“In one class I teach, I introduce a new economic concept each class in the context of a different country. In almost every case, we have one or more students in class who come from or have worked in these countries.”
The Epoch Foundation is a private-sector consortium of 20 Taiwanese organizations that was established as a springboard for academic opportunities connected to the Asia-Pacific region. MIT Sloan’s collaboration with Epoch began in 1990 with a $10 million endowment. The relationship has since expanded to include nearly $30 million in collaborative research and educational initiatives with MIT Sloan and other centers of activity at MIT, including the Media Lab, the Industrial Liaison Program (ILP), and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab.
The MIT Sloan-Epoch collaboration focuses on three main areas:
- Faculty research on Taiwan’s industrial development and Chinese-based economies
- Executive education programs for Epoch Foundation members and affiliates
- A biennial visit for 40 CEOs and rising managers from Epoch companies that includes seminars, workshops, and other activities customized by MIT Sloan and the ILP
Epoch companies regularly host MIT Sloan faculty in Taiwan for short-term teaching engagements and research activities, providing them with frontline access to trends in the rapidly expanding Asian marketplace. Epoch also sends members and sponsored students to Cambridge, for executive education programs. To date, nearly 100 men and women associated with the foundation have completed executive education courses, certificates, or degrees at MIT Sloan.
The MIT Sloan-Epoch collaboration also provides opportunities for Epoch associates to meet with MIT start-ups and become involved through early investments.
"When I get back to China, I will encourage students to be more active, to participate more. This is more important than telling them what is right and what is wrong."