B2B: from Beijing to Berlin


Berlin is the rising center of prosperity and creativity in Europe, say many. Some are cynical about this prophecy. Not me. 20 years ago I heard similar things about Beijing, and Beijing did become one of the most exciting places in the world to seek wealth, creativity and adventures, at least for 2 decades or so. Berlin has a much more sustainable prospect: a social democratic tradition to hold Gini coefficient from rocketing, and many green-minded citizens to prevent the Beijing-style pollution.

My “B2B” move — from Beijing to Berlin – happened about 2 years ago, but my love affair with Berlin started much earlier, when I visited Europe for the first time in 2003. Over the years, not only the young, intelligent and ambitious creative class flushes into cool Berlin, traditional industries are also looking for inspiration here. Despite obvious differences, many things here look very similar to those in Beijing: vibrant and colorful trees of the future growing on top of the heavy weight of history and complicated challenges of the present.

So why not tell their stories to each other, since they are the centers of two ends of one continent? Creative industry, IT industry, culture, media……these sectors connect, homogenize and diversify different countries, bring the past to the future, the future to the past. They overlap and intertwine, changing their forms, shaping what we think and imagine. Both Beijing and Berlin are new power engines to these sectors in their separate continents, and both are looking to each other for inspiration and cooperation. This is why there should be a Chuan’r: a fun network of creative and ambitious ones from Europe and China exchanging their ideas, knowledge and experience, creating the future together.

A poem Rainer Maria Rilke summarizes the purpose of Chuan’r:

As Once the Winged Energy of Delight

As once the winged energy of delight
carried you over childhood’s dark abysses,
now beyond your own life build the great
arch of unimagined bridges.

Wonders happen if we can succeed
in passing through the harshest danger;
but only in a bright and purely granted
achievement can we realize the wonder.

To work with Things in the indescribable
relationship is not too hard for us;
the pattern grows more intricate and subtle,
and being swept along is not enough.

Take your practised powers and stretch them out
until they span the chasm between two
contradictions…For the god
wants to know himself in you.

(Picture credits: Upper foto alles-schlumpf; lower foto Sunset Noir. Both via photopin cc)

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