2019 Future Leaders of the Year Awards Ceremony

From amcham-shanghai / Publishend on 08/07/2019

To recognize the young trailblazers of Shanghai, AmCham’s Future Leaders Committee hosted the 4th Annual Future Leaders of the Year Awards on August 6th as part of our August Member Briefing. Juju Wang won the Future Leader category, Jiakai Yuan took home the 2019 Social Impact Award and Yoan Rigart-Lenisa was selected as the 2019 Entrepreneurship Award winner. You can read about the winners below.

The nomination process started in May, where we accepted applications for three categories: Future Leader, Entrepreneurship and Social Impact. We accepted candidates through self-nominations or from supervisors, employers, colleagues and friends. Both members and non-members of AmCham Shanghai were invited to participate, our only criterion was that nominees be young professionals under the age of 41. We were excited to see so many high-quality applications from diverse industries ranging from blockchain to art.

This year, we observed two positive trends in the pool of applicants. First, the percentage of female applicants increased significantly across all the three categories. Second, nominations for the Social Impact Award were at an all-time high.

The judges spent one week evaluating and scoring all candidates carefully and selecting our finalists.  

At last night’s event all finalists were invited to introduce themselves to the audience in 2 minutes. They talked about their achievements, how they have overcome adversity and personal challenges and what their plans are for the future. It was inspiring to hear the stories of so many talented people. After the speeches, the audience used Wolfpack Engagement’s live-voting system to select the winners.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the process. “We are all excelling in our own fields and together we can shape the future of the world,” said Juju Wang after the ceremony.

Winner of The Future Leader of the Year Award

Juju Wang
Installation Artist, Juju Wang Studio

Born in Shanghai China, but growing up in the United States, Juju has found herself at the meeting point between western future-orientated visual culture and traditional Chinese handcrafts, folklore and beliefs. Over the past several years, Juju has been exploring China’s heritage through both techniques and philosophy that have amazed and inspired her to produce art installations focused in bringing old practices into the present day.

In 2016, Juju was invited as an installation artist to participate to the World Historical & Cultural Cities Expo in Nanjing, where she was asked to create a series of installations in the 600-year-old Chaotian Palace, the place where the main conference were held. It was the first time that a series of contemporary art installations were permitted in an official national cultural heritage palace in China and were collected by the Nanjing government.

Juju presented “PalaSee” in front of mayors from over thirty cities and media across the world, and received glowing praise and recognition of having achieved its intended transformation of visitors’ experience of a traditional Chinese Palace. The exhibition period was extended by the mayor of Nanjing from one month to one year to welcome tourists from throughout China and the world.

Another well-known work of hers is the House of Clouds. With nine consecutive stops in representative cities of China, the installation has brought into public view Dai paper: one of China’s listed national intangible cultural heritage, with over 800 years of history. Thousands of people have lined up, posted online and impacted millions of netizens to embrace the new face of Dai Paper.

In 2018, Juju was awarded the title “China’s new Pioneer”, followed by “Asia’s new Pioneer” in 2019. It was a recognition statement for her evolutionary professional trajectory and the impact that her work has in promoting Chinese culture.

This year, Juju received the “Designer Of the Future” Award by Swarovski. An award that selects three young talents across the globe each year to respond to crystal sustainability. In collaborating with Swarovski and Design Miami/Basel, her newest installation “sea-cret” was unveiled to an influential audience at Design Miami/Basel fair in June 2019.

Notable awards:

  • June 2019: Swarovski Designers of the Future Award, “Sea-cret” Design Miami Basel, Basel
  • June 2019: Generation T. “Asia’s new Pioneer” title
  • June 2018: Generation T. “China’s new Pioneer” title
  • May 2018: “Artistic Star Award of the Year” by PCLADY
  • Oct 2016: “Culture Heritage Award” by Design Shanghai
  • June 2008: National COMTO Scholar, The Thomas G. Neusom Scholarship
  • 2004-2008 Cal Opportunity Scholarship
  • August 2007: UC Berkeley College of Engineering Department Award, Bechtel Engineering Scholarship
  • December 2006: Northern California Chapter COMTO Scholar, The Sharon Banks Scholarship
  • June 2004: UC Berkeley Alumni Leadership Scholarship
  • June 2004: Bechtel Women in Engineering Scholarship
  • May 2004: Turner Construction Scholar, The Achievement Scholarship
  • May 2004: Port of Oakland ASA Scholarship
  • April 2004: Bank of America, Outstanding Student Award