Jeanne Boden (包德贞) has a PhD in Oriental Languages and Cultures (Sinology) from Ghent University in Belgium, and an AMP from Solvay Brussels School Economics and Management. She established ChinaConduct® Ltd in 2002, where she is managing director and consultant. She has trained and coached thousands of people, including C-level managers, business and governmental top leaders and is widely respected for her deep knowledge about China and her very practical approach.
Her research focuses on discourse analysis of China’s internal and external communication (official discourse and propaganda), contemporary post-socialist China, Eurocentrism, Sinocentrism, democratic versus meritocratic group and organizational dynamics, leadership in China.
Jeanne began studying Chinese in 1989, a symbolic year for China and also for her. Already during her Sinology Studies she selected courses such as Comparative Cultural Studies taught by anthropologist professor Rik Pinxten, which helped to open her eyes. She has spent many years in China, studying Chinese, conducting research, and working in a variety of functions in academic, business and government-related environments in mainland China, but also in Taiwan and Hong Kong. As a Sinologist her focus has always been on contemporary China. Her addiction to new challenges has brought numerous projects and experiences to her door. It is exactly the combination of wide practical experience of working in China, and constantly researching how things work beneath the surface, that make her the Sinologist she is today.
Jeanne has been fascinated by the Chinese society, by what it means to be an individual in China, by what it means to be a Westerner in China, by organizational dynamics and leadership inspired by Confucian, Legalist and Communist dynamics, by the way power is built and lost in China, and by how guanxi are at work beneath the surface. The projects she has conducted in the ‘margins’ of China – in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Xinjiang – have helped her to better see and comprehend the impact of the ‘center’. She studies China political, economic, legal, social, and cultural .
She is intrigued by China’s strategies in building global influence and the ongoing acquisition of strategic points and key economic and financial players. It often surprises her how difficult it is to rationalize the mythologizing and both negative and positive stereotyping of China in the West.
Each year, Jeanne immerses herself in the Chinese world by spending several months in the country. These are periods of intensive observation, research and work, which she finds very enriching. Throughout the years she has built good relations with Chinese government and business people, lawyers, scholars, writers, curators, and artists.
Her deep immersion in China and the Chinese culture has also made her acutely aware of her own cultural background. By taking distance, she has learned to consciously appreciate it. She loves traveling and she always loves returning to Europe, where she deeply respects and appreciates life, culture and freedom – hoping that it will survive the course of history.
Awards and nominations
In 2017 she received a working grant from Pascal Decroos Fund for her project about the One Belt One Road.
Jeanne Boden’s PhD research was nominated for the CCAA Contemporary Chinese Art Critic Award 2011, an award established by Uli Sigg in 1997.
In 2009 she received a working grant from Pascal Decroos Fund for Investigative Journalism for a project in Xinjiang in North West China. The result of this project – the book Xinjiang. De nieuwe grens van China – was nominated by the Association of Research Journalism for the De Loep 2011 award and the VVOJ yearbook.
Sworn translator Chinese – Dutch/English
AIB-Vincotte International Certified Trainer 2003
QFor Certified (100% Client Satisfaction) 2006
QFor Certified (Process Scan) 2009