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12.30.2017

MIDP Alum on Innovation for Seniors

As China's population of seniors surges to 230 million, families and communities are seeking effective care and long-term services, and innovations that can help their loved ones maintain their health and independence. We talked to Xiaolei Duan (MIDP '12), who in December was named China President for social impact company EasyCare Academy about how she is approaching this challenge and her advice for MIDP fellows. 

 

Can you share a bit more about EasyCare and what you’re doing in this role?

Based on 28 years’ experience across nearly 50 countries, EasyCare Academy is a Geneva-headquartered social impact company focused on supporting personalized care for healthy ageing. Its digital platform assesses biological, social, psychological and environmental domains to understand older people’s concerns and generate a personalized response that connects individuals to local resources and solutions. Working with caregivers – family members, paid caregivers, healthcare professionals and others focused on supporting people as they age – ECA provides best-in-class training and education and empowering them to support the health, independence and well-being of older people.

As ECA’s China President, I am responsible for establishing and leading ECA’s China team and business, and introducing its internationally validated approaches and products into the unique Chinese market.

 

What impact are you hoping to have? What motivates you in your work?

Our goal is to enabling older people to live better as they live longer while lowering the burden on healthcare budgets. ECA’s business involves both healthcare and education that have long been my passions because of their direct social benefits and lasting impact on the society. In addition, my previous experience in the high-tech industry and dedication to social innovation for years have prepared me to effectively leverage technology to better fulfill ECA’s social mission.

 

What did you learn in the MIDP program that has helped you succeed?

I learned to proactively seek more effective solutions, while accounting for diverse stakeholders. In particular, I took an elective course in Social Entrepreneurship that was eye-opening for me.

 

What advice do you have for incoming fellows?

Don’t be scared to step out of your comfort zone to take on new challenges and tap your potential. Cross-sectoral experience and skills may empower you to become an innovative and effective changemaker.