Understanding Power & Leadership: With Heini Shi from NYU Shanghai

In June, IPWS held it’s annual Leadership Summit powered by IE Business School and throughout the modern conference speakers gathered to interpret the theme: Understanding Power & Leadership…

We shared an insightful piece last month by R May Lee our closing Keynote Speaker, and today share some overall discussions on Power & Leadership by Heini Shi, a Professor of Practice in Management – NYU Shanghai, and a IE Business School graduate.

Here are Heini Shi’s notes on the topic:

  1. I discussed opportunities for women in a world where global economic and social power structure is shifting due to the globalization and digitalization.
  2. Asia’s surge in the past decades has structurally changed global economy and will continue to shift global economic and political gravity. Aging society and the rapid growth of Asian countries are offering new perspectives and employment opportunities for women and youth in new workplaces.
  3. The recent winning games by AlphaGo against top human player displayed the fast advancement of deep-learning and the power of artificial intelligence. Although there is still long way to go before general intelligence can be created we are increasingly facing challenges and opportunities provided by AI and the digital ecosystem.
  4. As we make more powerful machines and systems, we should reflect our new roles and approaches in the global and digital world so we can better embrace such power and address global issues. Emotions and soft skills, among others, are fundamental differences between human beings and machines.  The power structure change should encourage us to reflect the role of humans in the world of singularity. We must continuously ask the right questions, connect the dots, and provide insights for solutions. There will be more spaces for human abilities of synthesis and compose puzzles for different mosaics.
  5. Many data has shown the importance of female economy:  firms with more women in the C-Suite are 15% more profitable (Peterson Institute for International Economics); globally 85% of consumer purchases are made by women, equivalent to a worldwide spend of $20 trillion (“The Female Economy”, HBR publication in 2009); 70% of household budgets in the G7 are controlled by women, etc.  Since women are especially talented in expressing their emotions and possess outstanding soft skills, including communication skills, there are new prospects in today’s the changing global economic and social system. Improving gender pay gap in emerging economies in particular would further increase in female purchasing power therefore global economy.
  6. While discussing new economy and women leadership, we should always keep our social responsibility and compassion for underprivileged population, especially the children.


Thank you Heini for sharing your notes and speaking at the IPWS Leadership Summit. See more here!

Heini Shi – Professor of Practice in Management – NYU Shanghai

Heini is a Professor of Practice in Management at NYU Shanghai. Dr. Shi has global policy and business experience in over 40 countries where she directed complex project implementation, created public-private partnerships, and advised market expansion strategies. Heini has developed leadership programs and taught at leading business schools in Europe, China, and the United States.

Prior to employment in China, Heini worked in Europe and the United States as program leader at the World Bank, United Nations Conference of Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where she designed and managed economic policy and social development projects. She was also a legal advisor to the multinational law firm Allen & Overy, consulting with European firms on their Chinese investments.

Heini is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program of IE Business School and is a graduate of the University of Turin, Italy. She also holds a Ph.D. in International Economic Law from Bocconi University and speaks Chinese, Italian, English, and French.