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Intellectual Hub

Upcoming Speakers

As an intellectual hub in Shanghai, Concordia attracts bestselling authors and leading experts to our campus to deliver lectures and presentations filled with thought-provoking information. There is often the opportunity to engage one-on-one with the speakers at private receptions following their talks as well. As an intellectual hub, Concordia has hosted multiple speakers and events since 2009 for participants from around the world. In addition to guest speakers, Concordia annually hosts the first and only National History Day China, a variety of educational conferences and competitions, and sends out conference speakers, all as part of the Intellectual Hub.

Past year's speakers

Over the years, we have been honored to welcome a host of speakers and subject matter experts to our campus.

2015-2016

Tim Heinze

Changing Lives One Cup at a Time: The story of Hani Coffee Co. and it’s impact in Southern Yunnan.

Since 2009, Tim Heinze has been working and living in Southern Yunnan among China’s minority coffee farmers. Coffee is one of the world’s largest employers of people and as such has the ability to connect lives across the globe. Pu’er, though traditionally known as a tea-producing region, has 50% of agricultural land being designated for coffee production representing just under 1% of the global coffee production. Our pursuit is high quality, specialty coffee while working to improve the livelihoods of farmers in the area. Through education, health, and water-based projects, our team seeks to not only impact an industry but the lives of those involved. Come hear more of Heinze’s story and the work he has been involved with in Southern Yunnan.

Polong Lin

The Age of Big Data

Data is everywhere. And when analyzed and applied, its uses and benefits are virtually limitless. But how can we use data to better ourselves and the world? Join Polong Lin of IBM and Big Data University as he leads a workshop on how to use big data to gain knowledge and insight on the world and its problems.


David Begbie

Changing a World in Need

David Begbie is the Director of Crossroads Foundation’s experiential simulation programs and a senior spokesman for the humanitarian aid and development organization, headquartered in Hong Kong. Over the past 20 years, David has spoken widely about the work of this organization, representing them for the press, educational institutions, business corporations, consular and United Nations events. Crossroads’ experiential programs have seen over 140,000 participants engage in simulations, including attendees at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

2014-2015

David Silbey

Exterminate the Foreigner: The Boxer Rebellion as a Popular Uprising in China, 1900.

In 1900, a Chinese secret society went after foreigners with a vengeance culminating in a chaotic three-way war involving eight western powers. Join us as author and Cornell history professor David Sibley discusses the reality of this rebellion, which included captive diplomats, embedded reporters, mystical rituals, and the capture of Beijing.

Tracy Drain

Unravelling Mysteries Beyond Earth

Have you ever wondered about space missions taking place beyond our atmosphere? Join NASA’s Lead Systems Engineer, Tracy Drain, as she speaks about the Juno Mission to Jupiter and shares some of the tools and techniques used by her team as they uncover new details and
insights about our universe.


Scott Anderson

Choosing Happiness

Join us as dynamic inspirational speaker, Scott Anderson, shares his unique blend of humor and insight on choosing happiness in the face of unexpected circumstances and unwanted obstacles. Born with cerebral palsy and spending much of his life in a wheelchair, Anderson understands that while one can never eliminate life’s challenges, one can learn to appreciate every single day.

2014-2013

Dr. Wang

IBM Software Group Asia Pacific

Dr. Wang, Vice President of IBM Software Group Asia Pacific, is the featured guest speaker and will lead a discussion on tools to manage the tremendous amount of data produced today- fundamental for a corporation’s or organization’s success! Dr. Wang is currently Director of China Development Laboratories and oversees 4000 software engineers and architects across Asia. Before he came to Asia Pacific, Dr. Wang was a Director at Silicon Valley Lab where he led High Performance On-Demand Solutions (HiPODS) organization.

Richard Sobol

The Traveling Photographer

Join us as award-winning photographer and author discusses the role of creativity and expression in life and reflects on the many changes and new roads that he has traveled during his career as a photo-journalist. This event will capture the imagination of adults and students of all ages.


Alexandra Zapruder
Author of Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust

According to Publishers Weekly, Zapruder “has done a great service to history and the future. . . These writings will certainly impress themselves on the memories of all readers.” Ms. Zapruder is the featured speaker for the 6th Annual Shanghai History Day at Concordia International School Shanghai.

Peter Feigl

Child of the Holocaust: Personal Testament of Survival

Join Peter Feigl, child survivor of the Holocaust now in his eighties, as he shares his childhood diary and the testimony of his rescue through the courage of the entire village of Le Chambon, France.

Cathryn Berger Kaye

An Innovative Look at 21st Century Skills, The Service Learning Link

Join us as Cathryn Berger Kaye, president of CBK Associates, an international service learning and education consultancy, leads a lively discussion on results of integrating 21st Century competencies and service learning. Hear how hidden talents are revealed and skills and knowledge transferred to new situations.

2013-2012

Dr. Ravi Zacharias

Making Sense of Life:
What Does it Mean to Be Human?

Does a beating heart make one human? Who or what determines the value of human life? Join Dr. Zacharias, author, apologist and Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University, as he addresses these questions and more in an evening exploring what it means to be human.

Dr. David Christian

Big History in 60 Minutes

How did the universe increase in complexity from the simplicity of space to the urban pace of Shanghai? Join historian, award-winning author and lead scholar on the Big History Project, a Bill Gates collaboration, for a 60-minute journey across the ages. In 60 minutes, Dr. David Christian will introduce Big History, the newly emerging inter-disciplinary study of the nearly 14 billion year history of the Universe. Big History revolves around several key principles: Thresholds of Increasing Complexity and Emergent Properties, Goldilocks Conditions, and Collective Learning. This is a fascinating approach in creating a suitable framework for studying the history of the universe.

Dr. Stephen Shore

Life on and Slightly to the Right of the Autism Spectrum

Join us as Dr. Shore, author, professor and President Emeritus of the Asperger’s Association of New England, discusses his personal journey along the autism spectrum and presents his research on matching best practice to the needs of those with autism.

Katie Smith Milway

One Hen Project

Join us as best-selling author of One Hen, Inc., discusses how her books have sparked a global social entrepreneurship movement where students leverage some of their $50 million in pocket money to impact countries around the world.

Darrel Falk

Evolution Through a New Lens

Darrel Falk, Ph.D, President of BioLogos and author of Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds between Faith and Biology, discusses the meeting points and tensions between science and faith.

2011-2009

Mara Hvistendahl

Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men

MARA HVISTENDAHL is a correspondent with Science magazine and a contributor to publications ranging from Foreign Policy to Popular Science. She is also the author of Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men. Shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and named a Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2011, a Discover Magazine 2011 Must-Read, and a Slate Best Book of 2011, Unnatural Selection shows how sex selection has contributed to the global disappearance of tens of millions of females. The book details how that gap is transforming communities — and how the West helped spark the problem.

Dr. Brent D. Glass

Public Memory in America: From Civil War to Civil Rights.

DR. BRENT D. GLASS is a national leader in the preservation, interpretation and promotion of history. Glass is a public historian who pioneered influential oral history and material culture studies, an author, television presence and international speaker on cultural diplomacy and museum management.

As director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (the world’s largest museum devoted to telling the story of America) from 2002-2011, Glass led a two-year, $87 million renovation and development of 20 new exhibitions for the 2008 reopening, including the major exhibitions on The Star-Spangled Banner; Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life and On the Water: Stories from Maritime America, and 80 public programs and 2,500 theater performances.

Glass earned his doctorate in history from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (1980), a master’s degree in American Studies from New York University (1971) and bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College (1969). He also completed the program for government executives at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1994). He writes extensively on topics ranging from state-of-the-museum blogs to public memory, historic preservation and industrial history.

Dr. Feng Shan Ho

Shanghai: Rescue & Salvation During the Holocaust.

During World War II, those seeking to escape Nazi occupation had precious few options. Dr. Feng Shan Ho, Chinese consul to Austria, took heroic action to save thousands of Jews from Nazi persecution by issuing visas to Shanghai. On September 16, Concordia presents a rare discussion with psychologist and author, Dr. Eva Fogelman and Manli Ho, daughter of famed rescuer Dr. Feng Shan Ho, examining why some took righteous action toward the Jews and how Shanghai became a refuge for thousands during World War II.