Asian Symposium graphic

Preliminary Weekend Overview

Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday Morning – Free Walking Tours 

9:30–11:30 a.m.
The Heart of Singapore: Chinatown Mysteries

A truly unique opportunity to explore the heart of Singapore in Chinatown with Ann Blake ’85. A fifth generation Singaporean, Blake was born right next to the Botanic Gardens and is the daughter of a historian of Singapore’s Eurasian community. Knowing the city inside out, she will take you to Chinatown’s best-kept secret places. Chinatown is rich in tradition, culture, and heritage, and is not only great for shopping and food marveling, it is a must see to fully appreciate and understand the vibrant heart of Singapore as a city. Blake will take you to see the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, a few select stores and food stalls, as well as the renowned Maxwell food court for a freshly squeezed juice, local Teh-C, or Coffee-O.
Location: Meet at Chinatown MRT (on the NE line), exit A, which opens out on to Pagoda Street.

11:55 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Incredible Little India
A buzzing historic area that shows off the best of Singapore’s Indian community, Little India is always a special treat to explore, from its vibrant culture to incredible shopping options. Learn more about this amazing historical and cultural area with Stephanae Fitzgerald ’80, who has lived in Singapore for more than twenty years and is passionate about its cultural diversity. Visit Mustafa Center—where you can literally find anything—a Tekka market, a Hindu temple, and a Buddhist shrine.
Location: Meet at the passenger service booth at Little India MRT.

Friday Afternoon
2:15 p.m.
Optional Boat Tour US $25 (Preregistration required)

In the early days all ships passed through the Singapore River to reach the godowns and shophouses at Boat Quay. Trade exploded, and other quays were developed. This humble river was pressed into service until the 1970s, when shipping trade was moved and the river underwent a metamorphosis. Relive those days and get to know the historic Singapore River and its famous quays on an unforgettable river cruise with fellow Mount Holyoke alumnae.
Location: Meet at the Singapore River Cruise Clarke Quay Jetty.

Friday Evening

5:30 p.m.
Check-In and Refreshments
Tanglin Club
5 Stevens Road

6:00–7:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Sustaining Mount Holyoke, Developing Talents and Skills
The core of Mount Holyoke College’s mission is to prepare students through a liberal education for lives of thoughtful, effective, and purposeful engagement in the world. That readiness for purposeful engagement lives on in our alumnae. Approximately 30 percent of Mount Holyoke College’s alumnae either have, or currently, volunteer. Receive an overview of volunteering for the College, hear an update on Commission recommendations related to alumnae volunteering, and learn more from College and Association leadership about current initiatives underway.

Moderator: Ann Blake ’85, PhD, alumnae trustee, Mount Holyoke College


7:00 p.m.
Opening Dinner at the Tanglin Club
5 Stevens Road
Official welcome by the organizing committee in Singapore, followed by a three-course dinner at the magnificent Tanglin Club.

8:00 p.m.
Keynote Address by Naina Subberwal Batra ’92, CEO, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network
Aimed at improving human well-being, social innovation is the development and implementation of new ideas to meet social needs and create new social relationships or collaborations. Batra will share her views on why social innovation is so important and explain why it is much more complex than technology and/or commercial innovation.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

All Saturday daytime sessions will take place at the Bloomberg offices
12th Floor Capital Square, 23 Church St. Singapore 049481

8:30–9:00 a.m.
Check-In and Coffee

9:00 a.m.
Welcome by the Symposium Organizing Committee

9:05–9:40 a.m.
Keynote Address by Omar Lodhi, partner and regional head, The Abraaj Group

Lodhi will discuss how Singapore has reached its current state of overwhelming success and progress as well as its current challenges and opportunities. He will also examine the latest macroeconomics trends globally and how they have been affecting Asia. Innovation in Asia will be explored through concrete examples and case studies, highlighting unique challenges and opportunities this region presents to outside investors and its native population.

9:45–11:00 a.m.
Panel Discussion: Disruption and Digital Transformation—What Drives Innovation in Established Companies?

Top managers and innovation thought leaders from AIA, Google, KPMG, and SGX will focus on key innovation themes and major trends including automation, robotics, blockchain, technological disruptions, customer experience, and digital transformation. You will learn about the best ways to foster innovation, drive change management, and adjust to cultural differences within large companies in Asia.

Moderated by:
Hemant Aneja, entrepreneur, investor, and advisor

Bob Hayward, head, Asia Pacific CIO Advisory Centre of Excellence, KPMG
Steve Monaghan, regional director, head of Edge AIA
Mita Natarajan ’85, senior vice president and head of services, equities, and fixed income services, Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX)
Kiran Raghavan, regional head, APAC, marketing partnerships at Facebook

11:00–11:30 a.m.
Coffee break
A dedicated networking opportunity with panelists from the Disruption and Digital Transformation Panel.

11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
TEDx-style Talks 

Representatives from various industries will share their knowledge and perspectives within their specific areas of expertise through ten-minute presentations, followed by a Q & A.

Challenges of Innovating in Singapore
: Sonia Gupta, managing director, Accenture Strategy
Presenter: Arnoud De Meyer, president, Singapore Management University
In a thought provoking presentation, Arnoud De Meyer will explore the challenges and opportunities Singapore faces when it comes to innovation. Singapore invests billions of dollars in research at universities and research and development-focused public agencies, but has the country been successful in commercializing the research results? He will dig into the economic, social, and cultural factors that may impede innovation in Singapore such as insufficient investment in research and development in the private sector, lack of appreciation for good design and branding, and the influence of Confucianism. De Meyer will also speak about what Singapore does right, share some success stories, and discuss how the country can overcome its hurdles to innovation.

Leading Digital Transformation in Asia
: Kyoko Matsushita ’95, APAC CEA, Essence
Kyoko Matsushita ’95 will explore new ways and approaches for companies to champion digital innovation in Asia. Given the way in which media consumption is rapidly evolving, advertising needs to earn its place in the consumer’s world more than ever before. But in order to do so, brands must understand their audience to be able to effectively deliver the right message at the right time. Matsushita will discuss methods and ways in which companies can grasp the diverse market landscape, unlock technical capabilities, invest in talent, and develop new innovative solutions to address customer needs.

Design Innovation: Building the Yale-NUS Campus
: Laura Cruickshank ’75, master planner and chief architect, University of Connecticut
Laura Cruickshank ’75 will focus her talk on the creation of the Yale-NUS College campus, a liberal arts college in Singapore, developed in a combined effort of a National University in Singapore and an Ivy League private research university in the United States. Based on her experience as lead planner for Yale-NUS, Cruickshank will speak to the evolution of the campus design, which incorporated Yale’s residential college concept into Singapore’s dense and urban environment. Cruickshank will also discuss the outcome of this project and its innovative elements within southeast Asian context.

12:15–1:15 p.m.
Buffet Lunch

1:30–2:15 p.m.
TEDx-style Talks

Weaving Perspectives: Intercultural Interdisciplinary Journeys
: Ng Tian Hui, director of orchestral studies and assistant professor of music, Mount Holyoke College
Ng Tian Hui’s work has involved both intercultural and interdisciplinary perspectives and he will share several examples of these projects, which demonstrate innovation by collaboration. He will share his experience with NOMAD, an integrated arts education project, which was groundbreaking in Singapore for its introduction of contemporary art forms, and the depth of engagement that the student performers experienced in the arts. A native Singaporean, Tian will then speak about two productions at Mount Holyoke, Midwinter Dreams and Metamorphonics, which were inspired by his work in Singapore.

Combatting Climate Change with Green Bond Financing
: Flora Chao, senior financial officer, International Finance Corporation
Flora Chao will provide an overview of green bond financing and IFC’s role as a pioneer in this form of finance, with a particular focus on Asia. Who in Asia issues green bonds? Which countries are most proactive when it comes to promoting climate change finance? What Asian investors buy green bonds? Chao will present the current landscape and what is in store for the future in this growing market.

The Digital Transformation of Industries and its Implications
: Sonia Gupta, managing director, Accenture Strategy
Sonia Gupta will explore the digital transformation of industries. She will share the implications for business and society in a fast-changing world where the old rules don’t apply.

2:30–3:00 p.m.
Coffee Break and Structured Networking

Structured networking includes interactions with the TEDx speakers, who will stay after their presentations for in-depth discussions. Symposium participants are free to get to know the presenters better, follow up on topics, and meet other alumnae interested in certain topics. We will arrange dedicated spots and information to make it easier for participants to spot/identify presenters.

3:00–4:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Innovation in Start-Ups
Venture capitalists, pioneers, and founders of high-potential companies will speak about disruptions in traditional industries such as logistics, financial services, and education. Having witnessed unprecedented disruption of conventional business, economic, and social models over the past decade itself, the panelists identify the key drivers of successful innovation in countries such as Singapore, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Moderated by:
Naina Subberwal Batra ’92, CEO, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network

Sadaffe Abid ’95, cofounder of CIRCLE, former CEO and COO of Kashf Foundation
So-Young Kang, CEO of Gnowbe and founder of Awaken Group
Gyorgy Lajtai, managing director and cofounder of Lynx Analytics
Peng T. Ong, managing director, Monk’s Hill Ventures; cofounder and former CTO of (acquired by IAC)

4:30–4:45 p.m.
Wrap-up and Closing

4:45–5:00 p.m.
Networking Opportunity with Panelists from Innovation within Start-Ups

7:00 p.m.
Dinner at Shisen Hanten
333 Orchard Road
Orchard Wing, Level 35, Mandarin Orchard
A gala dinner at the Mandarin Orchard’s grand Shisen Hanten restaurant, just awarded two Michelin stars, with a breathtaking view from the thirty-fifth floor. Guest speakers at dinner include Sonya Stephens, acting president of Mount Holyoke College and Marcia Brumit Kropf ’67, president of the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College and Margarita Forés ’80, Asia’s Best Female Chef 2016.
We are extremely honored to have Forés not only joining the symposium, but also creating an exclusive and unique dessert just for her alma mater during the gala dinner. A drawing will determine the lucky recipient of this exquisite creation by Forés.

10:30 p.m.–Midnight
Private After-party at the home of Huma Ghauri Lodhi’s
After a full day of intellectual stimulation, it’s time to unwind. Join us for a special drink (or two), amazing ambiance, and great company at the home of Huma Ghauri Lodhi, ’92. An opportunity to bond with our Mount Holyoke College sisters across generations and take home even more special memories!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

10:30–11:15 a.m.
Optional Asian Civilisation Museum Tour – US $25
(includes a private tour and an entrance ticket; preregistration required)
1 Empress Place

Travel through 5,000 years of Asian cultures with a private tour of the Asian Civilisations Museum. It is one of the pioneering museums in the region to specialize in pan-Asian cultures and civilizations, specifically the material history of China and Southeast, South, and West Asia, from which the diverse ethnic groups of Singapore trace their ancestry. Collections include artifacts reflecting the cultural background of Singapore such as ceramics, basketry, and textiles.

11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Optional Brunch at Empress – US $40
1 Empress Place

Casual yet chic, the Empress along the Singapore River exudes an allure of laid-back charm reminiscent of its sister at Keppel Bay. Enjoy a specially-created, pre-set Sunday dim sum brunch menu by famous chef, Ricky Leung, as well as a relaxing waterfront view. A great location from which to venture out and explore the city to finish the day on a high note!