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Interview with RSF Chairman Pierre Haski

The Specter of ‘Illiberal Democracy’

The chairman of Reporters without Borders (RSF), Pierre Haski, was in Taiwan recently to talk about “illiberal democracy.” In this interview with CommonWealth Magazine, he spoke about the rise of this phenomenon and what could be done to reverse the tide.

The Dividing Social Media

It’s Time for Facebook to Fix Itself

In recent years, Facebook has been haunted by serious problems like online abuse and fake news. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg himself addressed that something has to be done due to the situation. Can Facebook really fix itself?

The Rise of AI & Automation

How Machines Will Not Replace Human Workers

It's reasonable to be alert that AI and automation can eliminate jobs. However, it's also irrational not to look into the benefits and higher productivity brought along with human-machine collaboration. At certain point we will have to ask the question: Do machines necessarily have to compete with humans?

Charting the World

These Countries Have the Most Doctoral Graduates

This chart tells you where the most doctoral scholars are from. Which countries are winning the war of attracting talents?

'Reach for the Stars'

Has This Advice Failed an Entire Generation?

Millennials or Generation Y is projected to be the biggest part of the working force. They are, however, facing great technological, political and social challenges at the same time. How can they thrive in the future?

AIT Chairman James F. Moriarty:

Those who Play by the Rules will be our Partners

James F. Moriarty, chairman of the board of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), took out time during a recent visit to Taiwan to discuss bilateral relations, U.S. trade policy and foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region under President Donald Trump.

Bickering Bots

Should We Worry About Fights Between AI?

A study on Mammoth editing wars, where Wikipedia editing bots fought each other, reveals some fundamental questions regarding the development of AI.

Charting the World

Which Countries Recycle the Most?

What is 'real' recycling? Which countries are the best in terms of real recycling? According to a new report by Eunomia, Taiwan ranked 6th in the top 25 recycling countries.

Know Your ‘Economy’

The Myth of Sharing Economy, Explained

Barking up the wrong tree? Sharing economy is one of the hottest topics in recent years and seems to be trending everywhere. But do you really know what the term really means?

Universal Healthcare Coverage

WHO: Healthcare Costs are Pushing Millions into Extreme Poverty, This Outrage must End

At least half of the world’s 7.3 billion people still do not have access to essential health services. Director-General of the WHO (World Health Organization) calls the world's governments to act now.

Can Small Investments Create Large Returns for Energy Production?

Incoming Premier William Lai is wasting no time, cracking the whip to jumpstart Taiwan’s ambitious new infrastructure program, focusing on green energy, offshore wind farms, digital infrastructure upgrading, and easing employment regulations. Will the government’s strategy of using small investment to stimulate large growth pay off?

Mining Gold in Cyberspace

The Explosion of the Data Economy

In the 20th century, having oil meant having power and influence. In the 21st century, data has supplanted oil as the resource of choice. But having it isn’t enough. What is it that is separating the winners from the also-rans in this data-driven age?

Charting the World

The Most Popular Cities for Business Travelers

This chart tells you which cities handle the most air traffic of business travelers in the entire world. And Taipei is one of them.

Top 2000 CEO Survey

How the Economy is Turning Around

Seventy percent of Taiwanese CEOs are upbeat about the 2018 global economic outlook. Almost 80 percent of CEOs are planning to grant pay raises, and their intention to invest at home and abroad is also getting stronger.

Workplace Hack

Should Laptops be Banned from Meetings?

Could using a laptop to take notes in meetings undermine your overall performance? Research from Princeton and UCLA might have the answer.

Chinese Taipei Cheering Their Way to The Global Stage

Teamwork and Tenacity Takes Taiwan to The Top

They fight in the name of Chinese Taipei, but for the name of Taiwan.

Patrick Y. Yang

Fighting Cancer with Precision Medicine

Instead of resting on his laurels and enjoying retirement life, biotech industry veteran Patrick Y. Yang has returned to the frontline to help Taiwan catch up with the world leaders in precision medicine.

Exclusive Interview with Geoffrey Hinton

Canada’s Maple Valley Attracts Top AI Talent

Canada has become a “Maple Valley” of AI research on par with America’s Silicon Valley, enticing Geoff Hinton, the esteemed father of deep learning, to leave his native UK to settle in Toronto, and attracting huge investments from the top names in tech. How did this come about?

Taiwan’s Economic Miracle Long Gone

Chronicling a 20-Year Decline

Taiwan’s economy has floundered for the past two decades, plagued by sluggish growth and a lack of direction. Two Academia Sinica researchers have done an in-depth study of what has gone wrong, and they share their findings in this interview.

Aging Society

The Job Market is Booming for Older Workers

With the structure of population aging, the projected share of people aged 65 and over in the job market is projected to rise sharply.

Jack Ma

The One Mistake That Can Destroy Startups

Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, is ranked second on Fortune’s list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. Here he shares his insight on management and also points out a crucial mistake that startups should be avoiding.

Why Being Too Intelligent Might Make You a Worse Leader?

People often regard leaders as the smartest or most intelligent, however, researchers recently found that highly intelligent leaders have struggled to adopt the best leadership practices.

Unicorn CEO Johnny Shih

Lesson Learned: Talent Trumps All

Like many young Taiwanese entrepreneurs, this CEO of a men’s skin care company had to break out of his shell to find his way and now hopes to create an environment in Taiwan that values talent more highly and dares to reach out into the world.

World Economic Forum

We Have the Tools to Fight Climate Change. It’s Time to Start Using Them

The threat of climate change is dire but seems difficult to fight. However, the tools to fight it have long been in our hands and we really need to start using them.

Novemeber 2017

Hot Topic Series

Why are they leaving? Why should they return? How can Taiwan reverse its brain drain? Look into the past, the present, and the future of Taiwan's talent draining issue.

International Trade Slows Down

A Turning Point for Globalization

Globalization has reformed the world's production landscape, however, recent studies show that international trade is slowing down. What does this mean to the future of globalization?

Housing Justice

These Cities Have the Least Affordable Housing

Of the top 20 cities with least-affordable housing relative to income, seven are in Asia and six are in Latin America.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Legislator Freddy Lim

Taiwan Needs to Step Up its Game

Best known as the frontman for a heavy metal band and now a lawmaker, Freddy Lim tells CommonWealth what it takes for Taiwanese artists to gain traction overseas and the importance of both drawing on their heritage and meeting international standards.

Refining The Tea Drinking Culture

Taiwan Tea in Starbucks

Starbucks Taiwan has been looking into integrating a “new tea culture” into the world’s largest coffee chain.

The One Crucial Skill Our Education System is Missing

Students will need more than tech prowess to thrive in the future.

Future of Peer to Peer Economy

Cracking the Code of Blockchain

Blockchain is certainly trending, but there are simple but important questions to ask. What is blockchain? How does it work exactly? What is its impact on our economy and society? Here's what you need to know.

Chien Lee-feng vs. Tom Wang

Should People Fear Robots?

Many workers are worried that robots and AI will supplant them. CommonWealth Magazine Group publication Cheers brought together two experts to discuss whether those concerns are warranted and what can be done to stay ahead of the game.

Award-winning Musician Sangpuy:

‘Music is Life’

The accomplished indigenous musician expands on the inspiration behind his music, as well as how nature and culture have both helped him deal with the challenges in his life.

The World's Best Employers in 2017

Google’s parent company Alphabet is the best employer in the world, according to Statista and Forbes data

The World is Flat for Innovation

China's Mobile Economy, Explained

Despite the stagnation of the global market, China's mobile economy is growing rapidly and this booming is changing the country's industrial landscape. Why?

Home-care Robots and Traffic-beating Apps

The Brave New World of AI

AI has the power to benefit all of humanity - but only if we use it well.

Failing Education Systems

How Can We Prepare Our Kids For the Jobs Of the Future?

The world of work is changing. How do we help education systems keep up?

Sheu Fang-yi

Setback Sets Stage for Fulfilling Life After 40

Taiwan’s contemporary dance legend Sheu Fang-yi failed big with her own dance company, an experience that she is glad she didn’t miss because it made her see life in a different light.

The Higher Education ‘Yushan Project’

An Initiative that Misses the Point

Taiwan’s government has proposed a “Yushan Project” to stem the brain drain it says is plaguing academia. But in a commentary done for Crossing, writer Chen Kuan-ting takes issue with the program’s focus.

Aquaculture Could Feed the World and Protect the Planet - If We Get It Right

With arable land in limited supply, is aquaculture - the practice of growing food in water - a viable solution?

What Happened to Canada’s Economic Competitiveness?

Canada ranks 14th in the World Economic Forum's latest competitiveness rankings. Here's why

Taiwan Turnaround

Fighting the Brain Drain

See how Taiwan’s internet tech scene is catching up by checking in with some star players about how Taiwan’s brain drain is affecting them and how they are addressing the issue.

Taiwan Turnaround

Taiwan's Path to the Global Stage

Looking at how Taiwan’s internet tech scene is catching up, TechNode talks to VCs, accelerators, and entrepreneurs about how they are helping Taiwan startups to go global.

Taiwan Turnaround

An Asian Tiger Catching Up In The Internet Sector

How does Taiwan’s internet tech scene play catch-up after being left in the dust compared to others in Asia? Visit the island to see how the Asian Tiger plans to stimulate its startup ecosystem.

A Growing Class of ‘Down and Out Elderly’

Indifferent to Life, Ready to Die

The term “karyū rōjin,” or “down and out elderly,” highlights the rising poverty, loneliness, and chronic disease of aging populations. Takanori Fujita, the author who coined the term, talks to CommonWealth about the looming crisis in Taiwan.

Charlie Chu

Cancer Survivor Opens Senses to Taiwan’s Beauty

Having lost hearing in one ear, normal sight in one eye and nearly losing his life 15 years ago to brain cancer, Taiwan’s leading 3D film director Charlie Chu unexpectedly found his mission in life.

Your Smartphone Could Be Hiding a Dark Secret

Unsafe working conditions, forced labour and toxic fumes: the hidden costs built into your smartphone.

‘Option B’ Co-author Adam Grant

Finding Resilience after Major Setbacks

In an interview with CommonWealth Magazine, “Option B” co-author Adam Grant explains how the book set out to help people deal with tragedy and ended up also serving as a beacon for those trying to help others suffering from grief.

Virginia Tech Commencement Address from Sheryl Sandberg

We Need to Build Collective Resilience

Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer (COO) of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org, gave an inspirational speech to the class of 2017 of Virginia Tech. In the address she shared her personal life experience and emphasized the importance of resilience and sharing narratives.

35 Generation: Tag-Along Director Cheng Wei-hao

Blazing One’s Own Trail in an Adverse Environment

A young director is taking on a variety of projects as he strives to make a name for himself while also bringing about a renaissance for Taiwan’s feature film culture.

35 Generation: Asuka Lee, Editor in Chief of Migrants’ Park

Our Generation Sees ‘Others’ More Openly

Bearing a journalist’s sense of mission, Asuka Lee chose a path rarely taken, writing about anonymous figures hard at work in Taiwan and speaking on behalf of the rights of migrants.

35 Generation: R-Ladies Taipei Co-founder Ning Chen

Programming Language Group Founded in Hope and Courage

Life and investment can go both ways – getting what you want or losing out. But without trying, you’ll never even find out whether your venture is headed for success or failure.

World Economic Forum

8 Things You Need to Know about India’s Economy

India’s economic success in recent years has helped to ensure that South Asia is the fastest-growing region in the world – but it faces significant challenges alongside its opportunities. Here are eight things you need to know to understand the current state of India’s economy.

HTC Chairperson Cher Wang

Google Deal Good for Both Sides

In an exclusive interview, HTC Chairperson and CEO Cher Wang reveals how she convinced Google Inc. to pay US$1.1 billion for a large part of HTC’s smartphone developer team.

Reversing the Brain Drain

Time for Homecomings

Thirty years ago, Taiwan sent a team overseas to study semiconductors and recruited Morris Chang back to the country. Can history repeat itself? Taiwan is hoping it can reverse its brain drain, but the government and private sector need to step up.

Lin Hwai-min:

‘We Can Do Without Cloud Gate, but We Must Have Eslite’

“I hope that the people that come here can find inspiration for their lives at Eslite.” This quote from Eslite founder Robert Wu, who passed away in Taipei on July 20, made a lasting impression on Cloud Gate Dance Theatre founder Lin Hwai-min. In the article below, Lin explains his appreciation for Wu and his commitment to creating Taiwan’s premiere bookstore experience.

Cheng-shu Kao:

‘Invisible Champion’ Model Taiwan’s Way Out

Small- and medium-sized enterprises have been instrumental in making Taiwan a key link in the global manufacturing network. These invisible champions developed an industry model unique to Taiwan, making their products indispensable.

Felice Chen:

My Students Tell me There’s No Way Ahead

NTU Mentor Program Professor and former bank director relates how changes in the region’s financial sphere have affected the prospects of local students.

Taiwan’s Tech Sector: Adapt or Die

Quanta Forging a New Future

Software has taken over the global electronics sector, leaving Taiwan’s hardware makers in a bind. But Quanta Computer has embraced a new path that builds on its past, as Quanta Chairman Barry Lam explains.

Liu Xiaobo

I Have No Enemies: My Final Statement

Before sentenced for "inciting subversion of state power" by the Chinese government, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, wrote down the piece "I Have No Enemies: My Final Statement" as a final defense for his action."I look forward to [the day] when my country is a land with freedom of expression," he wrote. He also expressed his anticipation, "I hope that I will be the last victim of China's endless literary inquisitions and that from now on no one will be incriminated because of speech."

Two Tales of One City

Hong Kong’s Future and Challenges

Twenty years after its handover to China from British rule, Hong Kong’s sense of identity remains in flux. Jasper Tsang and Martin Lee, two seasoned politicians from opposing camps, discuss what’s next for the territory.

Rethinking Taiwan’s Food Safety System

Is Your Kitchen Really Safe?

The shadows of successive food safety scandals continue to cast a pall over Taiwanese consumers. At a time when government regulation has proved inadequate and even top brands have faltered, how should Taiwan go about addressing the issue?

Ta Chyuan Treasure Pig Industry Co., Ltd.

Raising Pigs with a Good Conscience

Ta Chyuan Treasure Pig Industry is showing that pork from humanely raised pigs can be a commercial hit while offering a “safe” choice in a market that has been plagued by food safety scandals.

Lettuce Empire

Crafting a Winning ‘Food Safety’ Formula

The Taiwan Lettuce Village’s modern practices are redefining how to grow, harvest and store fresh produce. After conquering Taiwan, the company’s iceberg lettuce is now making waves on the global stage.

Michael Sandel

Leadership and Ethics in the 21st Century

Michael Sandel, Harvard ethicist, scholar, & TED Talk star gave a Keynote speech on “Leadership and Ethics” at the Fulbright Thought Leader Forum on June 2nd, 2017.

Interview with Michael Sandel

We Need Public Discourse on Big Ethical Questions

Bestselling author of “Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?”, philosopher, & professor at Harvard University, Michael Sandel, gives a keynote speech at the Fulbright Thought Leader Forum in Taiwan on 6/2. He talks about "Leadership and Ethics" in the 21st century.

Lin Chuan-neng

Striving for Energy Transition

According to Bureau of Energy Director-General Lin Chuan-neng, while working toward the goal of a nuclear-free Taiwan, equal attention must be paid to ensuring a stable power supply and low greenhouse gas emissions.

Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee

Reallocating Resources – Giving Young Scholars a Voice

Taiwan has never had a more industry-oriented science and technology minister. Chen Liang-gee is the most aggressive government official when it comes to investing in artificial intelligence (AI). What does he have in mind? The following are excerpts from our exclusive interview with Chen, in his own words:

Eleven Madison Park X Restaurant ANDRÉ

Michelin Stars Chefs' Sensational Cooking Trio

Chef André from Restaurant ANDRÉ, one of the 50 best restaurants in the world, chef Daniel Humm and manager Will Guidara from the Michelin-starred restaurant Eleven Madison Park have an astounding cooking trio together, creating one of the most sensational dining experience ever.

Simon Sinek

What Does It Mean to Be a Good Leader?

Each day our world is constantly changing and becomes more competitive. Good leaders brings their teams toward progress and success. However, what does it really mean to be a good leader? World-class author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek might have an answer.

Taiwan’s Badminton Queen

Tai Tzu-ying’s Road to World No. 1

Tai Tzu-ying has become Taiwan’s first-ever female badminton player to be ranked No. 1 in the world. How did Tai get there and does she have what it takes to stay on top, considering her fear of the limelight?

Anny Chan, founder of Otto2 Artistic Aesthetics

Not Giving Up Was Worth It

She saw her business go from profitable to hemorrhaging money in the blink of an eye. Scarred by the global financial crisis and a misguided investment strategy, she clawed back to breaking even, meanwhile learning to recognize her weaknesses and stop trying to do everything herself.

Jane Chi, chair of Chaheng Precision

The Heroine of Taiwan’s Aviation Industry

Growing up, she dreamt of becoming a knight in shining armor defending the weak and downtrodden. As an adult, she worked to save mold maker Chaheng Precision Co. Ltd. from bankruptcy, transforming the conventional company into a Tier-1 supplier for the world’s leading aircraft makers.

Indigenous Singer Jia Jia

Working Hard at Being Herself

Long recognized on the music scene as an exceptional talent, two-time Golden Melody Awards nominee for Best Female Singer Jia Jia tells how she learned to believe in herself…

Angela Duckworth

What is Grit and Why is it the Secret of Success?

Angela Duckworth is an American psychologist, best selling author and professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research shows that the key to excellence is not about talent but 'grit'. In an interview with CommonWealth Magazine, Prof. Duckworth shares her insights about the idea of 'grit'.

Labor Law Revisions

Our Goal: A Five-Day Workweek for Everyone

Faced with criticism over the introduction of a new workweek system under the revised Labor Standards Act, Hsieh Chien-chien, Director of Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment in the Ministry of Labor, says the aim of the amendment was to create a legal basis for a five-day workweek for all. Following are the excerpts from our interview:

Labor Law Revisions

Responsibility System Needs Appropriate Compensation

Photojournalist Cheng Chao-wen believes that journalists should be allowed more free time to enhance their skills and be properly compensated to ‘keep the flame burning.’

Labor Law Revisions

More Paid Leave Brings Greater Personal Flexibility

Software Engineer Huang Pei-en appreciates the paid annual leave that comes with the revised Labor Standards Act, but misses the seven national holidays he used to enjoy.

Trend Micro Chairman Steve Chang

Seeing through Power

For many years, Trend Micro founder Steve Chang was caught in the rat race running his very successful company. But he decided to get out soon after turning 50 to devote himself to more charitable pursuits and has not looked back.

Yu-Chien Tseng

‘ I Work Hard at Being Myself ’

Embarking upon a promising career as a professional musician, Yu-Chien Tseng is in the first movement of his dream of performing into his eighties.

Chang-Tai Hsieh:

Taiwan Mired in 1980s Mentality

Professor Chang-Tai Hsieh, an expert on economic growth and development, discusses how Taiwan can break free from its current economic predicament.

Soichiro Fukutake

Regional Entrepreneur Rejuvenating Forlorn Isles

Japanese billionaire Soichiro Fukutake, known for the company behind the animated tiger cub Shimajiro, and for the Setouchi Triennale international art festival, which has generated tourism for several islands in the Seto Inland Sea, will share his experiences at the upcoming CommonWealth Economic Forum.

Fleur Pellerin

From Korean Orphan to French Minister

Fleur Pellerin has overcome both racism and sexism to find success in con-servative French political and business circles. At the invitation of Common-Wealth Magazine, she will make her first visit to Taiwan in January to take part in the 2017 CommonWealth Economic Forum.

52Hz, I Love You

Wei Te-sheng Wants Audiences to Feel Happy

Film director Wei Te-sheng has turned his hand to making a musical. Featuring original songs and lyrics, 52Hz, I Love You is a film that awakens the ears, gets the heart pumping, and is sure to warm your heart.

Exclusive Interview: Premier Lin Chuan

Taiwan’s Big Infrastructure Ambitions

Premier Lin Chuan’s approval ratings have plummeted in his six months in office. But in an interview with CommonWealth Magazine, he insists he will remain focused on addressing Taiwan’s problems and let others worry about the polls.

Minister without Portfolio Chang Jing-sen:

Tear Down New Illegal Factories

Taiwan is littered with factories operating illegally on land not zoned for industrial use. The government has put Minister without Portfolio Chang Jing-sen on the problem, and he shares his plans in this interview with CommonWealth Magazine.

Godspeed Director Chung Mong-hong

The Alluring Vicissitudes of the Real Taiwan

A society news story has become a Taiwanese road movie in the hands of film director Chung Mong-hong, an auteur who breathes life into the frustrations of everyday characters, transforming them into Taiwan’s most authentic landscape.

Chen Chi-chung, Vice Chairman of COA:

Public Should Monitor Agricultural Land Use

Tens of thousands of factories have been built illegally on farmland in Taiwan. While manufacturers hope to see these operations made legal, others fear that such moves would encourage the illegal occupation and destruction of farmland, jeopardizing the nation’s food safety.

Interview with Richard Saller

Don’t Abandon the Humanities

Stanford University is renowned for its innovate approach to learning. One of its top educators insists that liberal arts and the humanities are key to higher education, even in this digital age, but admits to still figuring out how to best get the message across.

NTU Plans Innovative Cross-Disciplinary Courses

Chinese Literature Meets Information Engineering

At first glance, Chinese literature and information engineering seem to be worlds apart. Nevertheless, National Taiwan University (NTU) is planning to bridge the gap with an innovative “Computer Science Plus” project.

Education Revolution vs. Industrial Transformation

Time to Reinvent College Education

Taiwan desperately needs a new wave of digital talent to cope with the increasing use of digital tools throughout the country’s economy. Universities have done a poor job in preparing this talent, but a revolution is underway to change that.

Exclusive Interview with Morris Chang

One Key to Success – No Unions

TSMC Chairman Morris Chang, one of Taiwan’s most respected business people, opens up in this interview with CommonWealth Magazine about the future of the high-tech and semiconductor sectors and the state of labor-management relations in Taiwan.

Sharp President Tai Jeng-wu

Turning Employees into Tigers

Sharp’s first foreign president, Tai Jeng-wu, has brought a sense of urgency to the money-losing Japanese electronics giant, insisting that pressure is necessary to foster growth. He explains his strategy in this interview with CommonWealth Magazine.

FieldOffice Architects

Stunning Europe with Taiwanese Architectural Design

After over two decades of silently pioneering modern spatial design in rural Taiwan, FieldOffice Architects are drawing international attention this month, becoming the first Taiwanese architectural bureau to showcase their work in Europe.

Ang Lee:

Cinema Keeps Telling Me It is About to Change

Already at the top of the film world, why does director Ang Lee still insist on doing things others won’t? As the first to adopt the 3D, 4K, 120fps format, what sort of experience will he give the audience?

Victor Sports

Returning to Taiwan for R&D and Production

Having gone to China for the huge market, only to move the production line back to Taiwan, Victor Sports found that only a racquet designed and produced in Taiwan could topple the industry leader. From Taiwan to Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia, many national team players are now sporting Victor’s distinctive corporate logo.

New Kinpo Group’s Simon Shen

Betting Big on 3D Printers

Global makers are using 3D printers to reach for their dreams, and helping them do it is global market share leader, the New Kinpo Group. New Kinpo President Simon Shen is leading the company along an unorthodox road to sustain its past success.

Eslite Group Vice Chairman Mercy Wu

A Chinese Brand Formed by Shared Values

Mercy Wu, vice chairman of the Eslite Group, shares Eslite’s approach to adapting to change in some cases and holding on in others.

Tsing Hua University

Finding Talent Where Tests Cannot

As the proving ground for the government’s Multi-Star Project, National Tsing Hua University continues its admissions reform measures, taking just 30 percent of its students via examination. The institution believes that the solutions of the future will not be found in standardized tests.

Mailiao High Schoool

Education for More than the Top 1%

As a community high school in a fairly remote part of Taiwan, Mailiao High School should be struggling to survive. Instead, it is thriving by helping meeting the diverse needs of all of its students rather than focusing solely on getting them into college.

Fighting for Taiwan: Tsai Sheng-da

Revitalizing Indigenous Villages

The “Island Puzzle” created by OBL Taiwan co-founder Tsai Sheng-da has raised awareness of the relationship between people and nature but even more importantly injected new life into Taiwan’s aboriginal villages.

Fighting for Taiwan: Chang Shu-mei

Empowering Female Entrepreneurs

Top female executive Chang Shu-mei, founder and chairperson of electronic components maker Jess-Link Products Co., Ltd. (JPC), devotes much of her time lending financial and emotional support to women who want to start their own businesses.

Fighting for Taiwan: Leslie Koo

Forging the World’s No. 1 Species Platform

Fighting for Taiwan: Architect Hsieh Ying-chun

Bringing Affordable Shelter to the World

Taiwanese architect Hsieh Ying-chun has developed inexpensive, easy-to-build homes that have helped rebuild communities in Taiwan hit by disaster. He’s now hoping they can house refugees across the globe.

Fighting for Taiwan: Designer Johnason Lo

Taking Local Design International

A veteran in his field, notable for designing visual identities for major TV stations worldwide, JL Design founder Johnason Lo has identified a suitable niche for Taiwanese design in the Chinese-speaking world.

Fighting for Taiwan: Architect Borden Tseng

Turning Heads with Public Projects

Borden Tseng has been highly acclaimed internationally for designs that have brought a cool vibe to Taiwan’s sometimes drab public projects. He now hopes to reverse the negative stereotype associated with social housing.

Fighting for Taiwan:Tong Yang-tze

Reviving the Joy of ‘Characters’

Passionate about calligraphy and its charm her entire life, Tong Yang-tze has set out to help the younger generation appreciate the beauty of written characters and transform their contours into a unique Taiwanese treasure.

Fighting for Taiwan

In this 35th anniversary edition, CommonWealth Magazine is using the stories of someTaiwanese who have fought to make things better to present a different side of the country.

Fighting for Taiwan: Chen Yu-chin

Above Any Label – A New Kind of Taiwanese

The daughter of a veteran soldier from China and an Indonesian-Chinese mother, Chen Yu-chin used her writing to define herself in a way that transcends established labels, paving the way for others in Taiwan with atypical family backgrounds to freely define themselves.

Fighting for Taiwan: Ming-yang Yu

Sowing the Seeds of Dreams

With a swipe and a click, mobile games developed in Taiwan achieve wild popularity worldwide. Under CEO Ming-yang Yu, Rayark’s success has ushered in a new chapter for Taiwanese gaming.

New Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang

Taiwan’s Democratic Innovation ‘Connector’

Audrey Tang will soon become Taiwan’s youngest Cabinet minister when she starts as minister without portfolio on Oct. 1 to lead open government initiatives. Describing herself as a “connector,” she is uniquely qualified to play this role. Here’s her story.

Cheng Li-chiun, Minister of Culture

Taking Responsibility for One’s Ideals

New Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun is an advocate of Taiwanese subjective consciousness. How does she plan to handle cross-strait cultural exchanges given that China balks at any assertion of the Taiwanese cultural element?

Designing Victory

Engineering the Look of a Presidential Campaign

Tsai Ing-wen's political campaign and Aaron Nieh's designs turned out to be a perfect match as well as an ideal example for Taiwanese brands.

The Happy Hogs of Yunlin

Taiwan’s Secret Weapon against Pork Imports

Local produce and meat featured high at the inaugural banquet of President Tsai Ing-wen in a clear signal that food safety will be at the top of her agenda. "Happy Pig" from a family farm in rural Yunlin County in central Taiwan was one of the featured homegrown ingredients.

Nelson Chang, CEO of the L'Hotel de Chine Group

Success in the Age of AI

While the replacement of humans is already underway, the key to success, according to Nelson Chang, is finding the canary in the coalmine.

Robert Wong, Chairman of CMC Magnetics

AI Supports Corporate Decision-Making

For a company, profits and investments are like the black and white stones in the traditional game of Go. Which move should be made in the current situation? There is no harm in listening to what artificial intelligence has to say.

Kevin Wu + Toshio Oh

Building A New Image for Hog Farming

Few people know that famous fashion designer Jason Wu has a brother who brings his creative streak to a much less glamorous industry – hog farming. Together with creative marketer Toshio Oh, Kevin Wu turned the company's meat processing facility into a place where visitors can experience the new values of Taiwan's agricultural business community.

Meimei Ding

Conquering China’s Fashion Realm

Starting in Hungary, DFO International founder Meimei Ding skillfully employed the latest Western fashion business model to boldly take on the China market, establishing herself as a successful entrepreneur bridging Europe and Asia in just two years.

Chih-han Yu

Making Big Things Happen in Taiwan

Taiwan native Chih-han Yu is building a business that applies artificial intelligence to online advertising solutions and in the process destroying the myth that Taiwan may not be a good environment for startup companies.

Dr. Colin Soskolne

Searching for Solutions to Taiwan’s Industrial Pollution

Dr. Colin Soskolne, renowned international epidemiology authority and a strong advocate of public policy formulation on contagious diseases based on solid scientific data, recently toured the contaminated Mailiao region during a visit to Taiwan. He then compiled his recommendations for addressing industrial pollution and policy formulation.

From ‘Made in China’ to ‘Owned By China’

The Insidious Spread of Red Wealth

Chinese capital is pervasive in Taiwan, much of it entering the country through legal loopholes to steal technology and poach talent. Is there any way Taiwan can manage this onslaught of "red wealth?"

Chen Chu

‘I Don't Like to be Defined as Female’

Although Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu is one of Taiwan’s brightest female political stars, she does not the like the fuss over female politicians. She says she has never been discriminated against or treated differently during her entire career for being a woman.

Chang Yu-ching

Nurturing Airline’s Jumbo Jets

In the traditionally testosterone-laden world of commercial aircraft maintenance, a young lady from a family with deep ties to aviation has distinguished herself with her deep passion for airplanes and attentive devotion to her work.

Jolin Tsai

Who Needs Silly Love Songs?

Taiwanese pop diva Jolin Tsai once obsessed over everything said about her and her love ballads, but she has since matured and is now more confident, to the point of taking on such social issues as gender equality.

Cindy Tu:

A Female CEO Willing to Get Her Hands Dirty

Hailing from the foothills of Alishan, she guided a company to become Taiwan’s industry leader, and nurtured another enterprise to become one of the largest in the world.

The ‘She’ Age

The world has entered a “she” era now that women no longer doubt themselves but hold their heads high, breaking into once-male domains. We are going to see an age of female leadership as “soft power” becomes more important.

Chen Shu-hui – Former Taitung County Tourism Director

Civil Servant Reverses County’s Fortunes

Taiwanese Manga Creator Ponjea

Using SOP to Sustain Brilliance in a Demanding Market

Taiwanese manga creator Ponjea, the first non-Japanese cartoonist to have a short manga published in Japan’s most influential manga periodical, is stunning fellow artists and manga lovers alike not only with his high-quality manga but also his productivity.

Table Tennis Star Chuang Chih-yuan

Eyeing One Last Olympic Games

Taiwanese table tennis veteran Chuang Chih-yuan is still going strong at age 34, rare for an Asian player. Still full of competitive juices, Chuang is preparing for one last shot at an Olympic medal in August.

Wu Nien-jen:

Young People Are Behind Every Great Achievement

At an age where the edge might have been worn away from his idealism and faith, Wu Nien-jen is putting his "residual value” to work, supporting the group Generation Next.

The Invisible Social Crisis

Work Leaving Families Behind

More than 1 million Taiwanese families live apart because of professional obligations. How are couples coping with this new social phenomenon and dealing with the challenges it entails?

Andy Yang

The Real Cost of Working in China

A professional headhunter admits misgivings in sending talented people over to China. He suggests that some invisible costs be considered when people make the move.

Yu Lee and Tiffany Liu

Bridging the East-West Fashion Gap

Taiwanese fashionistas Yu Lee and Tiffany Liu feel that Europe could use a dose of creative input from up-and-coming fashion labels from Taiwan and other Asian countries.

Eliana Kuo

Taking Taiwanese Fashion Labels to Europe

Eliana Kuo, one of only a handful of Taiwanese who have built careers in the fashion mecca of Milan, has gained valuable insights into the inner workings of the European fashion industry. Now she hopes to help Asian fashion designers bring their labels to Europe.

Athena Chuang

Fendi Taught Me How to Run a Brand

Respectful and rebellious, yet seasoned beyond her years, Athena Chuang went to Milan to pursue fashion, with the goal of eventually founding her own brand. Now she has turned her unexpected homecoming into a new venture.

Jamie Wei Huang

A Visual Language that Amazed Lady Gaga

Jamie Wei Huang quickly learned after arriving in London that there was nothing soft about fashion. But she has persevered and developed a distinctive style playing on materials and silhouettes that has won her an increasingly sizable following.

Johan Ku

Fashion – A Mind Game between Intellect and Art

Taiwanese avant-garde fashion designer Johan Ku, who debuted on the international fashion stage in New York and studied in London, decided to build his label from Asia, designing his collections in Taiwan and launching them in Tokyo. His haute couture and ready-to-wear lines are now available at his first flagship store in Taipei.

Shao Yen Chen

Bucking Convention

Having worked hard to build his own Shao Yen fashion brand in London over the past five years, Yilan native Shao Yen Chen found that life as a designer can be tough, even if you garner widespread acclaim.

Apu Jan

A Quiet Storm of Talent, Ambition and Acumen

From anonymous art school student to rising fashion icon, Taiwanese designer Apu Jan is a calm force at the center of a colorful creative storm. Not yet 30, he works tag-team across continents to produce visually pleasing designs with an intellectual flair.

Grand Rower Su Tar-zen

Kayaking the Globe

Retirement is not an end, but the beginning of the pursuit of dreams. Former National Taiwan Ocean University professor Su Tar-zen is helping young, old, and wheelchair-bound people to pursue grand ocean dreams via kayak.

Peter Chou Goes for Virtual Reality

Chinese Capital Allegations Cause Concerns

Even as the world stage beckons, suspicions of ties to China's princelings lurk behind the scenes. Why did Peter Chou, the former CEO of Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC, decide to join Digital Domain, a Hollywood-based, Hong Kong-listed special effects company?

Taiwan's Health Care Crisis

Is Your Medicine Working?

Life-saving medicine can be cheaper per unit than candy, and intravenous nutritional supplements may fetch even less than bottled water. But does such cheap medicine come at an unbearable cost?

Taiwan’s Health Care Crisis

Low-cost Drugs Showing Side Effects

Taiwan’s national health insurance system has been praised for providing affordable health care, including by keeping drug costs in check. But the relentless emphasis on driving prices lower has begun to show some unwelcome side effects.

PTT Founder Ethan Tu

A 'Heavenly Dragon' Resurfaces

PTT was just the first stop on a magical software journey that has taken him to Microsoft, big data and even artificial intelligence. Currently working in the U.S., Ethan Tu is looking forward to the day when he harnesses Taiwan's "software power."

Vicky Liu

Finding Happiness in the Family Business

Liu is the key force behind YouBike, a wildly popular form of urban transportation and recreation.

Germany and Japan

A Lesson in Preventing Farmland Diversion

By insisting on the principle of "agricultural land solely for agricultural use," Taiwan could crack down on the rampant diversion of farmland, thus preventing a national food crisis and the destruction of our environment.

The Late Y.C. Lo

A Catalyst of Taiwan's Electronics Industry

The late Y. C. Lo helped persuade Philips to invest in fledgling TSMC, advice that earned the electronics giant NT$600 billion on a NT$2 billion investment. Though Lo worked for a foreign company, he made major contributions to Taiwan's economy his entire life.

Exclusive Interview with Terry Gou

Drawing Strength from Misfortune

Terry Gou, chairman of the Hon Hai Group, tells how disaster struck at the top of his game, and what he learned from it.

Daniel Seah

Saving Hollywood's Heroes

Once proud Hollywood visual effects company Digital Domain 3.0 fell on hard times in 2012, and it was left to 31-year-old Taiwan native Daniel Seah to bring it back to life. How has he done so far?

Boris Palmer

Architect of a Non-exploitative Economic Miracle

Who says economic and development and the environment must always be at odds? After being re-elected last October Boris Palmer, mayor of the German city of Tübingen, is out to prove that the future is green.

The Invisible Killer

Coping with Persistent Drought

More frequent droughts and reservoirs with shrinking capacity mean constant water shortages in Taiwan. An integrated approach outlined in a national drought management policy is needed to deal with this threat.

Alibaba Vice President Che Pinjue

Applying Big Data – Shoot First, Target Later

Taiwanese companies hoping to make big money by mining big data lack the method and direction to do so. Alibaba Group Vice President Che Pinjue, who heads the group's Big Data Committee and wrote The Business Revolution: Big Data, shares his experience.

ITRI President Jonq-Min Liu

Accelerating Innovation, Making Elephants Fly

Named a Top 100 Global Innovator by Thomson Reuters, the Industrial Technology Research Institute's (ITRI) capabilities have won great acclaim. Yet for the elephant that is ITRI to take off and fly, it must innovate more and faster.

Lighting a Fire in Taiwan's Entrepreneurs

Thiel's Four Steps to Success

Peter Thiel won over Taiwan's young Internet innovators by offering a vision of success that stresses avoiding competition, creating value and starting small in an exclusive niche.

Kai-fu Lee :

Old KPI Models Stifle Innovation

Venture capitalist Kai-fu Lee believes the new wave of startups by young entrepreneurs will disrupt established business models, and he argues in this interview that the power of youth should be feared and respected.

Exclusive Interview with Peter Thiel

Competition is a Zero-sum Game

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel shares his desires and disappointments, his views on business, religion and the future of mankind, as well as his interest in the pursuit of immortality in this extensive interview.

American Novelist Jonathan Franzen

Challenging the Internet Age

Jonathan Franzen is known for taking on Twitter and Facebook and lamenting how reading is becoming a lost art. In this exclusive interview, Franzen talks about how reading and literature have an important role in the new digital era.

Ex-Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai

Taiwan: A Depressed Model Student

Never bashful about voicing an opinion, ex-Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai defends her performance in office, upbraids Taiwanese society for its impatience, and talks about the big generational challenge Taiwan is facing.

Takeshi Kaneshiro:

I Am not a 'Dream Guy'

CommonWealth Magazine talked to Takeshi Kaneshiro when he returned to his native Taiwan recently to promote his latest film. Out of the limelight, Kaneshiro is very different from his melancholic heartthrob on-screen persona.

Taipei Mayor-elect Ko Wen-je

Aspiring for a More Just Society

Ko Wen-je was elected as Taipei mayor by promising to be a different kind of city leader. In an interview with CommonWealth Magazine, he expressed the desire to change the way city residents think as much as changing the face of the city.

Tainan Mayor William Lai

Three Things President Ma Should Do

Tainan Mayor William Lai says the recent local elections represent a turning point in Taiwan politics and may show greater acceptance for his brand of understated governance that focuses closely on people's needs.

Social Enterprise Founder Peter Chuang

Reviving a Rural Community

Taiwan's young generation is discovering that finding work may mean creating your own job. Here's the story of Peter Chuang, who started a business in a relatively nondescript rural township.

Legislator Tien Chiu-chin

Holding on Only Preserves Regrets

Few trials in life are more difficult than saying goodbye to a loved one. Oftentimes a prolonged illness devoid of hope for a turnaround is harder on the living than the dying, and when nature gains the upper hand, not knowing when to let go only results in lasting regret.

How Can Supermarkets Do Good and Profit, Too?

Can items removed from shelves save the store's entire electricity costs? Can unappealing fruits and veggies add value? Environmentally- and consumer-friendly approaches can be profitable, as initiatives undertaken by French, British, and German supermarkets have proven.

Charles Han, Chairman of DaChan Greatwall Group

Choosing Blue Ocean over Red Ocean

Food industry veteran Charles Han sees the sector's recent problems in part as the result of negative market forces squeezing producers. His company has sidestepped the turmoil by forged its own "blue ocean."

Taisun Enterprise Chairman Kenneth Chan

Food Sector Must Solve Its Own Problems

Amid a spate of food scandals that has people fuming at the government for lax oversight, one food industry kingpin says in an interview with CommonWealth Magazine that it's up to the industry itself to clean up its act.

Morris Chang

Who Do Corporations Fight for?

The private sector is coming under increased pressure to play a greater role in strengthening society and helping raise up the weakest elements. In Taiwan, TSMC CEO Morris Chang is leading by example and helping build a brighter future for all.

Health Minister Chiang Been-huang

Ready to Crack Down on Bad Food Practices

Taiwan's food industry is reeling from a series of edible oil problems uncovered in the past two months. The country's new health minister, Chiang Been-huang, explains how he will try to get it back on track.

Yu Ying-shih

Intellectuals Must Speak Up for the Poor

When prominent Chinese American historian and Sinologist Yu Ying-shih was in Taiwan in mid-September to collect the Tang Prize for Sinology, he had a clear message for Taiwan's intellectuals: be advocates for those in need.

Cheng Shin Rubber Chairman Lo Tsai-jen

Staying a Step Ahead with Foresight

Cheng Shin Rubber's new chairman, Lo Tsai-jen, is determined to sustain the "quality first" emphasis of his father, with a modern twist. In an interview with CommonWealth Magazine, Lo reveals his vision of the company.

Johnason Lo

Seeds of Creativity Sown in Taiwan's Parched Earth

At the recent 25th Golden Melody Awards, Johnason Lo demonstrated to the world that Taiwan can step out and show off world-class design.

FlyingV Founder Light Lin

Building Dreams with Crowdfunding

Known for co-founding the popular social networking site, Lin "Light" Hung-chuan now helps others realize ventures whose time has come. He may look like a rebel but is actually as accommodating as anybody.

Economics Minister Woody Duh

Can the "Consummate Staffer" Unlock the Economy?

Woody Tyzz-Jiun Duh has remained behind the scenes for most of his career. Now thrust into the spotlight as the new minister of economic affairs, can he lead Taiwan's economy out of the doldrums?

TSMC Chairman Morris Chang:

World-class Board Key to Ongoing Success

In this exclusive interview, one of Taiwan’s most legendary executives offers an inside look at Taiwan Semiconductor’s board of directors and its secrets to stable governance.

Japan's New Voice on Aging:

Chizuko Ueno on Dying at Home

She wrote Japan's "bible on aging," and now bestselling author Chizuko Ueno has carried the discussion forward, with a thought-provoking series of articles on dying a dignified death at home.

Taiwan's Outlying Islands in Distress

Blue Tears and Green Dreams

Are Chinese tourists and casinos the only hope for prosperity on offshore islands? Relying solely on their distinctive natural landscapes and resources, Taiwan's smaller islands have what it takes to lure backpackers from around the world.

A Mother's Tale of Woes

Make Children's Sacrifices Worthwhile

One Taiwanese mom relates the travails of her junior-high son as he struggles to gain admission to high school, and shares her thoughts on how the new, chaotic system could be fixed.

Tsai Ing-wen:

Election Win Will Shift China toward DPP

China policy has been seen as the Democratic Progressive Party's Achilles' heel in national elections. How does DPP chairwoman and likely 2016 presidential nominee Tsai Ing-wen intend to overcome the doubts?

Chuang Chih-chao

Showing Taiwan to the World in 30 Minutes

Concerned about his native Taiwan's obscurity, an MIT graduate launched an online platform that shares the overseas experiences of Taiwanese, showcases the island's talent and encourages more young people to go abroad.

Interview with Alan Lin of PwC

Who Is Keeping Talent from Blossoming?

How can enterprises train, retain and deploy competitive talent in a fiercely competitive international environment? A senior HR chief takes on this pressing issue.

Hollowed-out Human Resources

Where is Taiwan's Chief HR Officer?

Talent is deciding countries' fates in today's globalized world. That means trouble for Taiwan, which is hurting on the population, manpower and talent fronts and does not seem to have anybody stepping up to deal with the challenges.

NTU President Pan-Chyr Yang:

Internationalization Can't Wait

In this exclusive interview the head of National Taiwan University spells out his vision for remaking Taiwanese education to facilitate a world of online learning and global connections.

The Global Talent Battle

Taiwan under Siege

Taiwan is facing the potential collapse of its talent pool and could face the most serious talent shortage of any country in the world by 2021. What can it do to fend off raids from other countries and get back in the talent game?

Alibaba's Jack Ma

Turning China Upside Down

For the past 20 years, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma has forged new rules of the game in China that have left their mark. Now he's launching a brand new O2O era that is stirring up the pot again.

O2O (Online to Offline)

The Mobile Web Conquers China

With the touch of a smartphone screen, the people of China can hail a cab, make a dinner reservation, or invest in stocks. With 500 million mobile Internet users, China's retail giants, real and virtual alike, are scrambling to stake their claim.

Mobile Electronic Payment

The Digital Wallet Is Here

Soon Taiwanese consumers will be able to pay for a wide array of goods and services with nothing but a mobile phone. Traditional banks and new nonbanking enterprises are all scrambling to become Taiwan's PayPal or Alipay.

Gong Ji-young:

This Is Not Freedom, It's the Law of the Jungle

South Korean writer Gong Ji-young, author of the bestselling novel The Crucible, muses on the dwindling hopes of Korea's younger generation, and what the true source of happiness is.

Insights from Korea

The Beauty and Beastliness of Free Trade

With a vast network of free trade agreements, South Korea's trade volume has surpassed Taiwan's by leaps and bounds. Yet its society is polarized by a widening wealth gap. What lessons can Taiwan learn?

A Touch of Sin Director Jia Zhangke

Tackling Taboos, Because of Love

In this exclusive interview acclaimed filmmaker Jia Zhangke discusses the plight of ordinary people in an age of growing income disparity, and the need for artists brave enough to speak out.

Lativ CEO Richard Chang:

'What Not to Do' Matters Most

Without relying on the China market, venture capital funds or preferential policies, Richard Chang is breaking the contract manufacturing mold, and building a colorful dream of taste and human spirit.

Film Director Wei Te-Sheng:

Driven by a Sense of Crisis

As a continuity clerk, Wei Te-Sheng never saw himself becoming a director. But his dreams got bigger and bigger. What was it that could push him forward like a knife in the back?

Taiwanese Cosmetics

Louis Vuitton Loves Dr. Wu

Women care about their looks – that's what makes skin care recession-proof. The Dr. Wu brand has been growing in popularity since it launched more than a decade ago. Now, foreign investors have been knocking on its doors.

Kaohsiung's Entertainment Software Cluster

Taking Fun Global

Kaohsiung's once drab harbor area is teeming with creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, as a number of gaming software and entertainment industry companies have moved their R&D centers to the city's blue waterfront.

Taiwan's Youth Exodus

The New Migrant Workers

Taiwan's youth are leaving in droves to serve as low-wage workers in Singapore. Could Taiwan become the next major Asian source of migrants after the Philippines and Indonesia?

Wang Ju-hsuan:

How Cheap Must Taiwanese Workers Get?

In this exclusive interview, former Council of Labor Affairs minister Wang Ju-hsuan considers the deleterious effects of a cost-down labor strategy, and the need for a fresh approach to development.

Chu Yun-han:

Hope Begins by Confronting Problems

When a society tackles its problem squarely, it builds positive momentum. In this exclusive interview, Academia Sinica distinguished fellow Chu Yun-han explains why he sees hope for reforming Taiwan.

Sisy Chen:

I Refuse to Believe It's Hopeless

In this exclusive interview senior media commentator Sisy Chen considers how the Taiwanese, despite their disenchantment with politics, are taking the future into their own hands, building strong grassroots forces in society.

New Pxmart CEO Hsu Chung-jen

Retail Revolution No. 2

Hsu Chung-jen used to be in charge of Taiwan's biggest convenience store chain. He's now plotting a second revolution with Pxmart, the country's biggest supermarket chain. What is he up to?

Raising Salaries

An Investment in Taiwan's Future

Faced with stagnant or even declining pay, ordinary Taiwanese find it hard to move forward, and so does national competitiveness. As the global economy begins to rebound, only enterprises that invest in their workforce will prevail.

Uni-President's Alex Lo

Dominating the Business of Living

Uni-President Enterprises and its many affiliates have more influence over the daily lives of Taiwanese consumers than any other conglomerate. How will things change under the leadership of new chairman Alex Lo?