We have learned several lessons through our partnershipsin China:
安大略科学中心的Heather Farnworth与展品开发总监Mary Jane 博士表示在与中国合作伙伴交流过程中，受益匪浅。
1.Develop friendships.Get toknow each other, trust each other, can make it more harmonious in relationship,more smooth in communication. Face-to-face meetings are critical for buildingtrust and being present to socialize as well as attend meetings. Sometimes, truststarts over conversations about smaller projects where wed is cover commongoals and similar challenges in promoting science communication.For example, theOntario Science Centre’s relationship with SSTM began before it opened in 2001，both of us trust each other，Twelve years later,along with Science North, we signed a three-partyMOU, and a year later, SSTM was the premiere venue for our Strange Matter exhibitiontour in China.
2.Tap into local talent. Itcan be challenging (and sometimes impossible) for foreign companies to submitproposals, secure bids, or sign contracts for Chinese projects without a localpartner. Therefore, partnerships with agents, consultants, and design-buildfirms are essential. These partnerships ensure someone who speaks the languagecan attend tender bid meetings and presentations and can interpret the nuancesof a project. Anagent can also help navigate the Chinese provincial shippingand tax implications.
3.Be flexible.Businessdiscussions are not linear in China as they are in many Western nations. A goodanalogy is that “business moves forward the same way that traffic inchesforward on an impossibly crowded road…the painted lines are merely guidelines”(Boulton, 2016). So we have learned to be prepared for additional requests evenafter signing a contract.
4.Learn together. While ourChinese partners share the Ontario Science Centre’s and Science North’s corephilosophy about creative learning, they don’t want to simply transplant ourknowledge, exhibits, and programs but instead learn together as we developscience experiences that work within the Chinese culture. These partnershipspromote the cross-pollination of ideas across international borders. As YuZhang, owner of one of our partners, Star Group in Beijing, said, “People inboth the East and the West need to face the issues of the world and worktogether to build up a better future.”