In conversation with: Holly Ransom, CEO of Emergent

On March 12th, 2019, the CEO of Emergent, Holly Rnasom, and the Co-Founder of Ladies Who Tech, Jill Tang, were invited to engage in a conversation with students from Antai College of Economics and Management (ACEM), Shanghai Jiao Tong University. This interview style conversation between Holly and Chinese entrepreneur Jill Tang is the first seminar in the spring semester for students from Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of International Business (MIB) programs.  

After the warm welcome delivered by Prof. Ningyu Tang, Jill started the interview with Holly, covering questions that are most intriguing to the students at ACEM. Holly Ransom shared with the students her experiences and life choices which led her to be youngest person to be named in Australia’s “100 Most Influential Women”. At age 29, Holly Ransom is today the CEO of Emergent, a company specializing in disruptive strategy and building the capacity of leaders to execute change. Additionally, she is an accomplished global keynote speaker, the youngest woman ever appointed in the board of an AFL club and has been the representative of the Australian Government in several institutions. 

Holly Rnasom has experienced a lot of challenges as a young female leader along the way and her fearless spirit supported her through difficulties and questioning for the past five years. Her moto, “jump before ready”, inspired the present students. After the interview, students raised some interesting questions and engaged in further conversation with Holly and Jill.


Reflection shared by the MIB students.

AI SAKURA: Many credits go to both guest speakers for taking part of the seminar event, as they have encouraged me and my peer attendees to embark in their journey as tech and social entrepreneurs. Personally, I believe the most important take away from the seminar was to "be yourself" but not try to be someone else. In order to be a sustainable leader, he or she must maintain an authentic self throughout the journey. 

HE JUN LUCA ZHENG: It was our honour to have them sharing their experiences with us. The conversation focused mainly on Holly’s experience, who gave us pieces of advice regarding what, from her point of view, young people should do in their career and entrepreneurial path. From my point of view, it was a pleasure to listen to her inspiring words. 

Gabriele Rossetti Pellegri: Courage, resilience, goal setting and learning from mentors were suggested as the key aspects of their success.  Through their empowering speeches, both speakers advocated that anyone can become successful and influential, despite their young age or not being entirely experienced. “Start before you feel ready, because complete readiness is something you will never reach” is a concept Ransom repeated several times, suggesting how often people do not take action only because they are afraid to fail. The meeting lasted only slightly more than one hour but left all the participants with a sense of empowerment: everything is possible and failure is something that will eventually happen. What matters is to be able to embrace it and learn from it.