Planning for 2014: Shanghai


And it’s a cliché but I can’t believe how fast this year has gone. It also means that now, by the end of this year in which I started out working independently, a lot of things are coming together. The next few weeks will mostly be spent finalizing my assignment at the National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines. At the same time I’m doing my best to promote next week’s event on CSR in China as much as I can. And alongside of these big projects, a few smaller ideas are brewing away in my head and in discussions and meetings with people.

I am excited about and looking forward to what follows after this month. Yet, sometimes this feels scary as well. Which means that aside the current work I have been thinking about how to plan the new year: what do I need to focus on to make the coming year a success? Where can I find projects, partners, ideas that tie together the topics of Asia, CSR and business in such a way that I can deliver the best results for those projects and potential clients?

One of the things that has stuck with me most since my trip to China is what I wrote here, while in Shanghai in September:

But it has also made me realize that to be able to really work on these issues in a way that is effective […] I need to be here much more often and for a longer time in one go.

And in planning my activities in 2014, I’ve started with this. My new year will start of by realizing this objective: I’m heading to Shanghai for a few weeks in January. This (slightly extended) stay has several purposes. For one thing: to finally get a bit of a start in speaking and understanding Chinese. But also to continue establishing a strong network locally. To get to know the city better. And to possibly explore opportunities locally and/or do some work for (Dutch) companies.

I’m confident that this will then lead on to other things and that this will connect to some of the ideas I’m talking about with potential partners in the Netherlands. So the new year will be an exciting time to discover how these ideas can be realized. And spending January in Shanghai seems like the best possible start of the year I can create.

But, before I can be there properly, I’m looking for some input and help on a few things:

– I’m looking for a place to stay for a few weeks in Shanghai, so any suggestions for (shared) accomodation are very welcome.

– I’m available for projects locally: if you – as a Dutch/European company – are interested in the Shanghai market, would like to know more on CSR, sustainability or business development questions, get in touch to discuss possibilities.

– If you know of anyone looking for a place to stay for a few weeks in Den Haag: my apartment is available for rent.

And of course, if you want to meet up while I’m there, or have suggestions of people I should really meet – please let me know! I’m looking forward to being back in China again, and catching up with many people which time didn’t quite permit last time.

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