Expedition: CHina

An intimate and behind-the-scenes experience of the people and forces shaping China

Shanghai, Hangzhou & Chengdu, CHINA

October 21 - 31, 2018

15 journeyers | invite-only

 

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Ritual  x  East-Meets-West:  China

In a nutshell

15 people

October 22 - 28, 2018 // 

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  • 7 days in Shanghai and Hangzhou
  • We'll meet with the top people influencing each Layer of Change from fashion and tech to culture and nature
  • Cost: $8,888 USD. Early bird $7,888 before July 15th. 

We promise you a very special experience. We'll go behind the scenes with exceptional individuals who are influencing fashion, art, beauty, technology, youth culture, business, the environment, city infrastructure, culture and philosophy . If you want to do anything in China or are curious about what China is really like beyond the hotel rooms and business meetings you've had before, this is the trip for you. We believe it's difficult to be a global leader or organization without considering China, yet it is hard to know who to meet or where to go in a country where references are not readily available.  Join us on a trip that is designed from beauty, sensuality and community - a trip that captivates all your senses and connects you with others not only in the mind, but the heart, body and spirit. 

Your hosts and experience designers: Ting Kelly and Mina Lee

*Unique opportunity to come with us to meet Chan spiritual master Mudeng in Chengdu after our trip. To experience a wisdom that hasn't left China for a few hundred years. This is not included in the price --- we go as equal individuals, and we all make our individual contributions and donations to the temple. Let us know if you want to come with us. 2N3D.

Intention

The intention of this journey is to become intimately connected with the forces and people shaping China's creative and conscious frontier - it's doing and being, its material and spiritual past, present, and future. 

We'll traverse through the many layers of identity in China -

  • What does it mean to be Chinese on a national level? On a City level? As an individual - as a youth, a female, an artist, a nomad, single, gay or straight?
  • How can we experience the depths of this 2,000-year old culture and then collectively envision where the next 2000 years could go between China and the West?

We'll set off in Shanghai, the cosmopolitan gateway to China, before we take the train to the culture and tech city of Hangzhou. We'll meet underground artists, business leaders, spiritual teachers, philosophers and voices shaping the culture and identity of China. We’ll be visiting them in their living rooms, studios, temples, and backstage – going from one of the densest places on Earth to gorgeous natural landscapes, from architectural masterpieces to organically-grown historic neighborhoods.

Our intention is to clear  projections onto China of what it is, and bring you intimately into relationship with it so you can envision the possibilities for yourself. China is home to over 100 minority indigenous tribes, stunning UNESCO heritage architecture, millions of patent technologies, and over 200 dialects. We predict that it will only be a few years before China invents something that everyone in the world wants, leveraging their increased sophistication with AI, VR, product design, and manufacturing expertise. The next generation is more hungry than ever. The time is now.

WHEN

October 22 - 28, 2018 // 6 nights, 7 days*

  • 6 N/7D (City: Shanghai and Hangzhou)

3 N/3D (Spirit: Chengdu) - Optional experience, each makes their individual donation to the temple

WHERE

SHANGHAI   --->   HANGZHOU   --->   CHENGDU*

Buzzing creative hubs of Shanghai   --->   subtle cultural portals in Hangzhou   --->   serene countryside of Chengdu to experience the Chan wisdom lineage (this last part is optional and not part of the trip cost).

We'll go via bullet train between Shanghai and Hangzhou (1.5 hours). Chengdu requires a domestic 3.5 hour flight for those want to join us.

WHO 

You. This is an invite only, exceptionally curated and intimate trip. Our team is specifically curating each person on the trip based on the alchemy, relatedness, and highest potential for learning, wonder, and impact. We prioritize depth of connection and emergent experiencing.

Our principles are connection-first and to explore in a heart-grounded mind-expanding way.

Space is limited to 15 attendees. 

COST

$8,888 per person // Early bird price: $7,888 by July 15th

Price includes:  

  • 10 days / 7 nights of integrated, highly curated "behind the scenes" programming 
  • Roundtrip train ticket Shanghai to Hangzhou
  • Private access to 10-15 curated experts and cultural leaders
  • Boutique, unique, design-centric accommodations (from boutique hotels to heritage temples) 
  • 3 delicious, authentic meals each day (from fine dining to delicious local food)
  • Private driver transportation to/from each location, beginning and ending in Shanghai
  • 1 private on-boarding call before the trip to hear your intentions and interests and share cultural education
  • 1 trip report summarizing people, places, learnings with edited photo gallery for sharing

Excludes: International airfare, visa, additional drinks, and overseas shipping, Chengdu portion of the trip

Available at additional cost:

  • Before the trip: Special request for specific business meetings with investors, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, etc while in China
  • After the trip: Follow up advisory support on what to do with your new learnings and relationships, making the possibilities you saw in China real with business strategy and operations support. e.g., China market entry strategy, business development and strategic partnerships, recruitment.
  • Up to +5 days trip extension based on your leisure + business interests
  • Concierge travel and visa arrangements

Curators' note: This is our first time offering our community, network and seeing of China in this format of an experience, this is an experiment of love, iteration, and service for us. We are inspired to share the China we have fallen in love with, mapped, and experienced in our expansive community building efforts and in the pursuit of our own curiosities. We recognize that many will never see the multiple layers of China without a well connected local host. We believe that in order to build a shared, sustainable, and flourishing future, we need to bring the East and the West together, and to see through the others’ eyes and heart. We are in this together.

GETTING THERE

Fly to Shanghai or Pudong International Airport (SHA or PVG). We’ll take care of everything once you land.

Visa Required: For most nationalities, travel to China requires a Tourist Visa. The process is efficient, and it requires a week or so obtain from your local Chinese consulate. We can connect you to our travel agent who can help you get your Visa set up seamlessly. We recommend a multi-year multi-entry visa as it makes no difference to a single entry in applying.

You need to depart the USA on the 22nd to land in China on the 23rd. We suggest arriving a day early and staying the night in the city to adjust and ground. We’ll spend the first day in Shanghai, and then transport leaves from Shanghai on the morning of 23rd of October. We will cover transport to Hangzhou and Chengdu and back to Shanghai, where you will be leaving from on the 3rd of November. 


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About Us

This unique experience into China is possible as a product of our own life as natural community builders and super connectors between the East and the West - come experience a China like never before with the two of us as your host. 

Ting and Mina have spent their lives in the USA and China and have built deep relationships on both sides of the ocean with the leaders, thinkers, artists, and spiritual leaders shaping society today. They are both skilled experience designers and facilitators, community builders, and strategists - capable of flexing between the structured and organic way of moving through things.

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Ting Kelly

Ting is on the Board of the Buckminster Fuller Institute, grew up on the Playa of Burning Man since she was 5, is daughter to famed futurist Tim Kelly and leading pharmacological researcher xxx, and spends her time today bridging wisdom from the East to the West via workshops, products and expeditions held by Ritual Studio. She has lead numerous retreats for companies on innovation and branding and co-produced the Culture Change Conference in its first year.

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Mina Lee

Mina is an ex-BCG consultant, COO of Xiaomi Southeast Asia, and Music Medicine Facilitator who has spent her life bridging business and spirituality. Now she spends half her time designing and teaching workshops on authenticity, music medicine and culture change for companies and working 1:1 with leaders -- and the other half of her time consulting and advising companies within the consciousness sector on their growth strategy and finding them the right resources they need to succeed.

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What is guaranteed is that Ting and Mina design for the integral person - weaving experiences that engage the mind, body, heart and spirit - and they optimize every experience towards maximum beauty, presence, and connection. You’ll learn so much about China during this trip, about the different layers and nuances of identity - you’ll experience it for yourself through all of your senses - seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling - and formulate a vision of what is possible for China and the role you’d like to play in that possibility. You’ll leave this trip with a feeling of awe, wonder, expansiveness, bewilderment and deep connection, with a new community of seekers interested in being at the forefront of global change, but from a place of connection, heart and spirit.

 

curatorial partners

Richard Hsu

Richard Hsu was born in Shanghai, then professionally trained in NYC. Hsu returned to his hometown Shanghai to open Nike’s advertising agency, he introduced TED and TEDx to China in 2009, and founded Pan-Asia Network in 2012.

Ping Fu

 

More on China...

a primer

China is country of more than a billion stories, identities and facets - and because much of the country is behind a firewall, it’s hard to experience China unless you actually go there and experience the culture, youth, people, food, creativity and entrepreneurialism on the ground. China now has the largest crypto funds, invests the most into AI, has the most number of people stressed out and turning towards psychological support and religious organizations. Organizational culture is also being innovated on with leaders who let the people decide their pay or outvote the managers. There is so much being experimented on within China that we can be awed by and learn from and about, which can only be done by going there.

There are 500 million active mobile shoppers in China (that’s USA, Germany and UK added together) and these people spend ⅓ of that time within WeChat, a single app that’s a combination of facebook, whatsapp, twitter, uber and groupon. People share flyers, events, and news within community chats like a group whatsapp chat within WeChat, these are not crawlable by search engines so anytime you search for news or events in China, you are getting a sliver of the actual activity that is happening on the ground.

China has also gone completely cashless in payments as of 2016, you can buy water at a stall in the countryside, one that doesn’t have a cashier, calculator or payments desk, but has a WeChat QR code you can scan and transfer a dollar for your water. City share bikes are unlocked with the scan of the QR code, TV programs in hotels are unlocked with QR codes, advertisements and campaigns are scan to purchase. It’s a completely different set of cultural behaviors. We’ll meet with a technology and behavioral economist.

Because of the one child policy, China is also going through a tremendous social shift in family dynamics and relationships - instead of protecting your sisters or brothers or splitting financial resources, one child now has the care, attention and financial resources of 6 adults. For the first time in a long time, on a national level, a generation doesn’t have to worry about survival and is asking themselves “what is a meaningful life for me? What do I want?” They are reshaping socio-cultural values in everything from attitude to work (from working for money to working for meaning) to attitude to relationships (from staying in it for quantity of time to quality of relationship). We’ll meet with a top filmmaker, psychologist and influential youth voice to tap into the stories and narratives and values of this generation, which will give us a peek into what could be on the horizon for the future of China.

Besides the socio-cultural transformation, China has been undergoing massive macro and infrastructure shifts - cities are built in a year, entire neighborhoods and centers demolished and reconstructed. You won’t believe the pace until you see its effects. We’ll meet with a “World Builder” - someone who works with and advises the government on how to think of and build cities and states across China.

Besides the massive transformations in the material realm, there is an equally if not more mirrored transformation happening in the subtle spiritual and psychological realm. As external changes and stresses increase, people are turning more and more to help under this pressure. The government realizes that there is not a depth of belief beyond capitalism in China right now and is actively greenlighting the revival of traditional Chinese philosophy and culture - namely taoism, buddhism and confucianism. We’ll meet with a descendant of Confucius and then with a zen spiritual master who is building a conscious community and zen amusement park with the vision to transform spirituality into a cultural lifestyle.