January 12, 2017, Jean Kunz. Local to Expat: A Shanghai Native reconnecting with her home city. Poster
Jean Kunz is a director at the Treasury Board Secretariat, she worked for over a decade on Canada-China relations, including on the Policy Research Initiative’s special China issue, Engaging the Dragon. She collaborated with organizations such as the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Asia Pacific Foundation on a range of topics including human capital flow, multicultural diversity, and social inclusion. Jean obtained her BA from the Shanghai International Studies University, followed by a MA from the University of Toronto, and a PhD from the University of Waterloo.
After graduating from university in the mid-1980s, Jean came to Canada to further her education, when Shanghai was at the cusp of yet another transformation. Everything was possible and everyone wanted to catch up with the advanced economies abroad. In 2015, she returned to live in Shanghai for nine months. She reacquainted with her home city, or, to use the local term: ‘to be a new Shanghainese’.
With stories about the locals and expats, her talk brought unique insights about an aspect of Shanghai that is less talked about overseas. The economic reform has transformed the social and physical landscape of the city, yet some things remain constant. While everyone is still trying to catch up with the developed economies, Shanghainese are keenly aware of their own strength as well as the challenges lying ahead.