Cultural IQ Stories of ordinary
Dr. Kai-Fu Lee 李开复博士
Fostering Connections, Illuminating Insights
Ms. Tian-Hong Chen 陈天红
Issue # 6, Oct.5 , 2009
Message from Christine Gao
After a time of reflection and travel to China, I have given a new appearance and revised the content of the
Cultural IQ monthly Newsletter. When I returned home to Toronto's Pearson International Airport last
Sunday, I discovered that not only did I have to adjust to our chilly weather but also to the psychological
distance and perceptions we imagine between Canada and China.
There is a Chinese saying "Seeing is believing". Therefore it is difficult to know what China is truly like
without experiencing it further through our five senses.
Seminars, workshops and previous Cultural IQ Newsletters had provided some “cognitive” knowledge of
this culture. Motivated by Daniel Pink, author of “A Whole New Mind”, I am hoping to bring some new
insights to you through sharing stories of ordinary Chinese people.
A picture is worth a thousand words; a story has a thousand pictures.”
I hope you enjoy the stories of the following two people that I have included in this first new issue. In the
future issues, I will include stories of professors, politicians, laid-off workers, doctors, lawyers, university
students, investors, monks, and artists, from all walks of life. As always, I welcome your feedback,
thoughts and suggestions, which I am hoping to share with more people with your consent.
Christine Gao, M.Ed, PCC
Cultural IQ, Fostering Connections, Embracing Diversity
Dr.Kai-Fu Lee has been quite a celebrity
who received much attention since he
became vice president of Google China in
2005. Many factors attributed to his wide-
spread fame, one of them being his
personal success story that associated
his name with world class companies
including Apple Computer, SGI, Microsoft
and Google. A second reason is that he
had volunteered to share his success and
served as a mentor to Chinese university
students and young people, helping them establish life goals and gain the secret of achieving overall success in
Lee was born in 1961 in Taiwan but his parents were originally from Sichuan Province. He moved with his
parents to the US when he was a teenager. He got his Ph.D of computer science from Carnegie Mellon
University in 1988 and became associate professor at age 28. Lee joined Microsoft and served as President of
Microsoft China Research Institute in 1998. Kai-fu Lee is the internationally renowned speech recognition
technology expert. He left Microsoft and joined Google in 2005. Although helped Google to achieve tremendous
success in China, he left Google last month - Sept.2009 and started his own company - Innovation Works in
Here below is an interview courtesy of “People Magazine”, Nanfang news.
People: What were your childhood dreams?
Lee: To become a scientist, like Edison.
People: Are you satisfied with the overall life right now?
Lee: Yes. I remember when I first came back to Beijing in 1998 from the US, I had a hard time adjusting to the
life here. Lot of things were not available then. But now Beijing is no different from any other international
metropolitan. I plan to live and stay here permanently, no plan to leave.
People: What is your ideal life?
Lee: To do things I have a real passion for, to feel excited and anticipating a day to unfold every morning I wake
up. And to have a family of love. Lastly, to have some spare time for myself.
People: What motivates you, what are you living for right now?
Lee: To make the world a different place because of me.
People: What is the most important thing for you?
A: The meaning of life.
People: What are your dreams now?
A: To establish innovative products, develop creative people through Innovation Works.
People: What are your expectations of the future of China?
A: The rise of China is a must, but in my opinion China shouldn’t target only as the biggest economic power in
the world. I hope China will become a nation of innovation, more than a world manufacturing plant. China
should become a nation of respect, holding social values and behavioral styles accepted by people from all
around the world.
Ms. Tian-Hong Chen
Tian-Hong is lucky in that she has a father who is a very
Tian-Hong’s father, Jin-Gen Chen started his own business in
1970s and accumulated tremendous wealth. Following his
passion and childhood dream, Jin-Gen started in 1990s and spent
10 years to build the most spectacular private Chinese garden in
Suzhou – Jingsi Garden.
Tian-Hong was made General Manager of this Jingsi Garden
when she came back from studying tourist management in New
Zealand. Many people say Tian-Hong is lucky because she was
not required to start from the bottom and work all the way up. But
Tian-Hong says she worked very hard in the early years to adjust
to this new position, and it is also her passion to promote cultural
exchanges through the platform of Jingsi Garden.
Here below is an interview curtesy of “People Magazine” of
Q: What were your childhood dreams?
A: To mary a charming prince and live happily ever after.
Q: Are you satisfied with the overall life right now?
A: Yes, very much.
Q: What is your ideal life?
A: Balanced, work hard and also have time for myself.
Q: What motivates you, what are you living for right now?
Q: What is the most important thing for you?
A: Love and the smiles on people’s faces.
Q: What are your dreams now?
A: To promote traditional Chinese culture through the platform of Jingsi Garden, to further energize the
traditional Chinese culture and make it accepted and approachable to younger generation.
Q: What are your expectations of the future of China?
A: With further economic development in China, all the Chinese people can access more comprehensive and
better medical and educational benefits which are essential to peoples’ lives.
Please visit www.culturaliq.com for upcoming events and related articles, resources.