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  • Writer's pictureHema Chandra

15th ASEAN Leadership Forum

On 28th April 2018, Social Innovation Park co-organised the 15th ASEAN Leadership Forum with Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI), S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) and ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The ASEAN Leadership Forum is widely recognized as a high-powered Forum that brings together Government, Business, Civil Society and Thought Leaders for a critical discussion of the strategic issues facing ASEAN and to share valuable knowledge and information on the future of ASEAN. This year’s theme is “Strengthening Resilience, Promoting Innovation”.

We welcomed distinguished speakers such as Economic Ministers from the ASEAN countries, including The Hon. Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State for Trade & industry, Singapore; business leaders such as Dr Robert Yap, Executive Chairman, YCH Group, Singapore, and though leaders such as Dr Wang Huiyao, Councillor to the State Council of China and Founder of the Centre for China & Globalization, Beijing.

This year, SIP also incorporated our flagship GSIF (Global Social Innovators Forum) into the ASEAN Leadership Forum, presenting one of the key tracks “Innovation that Matters: How Innovation Can Transform Societies, Businesses and Social Enterprises”, with an esteemed panel of speakers including Mr Xu Ning Ning, Executive President of China-ASEAN Business Council; Ms Kate Duff, Deputy High Commissioner of Australia to Singapore; Mr Jose Luis Yulo Jr, President, Chamber of Commerce of Philippines; Mr Laurence Lien, Chairman, Lien Foundation; Mr Nicholas Ho, Deputy Managing Director, Ho & Partners; Mr Aman Neil Dokania, Managing Director, Accenture Cloud; and moderated by SIP Founder, Ms Penny Low.

There were differing perspectives on whether innovation is a double-edged sword, in terms of benefits accrued to the society. But what was clear is that the onus in driving innovation is on all of us, not just the government or the private sector.

“Innovation that matters is at the heart of everything we do,” says Ms Penny Low.

The Forum featured other topics that were rich in discussion:

Digital Disruption and the 4th Industrial Revolution: The Role of Tech-Empowered Businesses & Youths spoke about establishing an ASEAN Telecommunications Market and ASEAN Broadband Corridor as ways to propel ASEAN towards a digitally-enabled economy that is inclusive, innovative and integrative.

ASEAN Community and the Sustainable Development Goals – Aligning Sustainability at the Core of Integration discussed how to integrate the poor to international value chains and move beyond CSR or charity models to equity participation.

Pre-dinner, SIP hosted a Mindfulness and The Power of Mindful Leadership session, to cap off the Forum and end the day’s discussions on a more introspective note. Many were curious how mindfulness could help them be a better person and leader, and some shared on their own experiences with the mindfulness practice. The session concluded with a reflection circle led by Ms Penny Low.

Gala Dinner Programme

The Gala Dinner was a special occasion when we were honoured to have Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong grace the event and receive the ASEAN Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award.

It was also a special event for SIP when we had the opportunity to thank our kind and generous sponsors, and presented them with customized hand-made tokens of appreciation. Our deepest gratitude to everyone for being a part of the Forum and Gala Dinner!

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