Rating

8

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Eye Opening
  • Bold

Recommendation

The world’s largest technology giants became rich by mining citizens’ data yet pay nothing to the suppliers of their raw materials – individuals. Entrepreneur Jennifer Zhu Scott likens the current framework to Communist-era China – a time when the state owned and controlled all assets – and introduces a paradigm that offers millions of people the rewards of private ownership, a proven path out of poverty. Scott’s ideas may seem simplistic or quixotic but ignite a necessary conversation on a controversial issue, and a few companies are lighting the way forward.

Summary

China’s tale of economic transformation inspires society to challenge the status quo.

In 1970s China, the state owned all the nation’s assets. Individuals had no right to own private property, and citizens were all equally poor. In the 1980s, the market economy began to slowly open up. The Chinese were allowed to become entrepreneurs and own their own assets. The economy grew rapidly as people began to buy cars, property and goods. Over the subsequent decades, 850 million Chinese people rose out of extreme poverty. In 2015, just 0.7% of Chinese people subsisted below the poverty line, compared with 88% in 1981.

In China, private ownership and prosperity came at a price. The new economic model sacrificed equality and freedom and damaged the environment. Yet China’s story of transformation and growth prompts...

About the Speaker

Entrepreneur Jennifer Zhu Scott is a founder of Radian Partners, a members-only investment firm that specializes in high-tech investments. In 2018, Forbes listed her as one of the Top 50 Women in Tech.


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