Editor’s note: This post is sponsored and written by the Kennesaw State University Division of Global Affairs
Diplomats, business leaders, policymakers and academics will all come together next week in Atlanta to discuss the growing influence of India and China on the world stage.
The 2016 Chindia Summit (Chindia is a portmanteau of India and China) will be held March 9 at the Cobb Galleria. Organized by the ICA Institute – a non-profit entity housed within Kennesaw State University’s Division of Global Affairs that encourages cooperation between India, China and the United States – the day-long Chindia Summit will examine the effects of Chinese and Indian expansion on the world’s culture, economy and environment.
Speakers include His Excellency Ambassador Necton Mhura, the Malawian ambassador to the United States, and, Hon. Nagesh Singh, Consul General of India. Ambassador Mhura will provide the morning keynote address.
“The theme of the conference is the impact of India and China on the rest of the world,” says Pamila Dembla, executive director of the ICA Institute and the conference’s chief organizer. “We decided to have an African ambassador provide the keynote to better understand Chindia’s impact on Africa. Africa is an important developing continent for the future. India has been in the African continent for many generations, while China has recently begun investing, comparatively speaking.”
Consul General Singh is part of a panel discussion on the Chindia diaspora. Other panelists during this session include Susan Au Allen, president and CEO of U.S. Pacific and Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Henry Yu, executive director of the Asian Investors Consortium, and Li Zheng, founder and president of Techtop Industries. The panel will be moderated by Tarun Talwar, founder and president of Mindspan Inc.
Each conference session analyzes how Chindia’s expansion affects key global issues like climate change and globalization. One session examines contemporary Chindian and American soft power. A country is wielding soft power when elements of its culture are so attractive to people of other cultures that they incorporate them as part of their own belief structures.
“Hard power is political power such as armies and economics,” Dr. Dembla says. “Soft power, on the other hand, is the intangibles. They are soft, but have a huge influence on people’s minds.”
Examples of Chindian soft power include the popularity of Bollywood cinema, Chinese tea and silk, and the commonly held belief that people from India and China are hardworking entrepreneurs.
“With respect to understanding soft power, Indians and Chinese are everywhere in the world,” Dr. Dembla says. “What is the impact of that?”
Topics covered at the Chindia Summit will appeal to businesspeople looking to invest in either country, to academics interested in further study of both cultures, and to everyone in between. Following the main conference, an evening reception will provide guests with the perfect opportunity to network with their peers and the presenters, who represent a wide variety of business, educational and governmental backgrounds.
“The summit is open to diplomats, business decision makers, academics, and anyone interesting in learning about these two countries,” Dr. Dembla says. “We want to bring like-minded people together who are interested in investing in India and China.”
The Chindia Summit is a program of the ICA Institute in collaboration with the Consulate General of India in Atlanta, the China Research Center, The Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce and three Kennesaw State University organizations: The Division of Global Affairs, The Confucius Institute, and The Office of the Provost and Vice President.
For more information on the Chindia Summit, including how to register, visit the Chindia Summit Homepage.