Our Team in the UK

Dr Samuel Chen (MA, Harvard; DPhil, Oxford)

Founder and Director

Samuel Chen brings many years of experience in academia, research, project management, consultancy, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary exchange, and international collaboration to the field of sustainable development. He also has a prolonged interest in and passion for sustainable development.


Trained in history of civilisation at Harvard and Oxford, he is a leading researcher in the origin and development of civilisations and the dynamic relationship between tradition and innovation within their intellectual, technological, cultural, social and ecological contexts. He was Research Fellow at Wolfson College, University of Oxford between 2010 and 2017. He has taught global history in general, ranging from natural history, prehistory to the modern era, with a particular emphasis on human exploration and migration, imperial expansion, technological and economic development, and the impact of these on the viability of human living conditions; social, regional and international relations; and the environment.


In addition to his research and teaching career, Samuel Chen has more than 22 years of professional experience initiating, managing and consulting for a variety of high-profile national and international projects, ranging from academic research, education and training, to business, industry and government, in the US (Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington D.C.), UK (Oxford, London, Edinburgh, and Lancaster), and China (Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Chengdu and Changsha). He has worked closely with a number of education and research institutions, think tanks, technology companies, utilities, investors, government organisations and NGOs in the UK, Continental Europe, the US and China. He is widely recognised for being highly responsive, reliable, and well-connected, and for his efficiency, teamwork, cross-cultural, PR, organisational and management skills, and productivity.


He was first involved in academic and social entrepreneurship in 2001–2003 when he started a cross-disciplinary networking platform for students and scholars from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Science and Graduate School of Education, Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, MIT and the US National Bureau of Economic Research, and a similar platform at the University of Oxford in 2007–2008. In 2012 he moved into business entrepreneurship to provide consultancy and project management services that promote and facilitate international collaboration, especially in sustainable development.


In collaboration with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK Department for International Trade and Innovate UK (formerly Technology Strategy Board), he has helped promote and showcase UK capabilities with its world-class expertise, technologies and services in sustainable development for the Chinese market. He has successfully assisted several UK technology service providers and research organisations (e.g. the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) enter into the Chinese market within a relatively short period of time by identifying suitable contacts, providing business strategies and project management services. In the meantime, he is also entrusted by major Chinese companies and government institutions (e.g. Hunan Provincial Science and Technology Department; and the Low Carbon Economy Service Committee, Shanghai Services Federation) with the responsibility of searching for suitable expertise, technologies and services in the West to help China with its sustainability and low carbon initiatives. He regularly organises and leads UK delegations to China and Chinese delegations to the UK.


Samuel Chen has managed several major international projects he initiated. These include applying leading UK and European software technologies and big data services in the development of smart management systems for urban water networks, energy, natural resources and food safety in three major provinces in China. Other projects involve facilitating joint research, development and training projects between the UK and China for water resources (e.g. lakes, reservoirs and rivers) and soil protection, catchment management, and pollution control and remediation in two major provinces in China. He was also involved in the planning of the Future Low Carbon Cities Best Practices in City Development International Summit to be held in the Free Trading Zone of Pudong, Shanghai on 28–29 January 2015, a project which was organised by the Shanghai Low Carbon Economy Service Committee, Shanghai Services Federation and hosted by the Shanghai Pudong Government and the City of London. 

He now also serves as Research Fellow and China Liaison for the PEAK Urban Project at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, and as Research Affiliate at the Oxford Network for the Future of Cities, University of Oxford where he is responsible for developing strategic research and engagement links with urban research and management teams in the UK and China, for translating research into impact activities through linking research results across the platform with city governments and other pertinent organisations in the UK and China.  


Dr Hongping Nie

Co-Founder and Co-Director

Dr Nie has been involved in entrepreneurial and organisational projects in China, the US, and UK for more than 28 years. Before coming to OSE, she worked as an Executive Officer at the University of Oxford's Development Office and Executive Officer at the China Institute of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She has been a China Analyst for Oxford Analytica, briefing regularly on China's socio-economic, political, cultural developments and international relations. In addition, she has also been involved in various PR projects helping establish high-profile contacts, networks and collaborations between British and Chinese universities, government think-tanks, businesses and industries, and has provided consultancy and market entry research for major corporations such as Jardines and Merlin Entertainments. She is also a Research Associate at the University of China Centre and Chief of Examiners, School of Interdisciplinary Areas Studies, University of Oxford.



Luna Wang (BA, Peking University; MSc, Oxford; DPhil, Oxford)

China Projects Officer

Luna Wang received her BA in Law and Economics from Peking University in 2007. Subsequently she passed the Chinese National Judicial Examination and obtained the laywer qualifications in 2008. In 2011 she finished a masters degree in Sociology at the University of Oxford, focusing on migration between urban and rural areas inside China. Her research aimed at uncovering the selection process of return migration and the factors contributing to this phenomenon, in order to help both urban and rural governments to have an objective understanding of this internal migration on a massive scale in the rapid process of urbanisation, so that relevant policies can be made to maintain social stability and also absorb surplus labour. Luna also recently finished a DPhil from the Department of Sociology, University of Oxford. 

Luna has diverse work experience. She led volunteer work at Peking University, because of which she was invited by the Beijing International Volunteers Assocation to co-author a series of books entitled Volunteer Reader. These were published by China Radio International Press in 2006 and thereafter used as training materials for volunteers of the 2008 Olympic Games. 

Before coming to Oxford, Luna also worked for three years as Investment Advisor and Project Manager in real estate industry in Beijing for two leading developers. 

Familiar with both English and Chinese cultures, Luna has also worked closely with many Chinese visiting scholars from many Chinese universities. She has also facilitated and organised exchange programmes, building connections between the University of Oxford and universities in China.


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