Friday, October 24, 2008

The Universal Desire To Be Heard

Here I am, sitting at my second conference of the week. Monday and Tuesday, it was the third annual meeting of the Global Public Policy Network. This was held at the Peking University School of Government, right down the hall from my office. Thursday and Friday, I'm here in Shanghai, at Jiao Tong University, participating in a celebration of the 30 year anniversary of China's Reform and Opening. (Without which, by the way, we would certainly not be here. Thanks Deng!)

Now, don't worry, I am not about to bore you with the details. All I want to do is point out two aspects of conference presentations here in China that are no different than those back in the States. As you will see, the two are definitely interrelated...

(1) Time limits are for breaching. Rare is the speaker who can stick to the designated allotment of minutes, no matter how generous that allotment might be.

(2) You never can have enough PowerPoint slides. One day, I would like to see a speaker actually get through, say, 46 slides in 10 minutes.

~Steve

PS: The woman in the bottom picture is the official leader of a large residential community in Shanghai. How did she come to such a lofty position? Was she appointed by the local party secretary? Nope...she won an election! And who says the Reform and Opening is all about getting rich!?

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