In April 2021, 8 x 6th form students at YK Pao, one of China’s highest profile private schools, were set a Business Challenge by the Senior design team at Geely Design, a global network of design studios that support Geely Auto Group, with studios in Shanghai, Gothenburg, Barcelona, California, and Coventry. The programme was sponsored by St James Place, Shanghai.

The students were asked to consider the link between the education experience for the community, means of travel and the role of technology in 2040 in a growing city called Xiongan, China. The questions addressed were: How will they get to school? How will the mode be environmentally sustainable? How will young people be taught? How will technology or apps be used to communicate? The ideas did not have to be limited to ‘cars’ – options could be underground, on water, in the air or something that yet does not physically exist!

The programme was delivered online from the UK over 4 days.


Moving from roads to the air

Ideas such as flying cars and drones to carry passengers were presented

New methods to enhance learning

The students suggested the development of pods in which to learn while sleeping and a memory stimulation jacket designed to improve memory.

Sustainable transport

The students envisaged the use of hydrogen as the main source of fuel for all transport and highlighted the need to improve battery performance.



The benefit of collaboration is the biggest take away. It is really beneficial for me to understand how to communicate with people who are not familiar with you.

The main skill I took away is to be able to think outside the box. I was working in the branding team and began by creating a logo that consisted of very symbols like the aeroplane or leaves. However, after feedback from the branding director from Geely Design, we learnt that a brand logo could be a more abstract or fun way of representing the company identity.

I learnt how to lead a team in a business environment for the first time and present in front of the executives of Geely Design.

The best part of the programme was to be able to work in a team to come up with interesting ideas about a problem and then come up with plans to tackle it and finally produce a satisfactory solution.