At a Distinguished Lecture on 14 November, Professor William Kirby, T M Chang Professor of China Studies, Harvard University, and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School as well as the recipient of HKBU Honorary Doctorate of Humanities 2017 shared his view on China's capacity to lead the world under the title "A Chinese Century? Infrastructure, Entrepreneurship and Education in the 21st Century".


In the lecture, Professor Kirby explored the prospects for Chinese leadership in the 21st century. He focused on three aspects: infrastructure, entrepreneurship, and education. On infrastructure, he highlighted numerous examples of how China is taking the leading role, including the high-speed railway and the cell-phone network. He then moved on to discuss a series of Harvard Business School cases and demonstrated how some entrepreneurs started their business in the agricultural sector. While he showed multiple cases of internationally well-known universities that set up new campuses in China, he argued that the education power in China is growing rapidly. He said he believes that China has the capacity to lead the world in the 21st century; nevertheless, he also pointed out that some political problems still exist in China. 

A Panel Discussion was arranged after the lecture. Professor Clayton MacKenzie, Provost, served as the Moderator and panel members included Professor Kirby, Professor John Carroll, Associate Dean (Outreach) of Faculty of Arts, The University of Hong Kong, and Professor Ting Wai, Professor of HKBU's Department of Government and International Studies. 

The Lecture which was organised by the Department of History and the Alumni Affairs Office attracted a full house of over 400 people from different universities and professional bodies.