14 - 15 September 2018

Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore

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Speakers And Moderators


  • Ong Ye Kung

    Minister for Education
    Republic of Singapore

  • Ho Kwon Ping

    Conference Chairman
    Executive Chairman
    Banyan Tree Holdings
  • Gerard Baker
    Gerard Baker
    Editor-at-Large
    Wall Street Journal
  • Prof Nick Bisley
    Prof Nick Bisley
    Head, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
    Professor of International Relations
    La Trobe University, Australia
  • Tyler Cowen
    Prof Tyler Cowen
    Holbert L Harris
    Chair of Economics
    General Director,
    Mercatus Center
    George Mason University

  • Nik Gowing
    Nik Gowing
    Visiting Professor
    Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

  • Dr S Jaishankar
    Dr S Jaishankar
    President, Global Corporate Affairs, Tata Sons
    Former Foreign Secretary of India

  • Robert D Kaplan
    Robert D Kaplan
    Senior Adviser, Eurasia Group
    Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security
  • Bilahari Kausikan
    Bilahari Kausikan
    Chairman
    Middle East Institute
    National University of Singapore
  • Prof Dani Rodrik
    Prof Dani Rodrik
    Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy
    John F Kennedy School of Government
    Harvard University
  • Tan Su Shan
    Tan Su Shan

    Managing Director and Group Head, Consumer Banking and Wealth Management
    DBS Bank
  • Tom Wheeler
    Tom Wheeler
    Visiting Fellow,
    Brookings Institution
    Former Chairman,
    Federal Communications Commission of the United States
  • George Yeo
    George Yeo
    Chairman
    Kerry Logistics Network

 

Ong Ye Kung

Minister for Education
Republic of Singapore

Mr Ong Ye Kung is Singapore’s Minister for Education. He was elected Member of Parliament for Sembawang Group Representation Constituency in September 2015, and appointed to the Cabinet of Singapore on 1 October 2015. He had held the positions of Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence. He is concurrently a board member of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Chairman of the Chinese Development Assistance Council.

Prior to his Cabinet appointment, he held the position of Director of Group Strategy at Keppel Corporation, overseeing long term strategic planning of the Group’s activities.

Before joining Keppel Corporation, he was the Deputy Secretary-General of National Trades Union Congress, overseeing the labour movement’s employment and employability programmes.

He also held various positions in the government earlier. As the Chief Executive of Singapore Workforce Development Agency, he spearheaded many initiatives to build up the Continuing Education and Training infrastructure.

He was the Principal Private Secretary to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong from 2003-2005, and Press Secretary to Prime Minister Lee from 1997-2003. Mr Ong was also the Deputy Chief Negotiator for the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

Mr Ong graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science with a Bachelor of Science in Economics (First Class Honours), and holds a Master of Business Administration from the Institute of Management Development, Lausanne, Switzerland. He is married with two teenage children. 

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Ho Kwon Ping

Conference Chairman
Executive Chairman
Banyan Tree Holdings

Mr Ho Kwon Ping is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings and Laguna Resorts and Hotels, and Executive Chairman of Thai Wah Public Company. All three family‐owned companies are listed in Singapore and Thailand.

He is also the founding and current Chairman of the board of trustees of Singapore Management University and a board director of Diageo, the spirits company listed in the United Kingdom. He is also Chairman of the Singapore Summit and the Advisory Board of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Educated in Tunghai University, Taiwan; Stanford University, California and the University of Singapore, he was the Economics Editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong before joining the Thai Wah family business and then starting his own companies.

Among various awards, Mr Ho has received the London Business School Entrepreneurship Award (2005); CEO of the Year at the Singapore Corporate Awards (2008); CNBC's Travel Business Leader Award Asia Pacific (2012); Distinguished Alumnus Award from the National University of Singapore (2017); and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Creativity Association (2010), China Hotel Investment Summit (2009) and the Australia Hotel Investment Summit (2015).

For his services to the country, he has been decorated with the Meritorious Service Medal and the Distinguished Service Order by the Singapore Government. Mr Ho has also been conferred honorary doctorates by Johnson & Wales University and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

His book, The Ocean in a Drop: Singapore in the next Fifty Years, was published as a compilation of public lectures he gave as the inaugural Fellow of the SR Nathan Lecture Series, named after the sixth President of Singapore.

Mr Ho is married to Ms Claire Chiang, Senior Vice President, Banyan Tree Holdings. They have three children ‐ two sons and a daughter and welcomed their first grandchild in 2015.


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Prof Nick Bisley

Head, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Professor of International Relations
La Trobe University, Australia

Prof Nick Bisley is Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor of International Relations and was previously the Executive Director of La Trobe Asia. His research and teaching expertise is in Asia’s international relations, great power politics and Australian foreign and defence policy. Prof Bisley is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Australian Journal of International Affairs, the country’s oldest scholarly journal in the field of international relations.

He is a member of the National Executive of the Australian Institute of International Affairs; the board of the Australia-India Institute; the Council for Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific; and the advisory board of China Matters. He has been a senior research associate of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and a visiting fellow at the East-West Centre in Washington, DC.

Prof Bisley also regularly hosts Asia Rising, the podcast of La Trobe Asia which examines the news and events of Asia's states and societies.

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Nik Gowing

Visiting Professor

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

In 2016, Mr Nik Gowing co-authored (with Mr Chris Langdon) interim findings of the “Thinking the Unthinkable” study. The work is currently scaling up because of global executive anxieties about the new pressures on leaderships. It is based on hundreds of top-level confidential interviews and conversations with corporate and public service leaders, plus hundreds more conversations with the new generation of millennials. Findings so far reveal candidly why so many leaders face new difficulties identifying what looms in the disruptions of the “new normal” that have emerged since 2014. New vulnerabilities are confirmed. The findings are scary.

Mr Gowing was a main news presenter for the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) international 24-hour news channel BBC World News from 1996-2014. He presented “The Hub with Nik Gowing”, “BBC World Debates”, “Dateline London”, plus location coverage of major global stories.

For 18 years, he worked at Independent Television News where he was Bureau Chief in Rome and Warsaw, and Diplomatic Editor for Channel Four News (1988-1996). He has been a member of the councils of Chatham House (1998-2004), the Royal United Services Institute (2005-present), and the Overseas Development Institute (2007-2014); the board of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy including Vice Chair (1996-2005); and the advisory council at Wilton Park (1998-2012). In 1994, he was a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Barone Centre in the J F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.  He is a board member for the Hay Literature Festival. 

His peer-reviewed study at Oxford University, “Skyful of Lies and Black Swans”, predicted and identified the new vulnerability, fragility and brittleness of institutional power in the new all-pervasive public information space. The work builds on his work initiated at Harvard. 

In 2014, Mr Gowing was appointed a visiting professor at Kings College, London, in the School of Social Science and Public Policy. Since 2016, he has been a visiting professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, focusing on deepening and widening the “Thinking the Unthinkable” research. From 2014, he was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geo-economics. In September 2017, he was appointed an adviser on leadership challenges to the President of the United Nations General Assembly.

He was awarded honorary doctorates by Exeter University in 2012, and by Bristol University in 2015. They recognise his ongoing cutting-edge analyses and distinguished career in international journalism.

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George Yeo

Chairman

Kerry Logistics Network

Mr George Yeo is Chairman of Kerry Logistics Network and a director of Kerry Holdings. 

From 1988 to 2011, he served 23 years in the Singapore government, as Minister for Information and the Arts, Health, Trade and Industry, and Foreign Affairs. 

Mr Yeo has a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering (double first) from Cambridge University and a Master of Business Administration (Baker Scholar) from Harvard University. 

He started as a signals officer in the Singapore army, crossed over to the air force, became Chief-of-Staff of the Air Staff, and attained the rank of Brigadier-General as Director of Joint Operations and Planning in the Defence Ministry before resigning to enter politics in 1988. 

Mr Yeo is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Berggruen Institute on Governance, the Board of Dean’s Advisers of Harvard Business School, the International Advisory Panel of Peking University, the International Advisory Board of IESE Business School, the International Advisory Council of China's Eco Forum Global Guiyang, the International Advisory Board of Japan's National Graduate School for International Policy Studies, and the International Advisory Committee of Mitsubishi Corporation. He is an independent board member of AIA Group and New Yangon Development Corporation, a strategic non-business adviser to Sea Ltd and a senior adviser to Brunswick for its geopolitical initiative.

Mr Yeo served as a member of the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See from 2013 to 2014. From February 2014, he became a member of the Vatican’s Council for the Economy.

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Tan Su Shan

Managing Director and Group Head
Consumer Banking and Wealth Management
DBS Bank

Ms Tan Su Shan joined DBS Bank in June 2010 and is currently Group Head of Consumer Banking & Wealth Management. She is also the Chairman for PT Bank DBS Indonesia.

Over the years, she has led many of DBS' initiatives to deliver innovative digital solutions for retail and wealth management customers.

Prior to joining DBS, Ms Tan worked for a number of global banks, including Citibank, Morgan Stanley and ING Barings Securities in Hong Kong, London, Singapore, and Tokyo.

Ms Tan was a nominated member of parliament in Singapore from 2012 to 2014. She was the founder and past president of the Financial Women’s Association in Singapore, and a board member of Aetos Holdings Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings.

Ms Tan sits on the investment committee of MOH Holdings Pte Ltd. In addition, she is Co-Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Private Banking Industry Group. In 2016, she was appointed Chairman of NETS and an independent non-executive director of Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust.  She sits on the International Advisory Council of UnionPay International, the international arm of China Union Pay.

Married with two children, Ms Tan is also actively involved in fundraising for various Singaporean charities and sits on the board of Singapore’s KK Hospital Health Endowment Fund, which provides financial support to needy patients.

She graduated with a Master of Arts from Oxford University, where she studied politics, philosophy and economics. 

In 2013, Ms Tan was named “Outstanding Private Banker of the Year” by Private Banker International, the first time an Asian has won this global award since its inception 20 years ago.

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Bilahari Kausikan

Bilahari Kausikan

Chairman
Middle East Institute
National University of Singapore

Mr Bilahari Kausikan is currently Chairman of the Middle East Institute, an autonomous institute of the National University of Singapore. From 2001 to 2013, Mr Kausikan was the Second Permanent Secretary and then Permanent Secretary of Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was subsequently Ambassador-at-Large until May 2018. He had previously served in a variety of appointments in the foreign ministry, including as the Deputy Secretary for Southeast Asia, the Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York and as Ambassador to the Russian Federation. Raffles Institution, the University of Singapore and Columbia University in New York all attempted to educate Mr Kausikan.

Robert D Kaplan

Robert D Kaplan

Senior Adviser, Eurasia Group
Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security

Mr Robert D Kaplan is the bestselling author of 18 books on foreign affairs and travel translated into many languages, including “The Return of Marco Polo’s World”, “Earning the Rockies”, “In Europe’s Shadow”, “Asia’s Cauldron”, “The Revenge of Geography”, “Monsoon”, “The Coming Anarchy”, and “Balkan Ghosts”. He is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a senior adviser at Eurasia Group. For three decades, he reported on foreign affairs for The Atlantic. He held the national security chair at the United States Naval Academy and was a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board. Foreign Policy magazine twice named him one of the world’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers.”

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Prof Dani Rodrik

Prof Dani Rodrik

Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy
John F Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University

Prof Dani Rodrik is an economist whose research covers globalisation, economic growth and development, and political economy.

He is currently the Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard’s John F Kennedy School of Government. He rejoined the Kennedy School in July 2015 after two years at the Institute for Advanced Study as the Albert O Hirschman Professor in the School of Social Science.

Prof Rodrik is the recipient of numerous awards, including the inaugural Albert O Hirschman Prize of the Social Science Research Council, and honorary doctorates from universities in Europe and Latin America. He is affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research, Centre for Economic Policy Research (London), and the Center for Global Development among other research organisations. He is currently President-Elect of the International Economic Association.

Prof Rodrik’s newest book is “Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy”. He is also the author of “Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science” (WW Norton, 2015) and “The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy” (WW Norton, 2011). His articles have been published in the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Economic Growth, Journal of International Economics, Journal of Development Economics, and other academic journals.

His previous books include “One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth” (2007), “The New Global Economy and Developing Countries: Making Openness Work” (1999), and “Has Globalization Gone Too Far?” (1997). Prof Rodrik’s monthly columns on global affairs appear in Project Syndicate.

Prof Rodrik holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Economics and a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College.

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Dr S Jaishankar

Dr S Jaishankar

President, Global Corporate Affairs, Tata Sons

Former Foreign Secretary of India

Dr S Jaishankar is President, Global Corporate Affairs at Tata Sons from May 2018. In that role, he is responsible for the Group’s global corporate affairs and international strategy development. The international offices of Tata Sons across the world report to him. He works with Tata companies to help them strengthen their business presence and positioning in geographies globally. 

Earlier, Dr S Jaishankar was India’s Foreign Secretary from 2015 to 2018, Ambassador to the United States of America from 2013 to 2015, Ambassador to China from 2009 to 2013, High Commissioner to Singapore from 2007 to 2009, and Ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2000 to 2004. He has also served in other diplomatic assignments in embassies in Budapest, Colombo, Moscow, and Tokyo, as well as in the Ministry of External Affairs and the President’s Secretariat. 

Dr S Jaishankar is a graduate of St Stephen’s College at the University of Delhi. He has a Master of Arts degree in Political Science and a Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. 

He is married to Kyoko Jaishankar and has two sons and a daughter.

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Gerard Baker

Gerard Baker

Editor-at-Large

Wall Street Journal

Mr Gerard Baker is Editor-at-Large of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). He writes columns and commentaries for the Journal and will be hosting a WSJ TV news and interview show on Fox.

Mr Baker previously served as Editor-in-Chief of WSJ and Dow Jones from 2013 to 2018.

Prior to his appointment as Editor-in-Chief, Mr Baker served as Deputy Editor-in-Chief of WSJ and Dow Jones Newswires.

Before joining the Journal, Mr Baker was the United States (US) Editor and an Assistant Editor of The Times of London, where he wrote news and commentaries for Britain’s longest continuously published newspaper and oversaw US coverage for the paper and online editions.

From 1994 to 2004, Mr Baker worked for the Financial Times (FT), first as Tokyo Correspondent, where he wrote about Japan’s financial crisis, and then, from 1998 to 2002, as Washington Bureau Chief, where he led a team of ten correspondents and provided extensive reporting and analysis of the US Federal Reserve. From 2002 to 2004, he was the FT’s Chief US Commentator and an Associate Editor.

Before joining the FT, Mr Baker worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) from 1988 to 1994, as a producer, then as US producer, and finally as Economics Correspondent for TV and radio.

In addition to the Journal, the FT, The Times and the BBC, Mr Baker’s work has appeared in many other publications, and he has been a frequent TV and radio contributor in the United Kingdom, the US and around the world.

Mr Baker started his working life in the financial sector, first as an analyst at the Bank of England, then as an economist at Lloyds Bank in the city of London.

He was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford University, where he graduated in 1983 with a First Class Honours Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

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Tyler Cowen

Prof Tyler Cowen

Holbert L Harris Chair of Economics
General Director, Mercatus Center
George Mason University

Prof Tyler Cowen is Holbert L Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University and serves as Chairman and General Director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. With colleague Prof Alex Tabarrok, Prof Cowen is co-author of the popular economics blog “Marginal Revolution” and co-founder of the online educational platform, Marginal Revolution University.

A dedicated writer and communicator of economic ideas who has written extensively on the economics of culture, Prof Cowen is the author of several books and is widely published in academic journals and the popular media. Malcolm Gladwell described Prof Cowen’s latest book, “The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream” (2017), as “brilliant”. The book explores why the change that drives America forward has stopped. He writes a column for Bloomberg View; has contributed extensively to national publications such as the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Money; and serves on the advisory boards of both Wilson Quarterly and American Interest. His research has been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, Ethics, and Philosophy and Public Affairs.

Prof Cowen is host of Conversations with Tyler, a podcast series that invites today’s deepest thinkers to discuss their work, the world, and everything in between. Past guests include Jeffrey Sachs, Ezra Klein, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

In 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek profiled Prof Cowen as “America’s Hottest Economist” after his e-book, “The Great Stagnation” (2011), appeared twice on the New York Times’ e-book bestseller list. Columnist David Brooks declared it “the most debated non-fiction book so far this year.” Foreign Policy named Prof Cowen as one of 2011’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers”, and an Economist survey counted him as one of the most influential economists of the last decade.

Prof Cowen's blog was named in the Top Financial Blogs of 2011 by TIME and in the Best Economics Blogs of 2010 by WSJ.

Prof Cowen has been recognised as the George Mason University Economic Alumnus of the Year (2011), and the George Mason University College of Humanities and Social Sciences Alumnus of the Year (2012).

Prof Cowen graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and received his Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from Harvard University.

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Tom Wheeler

Tom Wheeler

Visiting Fellow, Brookings Institution
Former Chairman, Federal Communications Commission of the United States

Mr Tom Wheeler is a businessperson, author, and former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States from 2013 to 2017. Appointed to that post by President Obama, Mr Wheeler’s diverse experience with the digital revolution, his avocation as a historian, and his time as Chairman, offer a unique insight into the challenges of dealing with technology-driven change. The only person ever selected to both the Cable Television Hall of Fame and the Wireless Hall of Fame, Mr Wheeler has been involved with new telecommunications networks and services for over four decades. Bringing to the FCC the can-do attitude of an entrepreneurial business career and a technical expertise that dates to the early days of the digital revolution, his chairmanship has been described as “the most productive Commission in the history of the agency.” 

At the FCC, Mr Wheeler led the efforts that resulted in the adoption of net neutrality, privacy protections for consumers, and increased cybersecurity, among other policies. During the Obama-Biden Transition of 2008-2009, Mr Wheeler led activities overseeing the agencies of government dealing with science, technology, space and the arts. Currently a visiting fellow with the Brookings Institution, his speeches draw on this experience to discuss technology and the innovative and intrapreneurial business strategies that allow businesses and executives to be change leaders rather than collateral damage.  

Prior to his appointment as Chairman of the FCC by President Obama, Mr Wheeler was Managing Director at Core Capital Partners, a venture capital firm investing in early-stage Internet Protocol-based companies. He is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Shiloh Group, a strategy development and private investment company specialising in telecommunications services. He co-founded SmartBrief, the Internet’s largest curated information service for vertical markets and, as an entrepreneur, launched or helped to launch multiple companies offering innovative cable, wireless, and video communications services.

Additionally, from 1979 to 1984, Mr Wheeler was President and CEO of the National Cable Television Association. Mr Wheeler also served as CEO of several high-tech companies, including the first company to offer high-speed delivery to home computers and the first digital video satellite service. From 1992 to 2004, Mr Wheeler served as President and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association.

Mr Wheeler is the author of “Take Command: Leadership Lessons from the Civil War” and “Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War”. His commentaries have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and numerous other leading publications.

Mr Wheeler served on President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board prior to being named to the FCC. Presidents Clinton and Bush each appointed him a Trustee of the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is former Chairman and President of the National Archives Foundation, and a former board member of the Public Broadcasting Service. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University and the recipient of its Alumni Medal. 

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