September 27th 2021

MCI China Talks: Partnering with China on Global Issues

Kick-Off of the MCI China Center's new lecture series with former ambassador MMag, Dr. Irene Giner-Reichl

The MCI China Center, founded in May, launched a new lecture series "MCI China Talks" last week, in which renowned personalities share their knowledge and experiences about China with students, faculty, and external guests. The lecture series examines the political and economic system, takes a look at the historical and cultural characteristics, and shows the technological innovations of China - an emerging superpower. It also offers the opportunity to talk directly with experts and to critically examine various topics.

The kick-off of the event series took place in two versions - one in German and one in English - in cooperation with two departments. The common theme of the two events was: "Partnership with China on Global Issues". The guest speaker was former ambassador Dr. Irene Giner-Reichl, an internationally recognized expert on ecological and social development, women's rights issues, the environment, energy, and development cooperation. Between 2012 and 2017, Dr. Giner-Reichl was the Austrian Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.

At the first German-language event, 60 students of the Department Business & Management listened to the keynote speech and then eagerly discussed "Economy, Ethics and Responsibility" with a focus on China with the guest speaker and the head of the China Center Prof. Manske-Wang. From the "Belt and Road Initiative" to demographic change, human rights and conflicts in the South China Sea were also addressed. The two-hour event was extremely informative and led to further exciting discussions between students after the event.

At the second version of the "MCI China Talk", which was organized as a hybrid event by the Department of Nonprofit, Social & Health Management, 40 students and lecturers participated on-site and 30 more people online. "With the hybrid form of such events, we get the opportunity to discuss directly with interested people from all over the world, despite the special circumstances and the limited places on site, and can thus also build bridges for economic, political and cultural exchange virtually," says Head of Department & Studies and moderator of the event Prof. Siegfried Walch, enthusiastically. Together with Dr. Giner-Reichl, the director of the MCI China Center, Prof. Wei Manske-Wang, took part in the panel discussion and Q&A session. The students were particularly interested in China's strategy in Africa, climate protection and NGOs in China, but also in Huawei and the Corona crisis and its global impact.

MCI | The Entrepreneurial School® has pursued a strategy of internationalization since its foundation. The event series "MCI China Talks" opens an additional focus on China and prepares students for their professional future already during their studies.


About the guest speaker, MMAG, DR. IRENE GINER-REICHL, Ambassador ret.:

Irene Giner-Reichl‘s main area of expertise is economic and social development, women’s rights’ issues, environment, energy, and development cooperation. She directed the international department of the Austrian Ministry for the Environment, was Austria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, IAEA, UNIDO and CTBTO in Vienna, and headed the UNIDO Office in New York. She was Director General for Austria’s development policy and cooperation before assuming the ambassadorship for Austria in China and Mongolia (2012 to 2017), followed by Brazil and Suriname (2017 until March 2021). Giner-Reichl retired in April 2021 and continues to advocate for gender equality in the sustainable energy sector and to teach, lecture and publish widely.