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Nobel Prize Winner Prof. Heckman Appointed as JNU Honor Professor

Nobel Prize Winner Forum with the theme “Economic Reform and Innovation in the Development of Internationalization-----a dialogue between Guangzhou and the World” was held in the School of Management on 24th June, 2014. James Heckman, Nobel Economic Prize Winner in 2000 and outstanding professors in economics in Chicago University attended the forum and was appointed as a honor professor of Jinan University. The forum was attended by Wang Shitong, member of Guangzhou Municipal Committee and head of Guangzhou Organization Department, Song Xianzhong, vice president of Jinan University along with about 500 people from government departments, business circles and educational circles. Education, innovation and other issues were discussed in the forum. 

In order to improve international cooperation and communication, Jinan University tries to usher in more outstanding teachers from home and abroad. After appointing two Nobel Prize winners as honor professors in the middle of June, Jinan University appointed a third Nobel Prize winner Heckman as honor professor in the same month. Tan Yue, executive director of School of Management, said that this was a important step for JNU School of Management to become international as well as an another achievement made by Jinan University in the usher-in of talents. 

Professor Heckman made a wonderful speech in the forum. Heckman did research in early education, human development, education and employment, gene and environment, non-cognitive skills and other fields. He was regarded as one of the 10 most influential economists in the world. In the speech, Heckman stressed that everyone should learn basic skills such as reading and calculating through elementary education and innovation was the exploration and attempt based on skill acquisition. He thought that innovation was never an individual attempt but concerned social atmosphere where people were allowed to have different ideas about common things and make challenges. As for companies’ development, he pointed out that profits should not be the only judgment for scientific research and innovation and successful entrepreneurs can often challenge current situations. 

When being asked about the characteristics needed to become a successful entrepreneur, Heckman answered that most successful entrepreneurs were open-minded, agreeable and careful. He added that people’s mentality was formed when they were very young, so elementary education was very important.

Nobel Prize Winner Forum is a significant academic activity after Chinese Economists Society Forum. It brought new ideas which gave Chinese entrepreneurs new inspirations. This forum provides a good platform for EMBA students to further their learning.