The pictorial method to learn Chinese, Chineasy, has been voted the ‘Life-Enhancer of the year’ Award by Wallpaper* magazine. And guess what, Chineasy inventor ShaoLan will speak at What Design Can Do 2014.

Born in Taipei and now living in London, ShaoLan is an Internet entrepreneur and venture capital investor, who turned into a design hero. Annoyed by the lack of a good method to teach her children Chinese, she started to create her own method.

Chineasy is based on a pictorial system that helps to remember the meaning of Chinese characters. The accompanying Kickstarter video explains more. The method soon had over 50.000 followers on the Internet. The first Chineasy book is due to launch in March 2014 and the pre-order to date has made the book bestselling item on A second book is planned for next autumn.

While studying for an MBA in Taiwan, ShaoLan wrote four best-selling books on software. In her second semester she co-founded her first venture, pAsia Inc. Under her leadership, pAsia became a major player in the Internet sector in the Greater China area in the late 1990’s.

After moving to London, ShaoLan began investing in and advising young technology companies through Caravel Capital, which she founded in 2005 whilst studying at the University of Cambridge. She has also been a director of five UK-based technology companies.

ShaoLan is a member of several management and advisory boards for nonprofit organisations in the UK, including the Saïd Business School of Oxford University, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Asia House, and the New School Network, an organisation backed by the British Government promoting educational reform.

Chineasy represents a return for ShaoLan to her artistic upbringing in the family of a calligrapher and is many ways also an arts project. And an idealistic one too. In her own words ShaoLan’s ultimate aim is to bring down the great wall of Chinese language and allow Eastern and Western cultures to communicate freely. An unexpected side effect is that Chineasy appears to be a great tool for Chinese children with dyslexia too.

Isn’t that great?

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