Creative Thinkers in South China

The Mindfood Club intellectual space invited 3 creative thinkers on December 11th, 2021 at Jupiter Museum of Art in Shenzhen, to talk about creativity in organizations, design and the impact of art in our lives.

First, we listened to the organizers of this special Mindfood session sharing some words about their personal stories related to creativity.

Ms. Tina Gawryluk is the BD manager at Pinto, Consultant at the World Bank, Climate Change Group, and Committee Advisor of The Mindfood Club. Her previous work experience includes KPMG and the Chinese Academy of Science. She is a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow. She holds an M.A. degree in Economics and was educated in Poland, the U.S., the Netherlands, and China.

Our first speaker shared an extremely interesting approach to the way companies are managed. Only when the top-level executives ask the right questions, the organizations can have a clear goal. Leaders who ask billion-dollar questions have the greatest success in both seizing new opportunities and addressing unexpected challenges — and they build cultures that will carry these benefits into the future.

Mr. Joseph Smith is the founder and CEO of True AI Systems and former Vice-president of Global Business Transformation at Huawei (1999 – 2015). He was the first foreigner from IBM to live and work with Huawei in 1999 to lead its global transformation, receiving a recognition award from the founder, Mr. Ren Zhengfei. Former Senior Vice President of Organization, Systems & Effectiveness at Galaxy Entertainment Group. Currently, he is bringing more than 50 foreign tech companies to China. Joseph is a mechanical engineer with 25 years of experience in the technology industry. He is soon to publish a book called «Huawei: Inside Out».

The audience had the chance to ask several questions related to this leadership and management philosophy.

-Which of your roles required more creativity: being in a big corporation or running your own business?

-When you have your company, you are forced to be creative to address challenges. You have full responsibility for finding unique solutions to your company’s problems.

-How do we know that we ask the right questions?

-All questions are valid. The big companies tend to ask questions related to the purpose of their existence. You know you are on the right path if you can answer that question. After that, continue to ask questions that challenge the process.

-What value do you provide as a consultant for your clients?

-Being authentic and truthful. The other party can almost always tell when you are not. The more you use questions to build relationships and help other people, the more you build trust, a long-term relationship, and become the leader your people are looking for.

Our second speaker shared her stories while travelling in Europe and how that inspired her work and design. Ms. Agnes Bao is the founder and CEO of Zhi Xuan International, she has more than 15 years of experience in large-scale projects management. «Creative Management» at Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford, double Masters at the University of Hong Kong and Polimoda, one of the best fashion institutes in Italy, and top ten in the world. She is renowned as an international Eco-sustainable Creative Art Exhibition Design curator, the President of the Italian Association of Oriental Culture and Arts, and an Italian well-known fashion brand designer.

– What to do when you lose connection with yourself and what does it mean to reconnect?

-The key to learning to reconnect with ourselves honestly and fully is to get to a point where we learn to listen to ourselves rather than ignore our mind and body’s signals. When we silence our strong emotions and continuously judge or shame ourselves for feeling how we do, we end up burying our emotions even deeper,and that negatively impacts our creativity.

Finally, Ms. Tina Gawryluk introduced our third and last speaker. He lives in the mountains, meditates before the sun rises, has been fasting for two weeks and embraces a unique approach and philosophy of life.

Mr. Zheng Taijun is a traveller in the world of art and Chinese ink painter, he is a renowned artist with solo exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Australia, France, Ukraine, Czech Republic, among others. His works are displayed at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, National Gallery of Shevchenko, Ukraine, Fo Guan Yuan Art Gallery in Melbourne, Australia, among others. He participated on the national channel CCTV3, Beijing and in Star TV, Hubei. His works displayed at the solo exhibition «Lights, here and now» in Melbourne were acquired by the National Museum of Victoria.

Mr. Zheng Taijun is the first speaker in the history of The Mindfood Club who did not speak a single word in his presentation, he communicated through art. The audience enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience, feel and see him paint live on stage.

-Were you aware of the audience while painting? – Asked a participant

-First I was aware, then your presence vanished, and finally, you appeared inside this painting.

-What is the title of this piece of art?

-You can name it

-Why did you choose to paint this?

-This morning in the mountains, I saw a bird on a branch and felt the light through the leaves and decided to create this.

-Where do you come from?

-I’ve been wondering this same question for a long time

-Why this topic «Ink for Light»?

-Once I created a piece of sculpture out of soap in a prison, another time I gave a little gift to a person in a rehab centre, they said they were never treated with respect before, and saw light in the middle of the darkness. We can all help people around us.

-People get anxious for things that could be avoided, we tend to put ourselves in difficult situations when life could be just as simple as we want. We forgot the sound of silence, water, our heartbeat, ourselves.

-Once I was meditating next to a just finished painting, later I saw that a bird had tried to drink the water on the ink and left its footprints all over my painting. Instead of getting anxious or angry, I left it as it was, and now this is a very unique painting that can never be repeated.

After the 3 talks, our participants enjoyed food and drinks and got to meet other minds interested in creativity.

Special thanks to:

-Joseph Smith, Agnes Bao, Zheng Taijun

-Karen and her crew

-Our team of volunteers

-Anton for his photographies

-Piotr, Freedom and his media team

-Jupiter Museum of Art

-All the participants

-Our wine sponsor Pinto

The Mindfood Club, intellectual space for personal and professional development, a community where brilliant minds share career and life lessons to shape the future leaders and architects of society.

By Owen Wang, Director at Cole & Wright Consulting Firm and Founder of The Mindfood Club, a Spanish-Chinese business professional based in South China advising international companies in the Asian market. MBA at IESIDE Business School, a graduate of the University of Manchester, Zhejiang University and University of Vigo.

Thank you all for this year and

see you in 2022 for more Mindfood