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Sharon Gai    

E-commerce Expert; Artificial Intelligence in Business; Former Director of Global Key Accounts at the Alibaba Group

Sharon Gai is an expert in ecommerce, digital transformation and AI. She helps organizations become agile disruptors in their industries so they can increase revenue and retain users.

In her tenure at Alibaba, she advised brands and heads of state in crafting their digital strategy with programmatic marketing and AI. She has been the keynote speaker at TEDx, Singularity University, UBS, Nestle, Ecomworld, and Etail. She has appeared on ABC, CBC, CCTV, Techcrunch, Retail Asia, Wired, and The Next Web.

She is the author of the book, "Ecommerce Reimagined: what we can learn in retail and ecommerce from China." Sharon has an Honors Bachelor’s degree in International Development from McGill and a Masters in Knowledge Management from Columbia University.

Speech Topics

Culture Fluid, the New Way to Thrive in an Ever-Changing World

The world is shifting at speeds that are now faster than ever. From ChatGPT displacing thousands of jobs to cashless societies and digital currencies, we live in what Sharon calls a VUCA (Volatility, Uncertain, Complicated, Ambiguous) time. This is when businesses must adapt to a newer way of thinking. Sharon provides a fresh take as someone who has worked in the top companies of the US and China. She has led teams from Gen X to Gen Z, across various diverse backgrounds and types of companies. Apart from being a DEI speaker where she coined the term “Culture Fluid”, she uses the same agile methodology in a business setting, starting projects that have beat competitors and disrupted industries. Culture Fluid shows how businesses can be agile to fit the changing tides for a VUCA time ahead. Sharon Gai uses first-hand experience and actionable insights to present a compelling vision of the future world and leaves the audience with tools and an approach to develop a strategy to succeed in the shifting landscape of the 21st century tech-driven and digital economy.

  • The key macro-trends that is disrupting our world today
  • An overview of what your industry will look like in the near and distant future
  • Five key strategies today’s most successful players are adopting to prepare for tomorrow
  • How to evolve into a more agile and disruptive competitor
  • Tools and a process for developing concrete ideas for a strategy and approaches that could disrupt the industry

The Rise of the Intelligent Enterprise: How AI is Revolutionizing Business Operations

AI is no longer a futuristic concept reserved for science fiction movies. It's already here, and it's rapidly changing the way businesses operate, compete, and grow. From machine learning to natural language processing, AI is revolutionizing the way we work, transforming the very fabric of industries across the globe. In this keynote, we'll dive deep into the transformative effects of AI on business and explore the tremendous opportunities and challenges it presents. You'll discover how businesses of all sizes can leverage AI to gain a competitive edge, streamline processes, automate tasks, and make data-driven decisions that drive growth and profitability. We'll also examine the potential risks associated with AI deployment, including ethical considerations and cybersecurity threats. You'll leave this keynote with insights and perspectives that will enable you to navigate the complex landscape of AI, make informed decisions, and position your organization for success in the future.

Session takeaways:

  • Understand the difference between hype and reality when it comes to AI and its potential for business.
  • Learn about practical and impactful use cases of AI in various industries and business functions.
  • Gain insights into how AI is being used to streamline processes, optimize operations, and drive revenue growth.
  • Discover the key challenges of AI adoption in business and how to overcome them, such as data quality, privacy concerns, and organizational change management
  • Understand the importance of a data-driven culture and how AI can help drive it.
  • Learn about the skills and competencies needed to succeed in the age of AI, and how to cultivate them in yourself and your team.

How to Build Resilience in Chaos

In Nassim Nicholas Taleb's book, Antifragile, he spoke of three mythological creatures. The Roman myth of Damocles describes a fragile situation: a single horse hair suspends a sword over Damocles' head - shocks will have catastrophic results. The legend of the Phoenix describes a mythical bird that rises from the ashes after its destruction. The phoenix is robust because it returns to its original state after a shock. Finally, the myth of the Hydra describes a multi-headed serpent with a special power: each time a head is cut off, two grow back in its place. The Hydra is antifragile because shocks make it stronger.

Resilience is the ability to withstand, recover, and bounce back in the midst of stress, chaos, and ever-changing situations. Being resilient is especially important in today's VUCA world. (VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity), where everyone is worn down, uncertain about the future, reactive, and short tempered. The good news is that resiliency is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice. In fact, to be an effective leader today, this is an essential skill for career success. This workshop is filled with specific, practical frameworks and tools to boost your mental toughness when facing fast-paced, difficult, ever-changing, and ambiguous situations.

Session takeaways:

  • Be equipped with tools used to cope with ongoing stress so it doesn't affect your personal life or health.
  • Keeping yourself and your team motivated for the long road of change initiatives and shifting priorities.
  • Instead of fearing change, learning how to embrace change.
  • Remaining poised under pressure: how to instantly calm yourself and others from frustration or anger.

Culture Fluid, How to Be a Bridge in a Divided World

So there is EQ and IQ, but ever heard of CQ? CQ stands for cultural intelligence and is the ability for someone to navigate different cultures, whether at work, at home or generally in society. If you’ve moved countries, been an expat, been on an exchange, learned a new language or just travelled abroad, most likely you’ve been met with some sort of cultural shake-up. Being culture fluid enables us to traverse between cultures more easily by being more empathetic to those from another culture, a skill that is more and more needed in an increasingly globalized world. In this workshop, Gai will take the audience through her journey of growing up as an immigrant, and then returning to her birth country to work for the largest local internet company. She shares stories of work place micro aggressions she has experienced in both places and what she did in each instance. Open discussions will follow where participants can also share their stories and the group is given the chance to assess what are the best courses of action to take in the future. She ends the presentation by showcasing how she answers the question of – where are you from.

Session takeaways:

  • Learn how to be the bridge in a team with different cultures
  • Cultural intelligence and its importance in the workplace
  • How to take advantage of diverse cultures in teams

How to Optimize Globally Distributed Teams

We love the days where we wear PJs as work outfits. We also miss the days of the bustling office. How is the new persisted way of work affecting our workforce, productivity and our relationship with our coworkers? In the future, more jobs will be outsourced to either cities with cheaper labor or sometimes to other countries. Companies will need to learn to function with more distributed teams. Before, there were happy hours and in person team bonding activities to keep up employee engagement. In the WFH and hybrid age, how can remote teams still feel connected with their colleagues? How can satellite offices in other time zones stay connected and sustain motivation? In this workshop, Sharon showcases knowledge management frameworks from organizational behavior that answer how best to manage WFH and hybrid environments as leaders, managers and employees.

This workshop will teach HR practitioners, company owners and employees:

  • How to stay connected in an increasing WFH or hybrid environment.
  • How to create the same sense of “togetherness” as an in-person team as leaders and managers.
  • Knowledge management frameworks for distributed teams – what is the best communication mechanism, text, email, call, in person and for what situations.
  • Learn how to communicate effectively in hybrid work, decode digital signals that build or erode trust and how to unlock value from hybrid teams.

Sustainability While Managing Economic Progress

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Ecommerce & Digital Marketing

Selling to China, the Largest Consumer Market in the World

How SMEs Can Sell Cross Border into China

The Latest Update on Ecommerce Trend in China

How to Boost Sales via Livestreaming

The Bleeding Edge of Ecommerce and Marketing in China

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