Dr Thea van der Westhuizen during her visit to Lenovo’s headquarters in China.
School of Management, Information Technology and Governance academic, Dr Thea van der Westhuizen, presented a paper at the Strategy and Marketing for Emerging Countries workshop held in China.
Van der Westhuizen was awarded a scholarship to attend the programme which focused on business opportunities, marketing, logistics and structures in the context of emerging economies and analysed success case study stories in countries including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).
Her paper titled: “A Systemic Approach Towards Responsible and Sustainable Economic Development”, illustrated how entrepreneurship, systems theory and socio-economic momentum play an important role in giving momentum to responsible and sustainable economic growth.
Van der Westhuizen said the workshop helped her gain valuable insights into entrepreneurship which would be of benefit in her post-doctoral studies.
‘We heard from world experts in strategy and with the programme being a BRICS initiative there was a diverse mix of participants resulting in a sharing of cultures and perspectives on strategy which was phenomenal,’ she said.
During her month-long stay in Beijing, van der Westhuizen visited the headquarters of the Chinese multinational technology company, Lenovo, as part of the programme’s practical element. She also visited the Great Wall of China and experienced the city’s culture and cuisine.
‘Lenovo is a brand I have read a lot about and it was incredible to see innovators hard at work when we toured the company’s research and development unit. It was amazing to see their walls decorated with hundreds of patents and observe how their strategies have led to the innovation of technology.’