scandals over bribery, corruption, and nepotism that have rocked the company in recent years. For Shin, the longstanding Korean saying, “What is good for Samsung is good for South Korea,” has additional meaning in the present moment as both the company and the government of the ROK grapple with issues of systemic self-interest, erosion of accountability, and abuses of power that threaten the integrity and identity of each.

Under the leadership of Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong, the company is working to refurbish its image. But these efforts are mired in ongoing legal setbacks and new allegations. “Samsung can’t continue in the way that they have in the past. It’s a different era. Now, people demand more transparency, more fairness, more justice,” Dr. Shin emphasizes. As a predominant force for shaping business, politics, and identity in South Korean, this counsel to Samsung may prove a litmus test for the wellbeing of the Republic of Korea’s future as a whole.

Listen above to hear more of Dr. Shin’s insights and learn the rest of the story.

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Democracy in South Korea is Crumbling from Within

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APARC Announces Diversity Grant to Support Underrepresented Minority Students Interested in Contemporary Asia

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On the Business Insider's podcast "Brought to You By. . .", APARC and the Korea Program Director Gi-Wook Shin discusses how Samsung Electronics became so entwined with the history and identity of modern South Korea, and what the internal politics of the company indicate about broader Korean society.

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