Thinkers50 in 50 Seconds: Mark Greeven

A Dutch academic based in Hangzhou, China with a ringside seat on fast evolving developments in Chinese management and leadership, Mark Greeven is an associate professor at Zhejiang University’s School of Management. In addition, he is a research fellow at China’s National Institute for Innovation Management and the International Institute for Asia Studies.  He is co-founder of the ERIM China Business Research Centre.  Says Greeven: “Innovation does not come from guidelines or subsidies; it comes from creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and experimentation with allowance of mistakes and failures.”

What book are you currently reading? 

“Antifragile” by Nassim Taleb, an unconventional and true independent thinker.

How do you describe what you do?

I help people to change perspectives, embrace uncertainty and become innovators.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

Inspiration often comes from conflict of ideas and discussion with others and myself.

What does success look like?

Achieving your own goals, even if those goals are defying mainstream measures of success.

What is your competitive advantage?

As a Dutch academic immersed in China’s entrepreneurship ecosystem for over a decade, I am well positioned to explore Chinese ways of innovation from both a local and global perspective.

How do you keep your thinking fresh?

I regularly have walks, always live nearby a river, often initiate a chat with my wife and let my mind run off freely and sometimes neurotically pursuing a train of thought.

How much time do you spend travelling?

I suppose I am a Flying Dutchman, enjoying time at home, on the way and in discovering new places. Probably on the road for one third of the time.

What is the secret of a great presentation?

Presentation is a performance. Every time.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”– Oscar Wilde

It would not hurt to learn to speak Chinese fluently, at least it has brought me a whole new perspective on the world.

What is your next goal?

After finishing my 2017 forthcoming Routledge book “Business ecosystems in China: Alibaba and competing Baidu, Tencent, Xiaomi and LeEco”, my goal is to finish up writing my next book “China’s hidden innovation champions”, a summary of a decade of insights on innovation and entrepreneurship in China.

Describe yourself in three words.

Independent, contradictory, passionate

Share this article:

Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with the latest and greatest ideas in business, management, and thought leadership.

*mandatory field

Thinkers50 will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide news, updates, and marketing. Please confirm that you agree to have us contact you by clicking below:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at . We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Privacy Policy Update

Thinkers50 Limited has updated its Privacy Policy on 28 March 2024 with several amendments and additions to the previous version, to fully incorporate to the text information required by current applicable date protection regulation. Processing of the personal data of Thinkers50’s customers, potential customers and other stakeholders has not been changed essentially, but the texts have been clarified and amended to give more detailed information of the processing activities.

Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2023

Join us in celebration of the best in business and management thinking.