Jonathan Woetzel is a Director with McKinsey & Company based in Shanghai.  Dr. Woetzel currently leads McKinsey’s Cities Special Initiative globally, convening our work with urban authorities in over 40 geographies worldwide. In his 27 years with the Firm, 26 of which in China, Jonathan has advised clients in a range of industries – including energy, materials, technology and industrial – helping transform local companies into global leaders, and developing policy recommendations for government.

Dr. Woetzel is active in urban development fora globally. He co-chairs the Firm’s Urban China Initiative with Columbia University and Tsinghua University, a not-for-profit thinktank on urban issues. He leads our service to the Government of China and has led McKinsey’s Asia Energy and Materials practice, the McKinsey Global Institute in Asia, and its Corporate Finance practice in China.

Dr. Woetzel  has written three books on China including Capitalist China: Strategies for a Revolutionized Economy (Wiley & Sons, 2004) and co-authored with Jimmy Hexter Operation China: From Strategy to Execution (Harvard Business Press, 2008). He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Southern California, where his work focused on China’s political economy.  He is a lecturer at Beijing University’s Guanghua School of Management and at the China Europe International Business School.


In the past 30 years, China’s urban population has jumped to more than 700 million from less than 200 million. The government has ambitious plans to develop new urban clusters to accommodate millions more expected urban residents in the next decade. Premier Li Keqiang recently emphasized the need for “humanity-centered” urbanization that focused on the quality of life, while the World Bank President has called for China “to find new ways to make cities more energy efficient, promote clean energy, and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution”. Urbanizing China is a fundamental physical change but what does this mean for the economy, the people and environment? In particular, what are the externalities associated with this shift and are they recognized? Jonathan Woetzel will explore the scale and impacts of China’s urbanization on society, economy and environment and current policy debates related to the new urban environment.


Shanghai – ‘China’s Urbanization: A Stochastic Shift’ with Jonathan Woetzel, Director at McKinsey & Company and Co-Chair of Urban China Initiative
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