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Embracing Innovation for Peace and Sustainability

Keynote Speech at World Peace Conference, 2023

Date: 18th May, 2023

Venue: Attlee Room, Portcullis House, House of Parliament, London



Professor Richard Li-Hua

Founder and President

ELITE Innovation College Cambridge


Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon,


It is my great honor to delivery this speech at the World Peace Conference, which is co-organized by Magna Carta World Peace and Sustainability Foundation and ELITE Innovation College Cambridge. I am greatly inspired by Dr Sharma’s peace mission, and we are very pleased to be the host this important conference at this particular moment of time and in the present context of the superimposed global crises such as the Russo-Ukrainian war.


Human beings were born with a desire for “peace”. For example, in the western civilization using the olive branch as a symbol of peace could be traced back to at least 5th century BC Greece. An olive branch was one of the attributes of Eirene, the Greek goddess of peace.


More than 2,500 years ago, Confucius, the founder of Confucianism, not only put forward the peaceful concept and vision of "the world is one, and the world is united", but also put forward the strategic ways and methods to realize this vision. That is "the use of etiquette, role and regulation, harmony is above all". "What you do not want, do not impose on others". The highest political ideal of Confucius is to establish a Datong harmony society in which "the world is one society". The basic characteristics of the "Great Harmony" society are: When the Grand course was pursued, a public and common spirit ruled all under the sky, so it can "select the virtuous and capable, trustworthy and harmonious".


Philosopher Zhang Zai in Northern Song Dynasty has two famous assertions: one is "Creating peace for centuries" and the other is "Hatred in the end leads to the reconciliation". In the meaning of today's strategic management, if "creating peace for all generations" is the strategic goal, then "Hatred in the end leads to the reconciliation" is the strategic choice to achieve this strategic goal. Ensuring the success or failure of strategic choices depends on internal and external strategic analysis and strategic innovation. "Harmony" is an important category in Zhang Zai's philosophy system. The essence of Chinese classical philosophy is " Hatred in the end leads to the reconciliation." I call it: Embracing contradictions inspires innovation and leads to the future, and brings peace to all generations.


In my opinion, this is the gene of China's superb political wisdom and peaceful rise. This assertion fully reflects the unique wisdom of Chinese classical sages and the transcendent consciousness of Chinese philosophy. Since we have the grand ambition of "creating peace for all generations" with the superb wisdom, we must have the innovative concept of "the enmity must be reconciled and resolved". This is an important proof that Chinese classical philosophy possesses transcendent consciousness. Only the existence of the consciousness can complete the transformation and sublimation to advanced civilization in the Axial Century.


The word “peace” is a concept created to mean societal friendship and harmony without hostility and violence. What is the strategic instrument in achieving the peace mission and creating world peace? Owing to its dimensions and impact, embracing innovation has positioned itself to provide fresh perspectives and strategic insights in economic development, which has been widely regarded as innovation for peace and harmony. It coincides with the United Nations’ mission on peace, dignity and equality in a healthy planet.


How did human society develop? What is the driving force for the creation of world peace and the social development? There is no doubt that the ability of social innovation and technological innovation is crucial. Innovation is the driving force for human development. Conceptual innovation, theoretical innovation, technological innovation, and social management innovation are all the driving forces that promote the development of human society. We believe that conceptual innovation and theoretical innovation are primary. Imagine that if there is no conceptual and theoretical innovation in human society, then all other innovations are empty talks, which will undoubtedly stand still.


Embracing innovation, which subverts the theory of the rise of great powers, and is also regarded as innovation for peace, is a strategic model and a new paradigm of the wise who are seeking common development, sharing resources and a win-win solution. It is an intrinsic social innovation. It refers to a novel and innovative solution to a complicated social problem. The solution is more distinctive, effective and efficient, better, equitable and sustainable than the existing approach. At the same time, it creates value for the benefit of society. The essential elements, also regarded as the four pillars of the embracing innovation theory, are as follows: a. embracing contradictions, b. heading with the times, c. seeking common ground while maintaining differences, and d. creating harmony and tolerance. These four pillars support and complement each other.


The value system of “embracing innovation” can be summarized into three "integrations":


-an integration of prescriptive strategies with emergent strategies;

-an integration of eastern and western management theories and philosophies;

-an integration of different cultures and civilizations.


It is more reflected in the superstructure and ideological field. It contains two levels: a. it refers to concept and philosophical innovation, designed as a top guide to break the shackles of the spirit and helps problem-solving. It delivers social and political sustainability; b. it refers to innovation of technology and management, which balances the innovation strategy between indigenous innovation and imitative innovation and helps to build a solid economic foundation and sustainability.


The two levels of “embracing innovation” are complementary to each other, which makes the “embracing innovation” a soul of national progress and world development, an inexhaustible power of the national prosperity, world peace and sustainability.


Our Vision is to create a globally-connected Agora ELITE O2O Innovation University in Cambridge, the heart of innovation, recognised for its excellence in tackling the challenges and opportunities between West and East, developing global responsible leaders, managers and peace-makers through its scholarship. The hallmark of the College is full of innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and global leadership with resilience.


Welcome to EICC and welcome to Cambridge!


Many thanks for your attention!




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