Global Innovation Launchpad Subject Themes: Health and Happiness

You’ve either seen it in the news, read it on our website, or heard it directly when speaking with us: China’s middle class is growing, and China’s economy is experiencing growing pains. Seen from any angle, Chinese consumers who have disposable income constitute one of the fastest growing groups in the world. This swelling middle class is already an enormous percentage of China, and they all have a choice: they can save their money, or they can spend it. While the average Chinese citizen may not be used to the same variety in products, services, and experiences as those in long developed countries, the gap is closing. Money is being earned, and money is being spent.

What do Chinese like to buy today? This question has millions of answers, many of them entering the consumer market for the first time. What will Chinese like to buy tomorrow? This question has millions of people looking for the answer, many of whom are entering the Chinese market for the first time. One of the most accomplished and celebrated of Chinese thought leaders, Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group, offered something of an answer. Mr. Ma, in his interview during the 2017 World Economic Forum, coined a categorization of emerging Chinese consumer demands that we are now seeing repeated and explored in media around the world. These are the “Double H” industries of Health and Happiness (aka better access to higher quality medical and digital entertainment products and services).  Jack Ma did not make these categories up arbitrarily; his firm compiled data collected since its inception and noticed the theme. Both Medicine and Media are already huge focused of consumer demand, and neither are being satisfied by current supply. Mr. Ma did not call these the Double M industries of Medicine and Media, perhaps because M&Ms are already their own form of entertainment. Either way, the two industries are worth our consideration, not just in an article but also in our summer programme.

Hence, we announce that two of the themes to explore in the Global Innovation Launchpad will be Health and Happiness. Participants should expect some amount of the material covered in the case studies, the master classes, and the innovation workshops to be devoted to these themes. Note, however, that while both are important to learn about for the sake of understanding the state of Chinese enterprise, there is no need for every participant to commit to devoting their summer to either category. There are other themes in the Global Innovation Launchpad, as well, and participants will be exposed to opportunities in many varied lines of work.

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