On the early morning of the 23rd of March, the Peking University School of International Studies was busy with action in preparation for the Opening Ceremony of the 2nd annual Yenching Global Symposium. The last strings of six-months of preparations were finally coming together into the four-day event full with lectures, discussions, site visits, and informal dialogues.
At 9 AM sharp, the school doors opened up to all the international and domestic delegates, special guests, and speakers. After a short registration and socializing over morning coffee, everyone gathered in the main hall where the Yenching Global Symposium officially began.
The lights dimmed and an introductory video began to play, highlighting the delegate profiles and the topics of the Symposium.
Following the video which seemed to excite the attendees even more, the Chairman of this year’s Symposium, Ivel Posada (Cuba/US, Harvard University), welcomed the delegates and guests. He briefly introduced the activities and topics, as well as the individuals who will play important roles during the Symposium. He highlighted the hands-on approach of this event, noting that the delegates will communicate, work, and collaborate with one another, instead of simply listening to lectures.
Next, Yuan Ming, the Dean of the Yenching Academy, gave a speech in which she extended her warm welcome to the delegates, dignitaries, and guests. Dean Yuan Ming showed her appreciation for the executive committee and all the individuals involved in organizing the Symposium. She extensively spoke about the significance of the four meanings of the Chinese word “xīn” and how innovative not only is the language, the Chinese society, but also the organisers for coming up with such a theme of the Symposium. Dean Yuan finished her speech by reminiscing about the Yenching Academy’s Opening Ceremony, during which an Ancient Chinese poem “Dēng guàn què lóu” was recited. She did so this morning as well, as a reminder to climb higher and go further.
Lastly, the President of Peking University Lin Jianhua congratulated the attendees and provided his remarks on the importance of the Yenching Global Symposium to Peking University, as well as to China. He shared his excitement about the widespread influence of Chinese innovation and culture on the international community. He praised the attempts to connect and expand the dialogue between China and the West about the topic of innovation. The President also wished for an exciting week of activities and hoped for such events to happen again in the future.
After the official speeches, the participants had the chance to take a group photo outside the building. They also continued discussions and social networking during a short mixer outside the main hall, while it was being prepared for the upcoming speeches and events.