Yuxin Hou 侯昱鑫BBA(IBGM) 2009
International Business and Global Management graduate Yuxin Hou has a career that truly involves global management and not only that, it challenges the norm. He is the Manager of China Business at The Global Institute For Tomorrow (GIFT), a Hong Kong-based independent think tank and the Project Manager of "The other Hundred" - an international photography competition and photobook project that showcases 100 worldwide photo-stories, each moving beyond stereotypes and introducing readers to the vast majority of people and cultures overlooked by the mainstream media.
"The best 100 of this, the top 20 of that... there are so many lists about success and material wealth in the world that give us an illusion that these are the benchmarks or goals we should aim for. So, during a brainstorming session in our office, we asked ourselves, 'why don't we make our own list that turns the overlooked into another hundred?'".
Yuxin and the project team started by first inviting photojournalists from around the globe to submit photo-stories, and later formed a world-class judging panel to select 100 photo-stories that were able to "move beyond the stereotypes and cliches that fill so much of the world's media to explore the lives of people whose aspirations and achievements are at least as noteworthy as any member of the world's richest 1,000". In 2013, "The Other Hundred - 100 Faces, Places and Stories" was published. Subsequently, "The other Hundred" with the themes "Entrepreneurs" and "Educators", were published in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
"The other Hundred" is an initiative of GIFT. Yuxin's first encounter with GIFT was when he was studying at HKU. "I was lucky enough to receive the sponsorship to participate in the Global Leadership Programme (GLP) organised by GIFT, which mainly targets executives!" Through GLP, Yuxin spent two weeks in India in 2009.
"When on exchange to Paris, I was fortunate to be twice invited to meetings organised by the French Ministers of Culture and Educaiton as a representative of international students in France. I had conversation with the Ministers and was shocked that their impression of China came only from the stereotypical, and often distorted images in the Western media," Since then, Yuxin has endeavoured to explore and reveal the "true faces" of the world that are excluded from the mainstream media; and that of China to the rest of the world.
The second edition of "The other Hundred" with the theme of Entrepreneurs captures the reality of small and medium-sized businesses in not-so-developed regions that provide the majority of the world's jobs. On a trip to Argentina, Yuxin visited a small shop selling handmade leather shoes, which was one of the winning stories in the Entrepreneurs edition. "When I showed the book to the shop owners, they were over the moon! They didn't expect their story would appear in a book that has global circulation." Yuxin still wears the pair of shoes he bought from the shop years ago. "They still look pretty."
The third edition, themed Educators, unveils the contribution of the uncelebrated educators who have pioneered unique ways of teaching and transferring knowledge. "The world is far more diverse and a lot more interesting than what is portrayed on the news and in magazines. Photojournalists support the mission of 'The other Hundred' as many of them have actually been looking for such a platform to express themselves, rather than conforming to the criteria set by the news agencies."
As one of 11 GIFT staff members, Yuxin has been exposed to various projects that are both economically and socially beneficial in developing countries, including Mainland China, his birthplace. The upcoming project is about scaling up quality food production in Shaanxi amidst shifting social dynamics in China.
Looking back, Yuxin said it was HKU that brought him to this interesting journey. "The IBGM programme is one of the best programmes at HKU. It is designed to have lots of sharing and deep discussions with guest speakers from around the world. All these have helped me develop my vision. I have to thank Professor Patrick Chau, Director of the School of Business and Professor Bennett Yim, Associate Director of Contemporary Marketing Centre, both of whom had the confidence in me and encouraged me to explore the paths less travelled; and Dr Derek Man, Associate Director of BBA programmes, who introduced GIFT's GLP to me; and everyone who has given me opportunities to explore and experience, and to work with the wonderful people of the world."
The best 100 of this, the top 20 of that... there are so many lists about success and material wealth in the world... why don't we make our own list that turns the overlooked into another hundred?