Sharon Gai

Sharon Gai

Global Expert Retail, E-Commerce & Digital Marketing

Speaker biography

Sharon Gai is a China-born Canadian who is an expert in e-commerce, digital transformation and AI Artificial Intelligence. She helps organizations become more “Culture Fluid” bracing them to be more agile, innovative and resilient in the VUCA time we are in today. In her tenure at Alibaba, she has advised brands and heads of state in crafting their digital strategy with programmatic marketing and AI.

Sharon Gai has been the keynote speaker at TEDx, Singularity University, UBS, Nestle, Ecomworld, and Etail with over 40’000 attendees.

Sharon Gai lecture topic

  • The Red Pill or Blue Pill: Navigating the Dichotomy in AI

AI Artificial Intelligence is no longer a futuristic concept reserved for science fiction movies. It’s already here, and it’s rapidly changing the way businesses operate, compete, and grow. From machine learning to natural language processing, AI is revolutionizing the way we work, transforming the very fabric of industries across the globe. In this keynote, we’ll dive deep into the transformative effects of AI on business and explore the tremendous opportunities and challenges it presents. We will discover how businesses of all sizes can leverage AI to gain a competitive edge, streamline processes, automate tasks, and make data-driven decisions that drive growth and profitability. We will also unravel the intricate web of anxiety, social isolation, and job displacement that may arise from these technological advancements. You will leave this keynote with a new mindset, with insights and perspectives that will enable you to navigate the complex landscape of AI, make informed decisions, and position your organization for success in the future. Now the question is, will you take the red pill or blue pill?

In this keynote, you will learn:

  • How companies like OpenAI, Microsoft, and Nvidia can shape our lives in the next decade
  • Understand the difference between hype and reality when it comes to AI and its potential for business.
  • AI’s impact on local communities and how to use it to develop local economies
  • Learn about the skills and competencies needed to succeed in the age of AI, and how to cultivate them in yourself and your team
  • Examine the potential negative consequences of AI on mental health, including increased anxiety, social isolation, and job displacement
  • A new mindset to adopt to navigate new technologies that impact our economy

Sharon Gai is also speaking on:

  • China’s rise in AI: From the world’s factory to the world’s AI lab

After nearly four decades as the “factory of the world,” China today is stepping into a new role in the global economy: as a hub for innovative applications of artificial intelligence. $15.7 trillion in global wealth AI is expected to generate by 2030, a full $7 trillion will occur in China alone. From the rise of Tik Tok, Shein, to now Temu, China has pivoted from exporting physical products to software and it is doing it well. With the initial launch of the Ernie bot from Baidu, a rival product to ChatGPT, China has set its sight in becoming the AI lab of the world.

Why was the country able to develop so quickly? What principles can we borrow from innovations in the east to apply to the west? And more importantly, how should a company prepare for and navigate this new world? As someone who is able to understand both eastern and western perspectives, Sharon Gai, has worked at the top companies of US and China. Her keynote shows culture fluid perspectives and case studies in innovation from both regions and strategies for organizations to adopt to navigate this new AI world.

Session Takeaways:

  • The key macro-trends that are disrupting our world today
  • Five key strategies today’s most successful players are adopting to prepare for tomorrow
  • Examine key factors driving China’s growth, such as domestic consumption, infrastructure development, and technological advancements
  • Explore China’s role in the global trade landscape and its impact on international supply chains
  • Discover emerging sectors and industries in China that offer lucrative business opportunities for international companies
  • Gain insights into strategies for managing risks and establishing successful long-term partnerships in the Chinese market

Sharon Gai speaks about:

  • Culture Fluid, the new way to thrive in an ever-changing world

The world is shifting at speeds that are now faster than ever. From ChatGPT displacing thousands of jobs to cashless societies and digital currencies, we live in a VUCA time. This is when businesses must adapt to a newer way of thinking. Sharon provides a fresh take as someone who has worked in the top companies of the US and China. She has led teams from Gen X to Gen Z, across various diverse backgrounds and types of companies.

Session takeaways:

  • The key macro-trends that is disrupting our world today
  • An overview of what your industry will look like in the near and distant future
  • Five key strategies today’s most successful players are adopting to prepare for tomorrow
  • How to evolve into a more agile and disruptive competitor
  • Tools and a process for developing concrete ideas for a strategy and approaches that could disrupt the industry

Sharon Gai talks about Healthcare

  • AI in Healthcare: A New Era of Precision, Efficiency, and Empathy

The dawn of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare isn’t just about futuristic robotics or complex algorithms; it’s about the reinvention of healthcare delivery, diagnosis, and patient care. In this enlightening session, Sharon outlines major shifts in generative AI that will transform healthcare: image recognition, NLP and chatbots. She will share examples from US and China and how pioneering organizations have used AI to improve healthcare. She shares how AliCloud’s image recognition technology is able to detect anomalies in X-rays, MRI, and CT scans with high precision; how Insilico uses generative AI for drug discovery and development; and how NLP can be used to keep patient records where spoken words are converted into written text. Healthcare executives will walk away from the session with a timely sense of actionable items to implement in their organizations.

Session Takeaways:

  • How companies like OpenAI, Microsoft, and Nvidia can shape our lives in the next decade
  • Understand the difference between hype and reality when it comes to AI and its potential for business
  • How image recognition, NLP and chatbots can decrease healthcare opex costs
  • Case studies from around the world on innovative implementations of AI in healthcare
  • A new mindset to adopt to navigate new technologies that impact our economy

Sharon Gai on the Future of Retail and E-Commerce

  • How AI will disrupt E-commerce and Retail

The rapid growth of e-commerce, fueled by advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), is transforming the retail landscape, impacting various aspects of the industry. AI is revolutionizing personalization and customer experience through tailored product recommendations and improved customer service. It streamlines inventory management and optimizes supply chain processes while enhancing cybersecurity and fraud prevention. Additionally, AI plays a crucial role in payment processing, pricing strategies, visual search, social media marketing, sentiment analysis, content generation, and the integration of virtual and augmented reality technologies. By understanding these AI-driven developments, senior executives in large retail and e-commerce businesses can prepare their organizations to thrive and remain competitive in an increasingly AI-driven retail landscape.

​Session Takeaways:

  • Trends in AI that will improving customer experience and foster loyalty
  • AI-driven tools, leading to cost savings and increased efficiency
  • Frameworks to think about other technologies that disrupt the retail industry
  • Clarity and direction on immersive and interactive shopping experiences, setting businesses apart from competitors

Let’s talk about Artificial Intelligence and the future of technologies

  • AI in State and Local Government: Pioneering Efficiency, Compassion, and Progress

The fusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into state and local governance is not just about automation or efficiency—it’s about transforming the very fabric of governance, making it more responsive, fair, and innovative. In this session, Sharon will delve deep into the transformative potential of AI, from personalized public services to data-driven decision-making. She will introduce the major AI innovations that are being used today and take attendees on a tour of how different governments around the world are implementing these solutions to better the lives of their citizens. Starting from the bustling streets of Hangzhou, where computer vision has become a pivotal tool to combat crime, to the high-tech healthcare facilities of Tokyo, which use AI to offer impeccable care to its silver-aged citizens, and finally to the classrooms of New York, rejuvenated by Khan Academy’s Khanmigo bot, the journey showcases the myriad ways AI is redefining education. Through this session, governance leaders will be equipped with actionable insights, aiding them in harnessing the full potential of AI for the betterment of their communities.

Session Takeaways:

  • How companies like OpenAI, Microsoft, and Nvidia can shape our lives in the next decade
  • Understand the difference between hype and reality when it comes to AI and its potential for business
  • How image recognition, NLP and chatbots are being used by governmental bodies to better public safety, healthcare and education
  • Gain insights into how collaborative efforts between tech companies, governments, and the public can co-create an AI-driven future that resonates with community values.
  • A new mindset to adopt to navigate new technologies that impact our economy

Why Sharon Gai – Her deep Expertise

Unlike some speakers who simply report on the latest trends, Sharon has worked in the trenches in one of the largest e-commerce and AI companies in the world. She has built marketplaces, presented to Heads of State, and advised CEO’s on digital strategies. She is regarded as an expert in her field, highly sought after by intelligence agencies, investment institutions, brands and retailers.

Sharon Gai has a talent for breaking down complex concepts in digital ecosystems into simple to understand and relatable language, enabling her audience to instantly connect with her material.

Apart from being a DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) speaker where she coined the term “Culture Fluid”, Sharon Gai uses the same agile methodology in a business setting, starting projects that have beat competitors and disrupted industries. Culture Fluid shows how businesses can be agile to fit the changing tides for a VUCA time ahead. Sharon uses first-hand experience and actionable insights to present a compelling vision of the future world and leaves the audience with tools and an approach to develop a strategy to succeed in the shifting landscape of the 21st century tech-driven and digital economy.

Sharon Gai is in the top list of Top Keynote Speakers in 2023. She has appeared on CCTV, CBC, TechCrunch, Retail Asia, Wired and The Next Web. She is the author of the book, „E-commerce Reimagined: What we can learn in retail and e-commerce from China“.

Sharon Gai has an Honors Bachelor’s degree in International Development from McGill University in Montreal and a Masters in Knowledge Management from Columbia University.



Culture Fluid: How to be the bridge in a divided world | Sharon Gai | TEDxMcGill
Sharon Gai | Speaker Reel | Culture Fluid
Chinese E-commerce: Latest trends and Pro Tips from Sharon Gai - Alibaba Group


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