ACSME Roundtable August - The China Australia Millennial Project

August Roundtable Blog.jpg

Guest speaker: Andrea Myles

  • Career

    • National GM for The Australia China Business Council (1 year)

      • She realised that there were no young people coming into the community, a major reason for her leaving

    • CEO of China Australia Millennial Project (CAMP) - “a start-up that creates start-ups”

  • Education

    • Trained neuroscientist

    • Master in Chinese Culture (Yunnan Normal University, Kunming)

    • Master in Chinese Business (Yunnan Normal University, Kunming)

Personal journey

In 2003, Andrea realised she did not want to make use of her neuroscience degree and work in a research lab; so she decided to save up and travel to the most inexpensive place she could find - China. This was her first trip overseas, and for the first time in her life, Andrea felt like an outsider. She backpacked across the country visiting places like Shian, relying on the locals to help her live in a country with a foreign language and a different culture. Andrea fell in love with China and applied to complete a Master in Chinese Culture. However, upon returning to Australia, she found there wasn’t much opportunity for a young woman with such a degree, so she went back to the Yunnan Normal University to complete her second master in business.


  • Normalise the ‘China conversation’, getting people to think about it as a core subject

  • Create an intersection between young people, digital technology, and entrepreneurship

  • Create a connection between Australian and Chinese Millennials

  • Put millennials on the agenda for the bilateral relationship between China and Australia

    • Millennials are not just wallets, but also brains that bring change to the world

  • Promote cross-cultural relationship within Australia to promote economy


  • Millennials is a mindset that is not readily understood

  • A more fragmented approach to thinking about millennials is needed

  • The ‘Digital Age’ is already here, this is not the future but the present

  • Organisations do not have enough ambition to digitally connect with Chinese millennials, therefore they may be “leaving money on the table”

  • Social barriers prevent the forming of relationships between Anglo Australians and ethnic Chinese

Millennials in China

  • 1/5 of the planet are Chinese

  • 415 million Chinese millennials > demographic is a country unto itself

  • Most digitally engaged demographic in China

  • Millennials are here, they are not “coming”! Now they are having children, entering middle management - they have spending power

Millennials differ across:

  • Gender

  • Education

  • Career trajectory

  • Wealth profile

  • Behaviour, completely different depending on the stage in life

This means firms must have a very specific target market in mind when catering towards millennials.

China Australia Millennial Project

  • Was founded out of frustration regarding the China/Australia relationship

  • A belief that building relationships earlier in careers:

    • Creates greater future value and advantages

    • Benefits people, businesses, and the government

  • 100 young people spend 100 days together online and offline

    • Language requirement: intermediate English

    • Average age: 27

    • 50% Australian (25% of Chinese background), 50% Chinese

    • 50% female, 50% male

    • ‘White people’ are a minority in CAMP

  • Project is industry agnostic - all professions are welcome (doctors, lawyers, musicians, etc.)

    • Engine of innovation

    • Optimal environment, where differences are strengths

  • The program provides a combination of business, innovation, and within country experience

    • This builds confidence, entrepreneurship and inter-cultural skills

    • Focus on professional development

  • First 5 days of the program are in Australia, last 5 days of the program are in China

  • Divided into teams of 4 and solve a business challenge

    • Question set based on the intersection between goals of the UN, China, and Australia

    • Solutions are a pitch for the opportunity to have start-up funded

Past CAMP participants

  • Have started own business

  • Created business opportunities through promoting out or internal promotion

  • ¼ steer careers towards building the bilateral relationship

  • Alumni (including across cohorts) are still in contact > CAMP creates sustainable relationships

Economics of CAMP

  • 25% scholarship places

  • 75% revenue from corporate partners

  • 25% of the cost paid by the delegate ($5000)

    • Goal: reduce the cost of a program to $1000 for participant

Event information

The next ACSME Roundtable topic will be “Are You China Ready?" on Tuesday 11th September 2018, and how SMEs can profit from this game-changing event. Register now via the link below.

Note it is not on the ‘last Tuesday’ this month as the speaker was not available on later in September.

You can also sign up for ACSME Membership to receive priority tickets for future monthly Roundtables.