Zak Dychtwald is a world-traveler, explorer, writer and public speaker. A lifelong fan of science fiction, great food, interesting people and religious meaning, he has traveled extensively throughout five continents.
Five years ago, at the age of 22, Zak Dychtwald moved to China after graduating from Columbia University with only the phone number of a language program and the address of a hostel. He immersed himself in Chinese culture, studying Mandarin during the day and working at night, saving up so he could travel, see the country (and the wider region from Mongolia to Thailand) and get to know Chinese young people on their own turf.
While in China, Zak accumulated many hundreds of hours in the crowded sleeper berths of China’s many trains and buses, traveling to China’s minus 30 degree northern reaches, its 115 degree southern dives, and hitchhiking through Western Sichuan with a band of young Chinese musicians and writers. After three years of living in China, he passed the highest fluency test for Mandarin proficiency, the HSK 6, learning primarily through self-study as well as living, working and traveling with Chinese friends. His proficiency in Mandarin allowed him to host numerous bilingual events from fashion shows to the 70th anniversary of the Tibetan Gesar Festival on the Tibetan Plateau, which was broadcast in twenty countries. While living in China, he wrote the China Letter for the Dilenschneider Group distributed to world leaders and global CEOs, focusing on major trends shaping China’s modern identity.
Zak’s first book Young China: How the Restless Generation will Change their Country and the World will be published by St. Martins Press in the winter of 2017. The book explores how China’s young generation born after ’90 will define who China will be in the modern world. Young China examines this young generation’s hopes for their futures and what they look for in their products, services and experiences. Zak’s overarching goal is to change the way the world understands China, to expand the focus away from headline politics and economics and towards identity and cross-cultural understanding.
He has recently relocated from China to New York where he is heading up China initiatives in numerous business sectors for the Dilenschneider Group.