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Inequality in China is on the rise. In 2016, a Peking University study found that the richest 1% of Chinese households own 1/3 of the country’s wealth. Girls in China receive 1.5 fewer years of schooling than boys on average. Severe disparities persist between urban and rural China, as well as in healthcare, housing, and education.

Now more than ever, China's rapidly evolving and complex social sector is becoming an important leveraging point for change. The combination of widespread social media technologies, sector innovation, and a millennial generation driven to do good could lead to new and more effective approaches for combatting inequality here and around the world.

Join Philanthropy in Motion (PIM)'s Impact Lab to gain first-hand experience in Beijing's social innovation sector, while gaining new insights on how we can more effectively make an impact.  Yenching scholars selected for the Lab will explore different approaches to reducing inequality, learn frameworks for thinking on a systems level, and make decisions on how to allocate a real venture philanthropy fund to the social initiative they deem most impactful.

This fall, all Yenching scholars are invited to visit with four social entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders to hear first-hand how their organization is advancing social innovation for marginalized groups. Scholars who attend at least one site visit will be eligible to apply for the Impact Lab, (March - April 2018, Thursday evenings).

On Saturday, December 2, 10:30am-12:30pm join us for the third visit in this four-part series to Beijing Farmers' Market, a social enterprise aiming to raise the social status of Chinese farmers and promote sustainable food systems. Yenching Scholars and PKU students are invited to sign-up.
About Beijing Farmers' Market:

Goldman Sachs estimates that China’s rural workers earn about $2,000 a year. At the same time, the demand for safer foods, which includes organics, is increasing as China’s food manufacturing industry tends increasingly toward centralization and safety scares persist. Small organic farms may be best positioned to solve the trust issue surrounding food security, yet they are struggling to be profitable. 

As a pioneer in China's organic farming movement, Beijing Farmers' Market (BFM) raises the potential for building trust directly between farmers and customers — unlike China’s traditional urban markets, which usually consist of wholesale vendors, not farmers. BFM now has a team of 19 employees that run the weekly market, two community centers that sell produce and conduct consumer education events, a network of nearly 200,000 followers on social media, and partnerships with sustainable farms across China. 

The services and initiatives of the BFM have allowed a growing number of consumers to develop an intimate knowledge of where and how their food was produced. Similar farmers’ markets and consumer groups have sprung up in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Xi’an. By making sure that the food they eat is safe, consumers are also helping to protect the environment and to keep local organic farmers in business.
Scholars will get a chance to observe and experience how an organic farmers market operate on a daily basis. BFM Organizer Chang Tianle will give her insight to the challenges facing small farmers and sustainable agriculture today, and introduce her vision for BFM. The tour will be in English.

(Read more in recent media reports from ForeignPolicy, ChinaFile and FinancialTimes)

Please note that spots in the tour are limited and priority will be given to Yenching scholars who express an interest in applying for the Impact Lab. Students are expected to go by themselves and it takes about 30 min by car from PKU to BFM (the visit will begin promptly at 10:30am). Please prepare some cash to purchase goodies during the market tour. 
About the 2018 Impact Lab:
The Impact Lab is an immersive experiential leadership program for scholars learn and apply skills related to social impact, due diligence, crowdfunding, collective decision-making and more. Through curriculum delivered by guest speakers, practitioners and experts in the field, scholars will:
  • Learn firsthand how social entrepreneurs and non-profits are working to reduce inequality and promote inclusion;
  • Gain a strategic perspective on philanthropy and build skills to develop as socially-minded leaders;
  • Apply frameworks for conducting due diligence on social ventures;
  • Manage a real venture philanthropy fund
Since 2016, scholars in the PIM's annual Impact Lab at Yenching Academy have directed more than 70,000 RMB to grassroots social enterprises and non-profits in Beijing. Check out this video to learn about last year's Impact Lab at Yenching Academy. Questions? Contact Meg Rudy,
Impact Lab - Fall Site Visit Schedule:

Scholars who join at least one site visit will be invited to apply for the 2018 Impact Lab. Separate registration links will be sent for each visit.
  • Sat. November 25, 2-4pm: Easy Inclusion
    Changing how the public thinks and behaves with regards to disability

  • Fri. December 1, 1:30-4pm: Xixi Garden 
    Promoting sex and relationship education in migrant worker communities

  • Sat. December 2, 10:30am-12:30pm: Beijing Farmers' Market
    Raising the social status of Chinese farmers and promoting sustainable food systems

  • Fri. December 8, 2-4pm: myH20
    Driving civic engagement and promoting rural water quality via a  water testing network & platform


        “A fantastic hands-on opportunity to develop skills outside the classroom, think critically about social impact, and make a tangible impact on real world problems.” 
- Yenching Academy Impact Lab Participant ‘16

        “I really liked that I had hands-on experience. We didn't just learn about theories of change, crowdfunding, or evaluation--we did them ourselves! For a course that did not have that many class hours, we were able to accomplish so much. It was one of my most valuable educational experiences this year.”
- Yenching Academy Impact Lab Participant '17



China Resources Dreamport (五彩城购物中心)
Qinghe Middle Street 68
Beijing, China

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