Hear from reputable and distinguished speakers at the event.

Welcome Speech - 9.30am



Professor Amir Mahmood

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Singapore) &

Chief Executive Officer (UON Singapore)

Professor Amir Mahmood is the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle in Singapore. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Manitoba, Canada. Since joining the University of Newcastle, Australia in 1992, he has made a significant contribution to research, teaching, internationalisation and academic leadership.

During this period, Professor Mahmood has also held a number of senior leadership positions with the University.

A recipient of the Australian Government's Endeavour Malaysia Research Fellowship, Professor Mahmood has a strong research track record in the field of economics, business and management.

Opening Remarks - 9.40am



His Excellency Mr Bruce Gosper

Australian High Commissioner to Singapore

Mr Bruce Gosper was previously CEO of Austrade, the Australian Government agency responsible for promoting trade, investment and international education, and tourism policy, programs and research.

Prior to Austrade, Mr Gosper was Deputy Secretary with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Australia’s senior trade policy official, responsible for all trade negotiations.

His career includes serving as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva. During that time Mr Gosper chaired the WTO General Council and the WTO Dispute Settlement Body.

Mr Gosper was previously Minister (Commercial) in the Australian Embassy in Washington, and Minister-Counsellor (Agriculture) at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo.

Mr Gosper is a current member of the Asia Society Advisory Council. He has previously served on the Australia Japan Business Co-Operation Committee (AJBCC), the European Australian Business Council (EABC), the Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF), the Australia Korea Foundation (AKF), the Australian Pork Corporation and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) Board.

Keynote Speakers - 9.45am to 10:45am



Dr Denis Hew


APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU)


Rethinking Skills Development in the Digital Age

Dr. Denis Hew is currently the Director of APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU). In this position, he is responsible for the work program and operations of the PSU, which is the research and analysis arm of APEC.

Before taking up his current appointment, Dr. Hew was Regional Cooperation Specialist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), where he managed technical assistance and coordinated efforts on regional cooperation and integration in the Southeast Asia department. From 2001 to 2008, Dr. Hew was Senior Fellow and Program Coordinator (Regional Economic Studies) at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) Singapore. He was also for many years the Managing Editor of the ASEAN Economic Bulletin, a leading academic journal that focuses on policy-relevant economic issues in Southeast Asia. Dr. Hew has written extensively on regional economic cooperation and integration, especially in ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr. Denis Hew holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom and MSc and PhD in Finance from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom.



Mr Lau Yin Cheng

Advisor | Connector | Encourager

Chairman, Singapore Computer Society (SCS) Career Compass


Lifelong Learning in a Digital Future of Possibilities and Probabilities

YC has close to 20 years of MNC and Government HR & OD leadership experience in Hi-Tech, Telecommunications, Hospitality, Start-Up, and Supply Chain Management sectors across Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. He advises C-level executives, start-ups, and boards in tackling complex people challenges, connects them with relevant partners via his network, and encourages them to realize their full potential in a digital future of possibilities. Living in the intersection of Technology, Human Resources, and Organisation Development, he helps organisations and leaders be "Future Ready".

YC was previously Chief of HR & OD at Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore where he built an award-winning HR & OD team and elevated IDA's employer brand to be among Google & Facebook based on Universum rankings. Together with key IDA leaders, he  developed a digital team of software engineers, design thinkers, data scientists, and cyber-security professionals, resulting in the creation of Government Digital Services that is behind key digital services under Smart Nation. He also helped establish BASH (“Build Amazing Start-ups Here”) that aggressively transformed the Singapore start-up ecosystem.

Prior to IDA, YC served as the CHRO of the Ascott Group, one of the world's largest serviced residence owner-operator with residence units in key cities of the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. YC led a team of HR professionals across multiple countries during a period of rapid expansion for the main board listed company then and he partnered with the Ascott CEO and leadership team to ensure that the organization structure, HR systems, and manpower base could sustain rapid growth. YC also set up Ascott's Global Learning & Development Centre, the Ascott Centre of Excellence, to support Ascott's aggressive growth plan and manpower needs.

Before Ascott, YC was the CHRO SembCorp Logistics, one of Asia's largest third party logistics provider specializing in supply chain management services. He was concurrently VP of Strategic Development where he partnered McKinsey on SembLog's global strategy followed by Stern Steward on SembLog's financial strategy using EVA. During YC's tenure, the main board listed company achieved significant geographic and revenue expansion through its Business and HR strategy to be a Global Champion in supply chain management services for consumer goods, healthcare, high-tech, automotive, industrial, retail and defense/government sectors.

YC started his career in the Ministry of Manpower with stints in Labour Relations and Employment Pass where he collaborated with the Unions and various Economic Agencies in various national level initiatives. He is an electrical engineer by training, obtained a Masters via research from NUS, and published numerous papers on simulating electromagnetic waves using supercomputers. He has a Graduate Diploma in Organisation Development by  NTL Institute in the US and Civil Service College. He is also an active member of the Singapore Computer Society and chairs its Career Compass Committee that aims to promote senior ICT professionals helping fellow ICT professionals in career transition and personal development.

Panel Discussion - 11am to 12pm



Mr Frederick Tan

Managing Director

Adam Khoo Learning Centre Pte Ltd

Frederick  Tan  holds  a Master’s  in Education  with  major  in Organisational Leadership  from  Monash University (Australia) and  a  Specialist  Diploma  in Franchise  and Enterprise  Management (FEM)  from Ngee  Ann  Polytechnic (Singapore). Frederick is also a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) accredited by International Franchise Association.

Frederick  spent  his  first seven  years working  in  Singapore  International Monetary  Exchange  where  he has  a consolidated experience  in  performing activities  related  to trading  in  complex interest  rates indexes  and forecasting macro  and  microeconomic  market studies.

As  a  father  of  four, his  innate interest in  nurturing  love  for learning  amongst children  led  him  to  quit his  career  in the  financial  industry to start education businesses where he has accumulated more  than  13 years  of experience  in education  franchise management, international marketing and  business start-up strategies.



Mr Leong Sze Hian


Singapore Professional Centre

Mr Leong Sze Hian has served as President of four professional bodies, Honorary Consul of two countries and a Founding Advisor to the financial planning associations of two countries.

Behind the statistician, Sze Hian is a regular contributor quoted over 1,500 times in the media, has been a radio talk show host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, CIFA  Advisory Board member and an executive  producer of Ilo Ilo (which won 40 international awards). His educational achievements include three Master degrees, two Bachelor degrees and thirteen professional qualifications. He is also an alumnus of Harvard University and has authored four books.



Ms Sandra Davie

Senior Education Correspondent

The Straits Times (ST)

Sandra Davie is Senior Education Correspondent with The Straits Times (ST). 

Sandra joined ST after teaching for a few years.  As a young reporter she covered a range of topics from health, religious cults to education. She honed her investigative journalism skills further at the Philadelphia Inquirer on a Knight Ridder fellowship. Sandra was made education correspondent in 1998 and has written extensively on education from pre-schools to higher education and won several awards for her work.

Sandra shares her expertise with educators and parents through university boards, school talks and informal meet-up sessions. She fields parents' queries through the regular Ask Sandra columns, produces video clips to explain schemes and help parents make informed decisions in addition to her regular opinion pieces on education.

Sandra has a BA from the National University of Singapore and a MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Guest Speaker - 1.30pm to 2.30pm



Er Dr Michael Teng

Chief Executive Officer

Singapore Innovation and Productivity Centre (SiPi) and Center of Corporate Learning

Singapore Manufacturing Federation


Future-proof your career

Er Dr Teng is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Innovation and Productivity Centre, (SiPi) a national productivity centre as well as the Centre for Corporate Learning under Singapore Manufacturing Federation. SiPi spearheads the Business Model Innovation to assist Small Medium Enterprises to transform their business models.

Er Dr Mike Teng is the author of the best-selling book "Corporate Turnaround: Nursing a sick company back to health", in 2002. His book isendorsed by management guru Professor Philip Kotler and business tycoons Mr Oei Hong Leong and Dr YY Wong. He had authored more than twenty seven management books mainly in the productivity and innovationtopics. His latest book is entitled: Business Model Innovation: Introduction to Implementation.

He has more than 30 years of experience in leading corporate and business model transformation in the Asia Pacific region. Of these, he held Chief Executive Officer’s positions for more than 20 years in multi-national and publicly listed companies. He also used to advise several boards of directors of publicly-listed companies.

Er Dr Teng served as the Executive Council member for fourteen years and the last four years as the President of the Marketing Institute of Singapore (2000 – 2004). He is currently the President of the National University of Singapore MBA Alumni and the past President of the University of South Australia alumni as well as the past Chairman of the Chartered Management Institute, Singapore Branch.

Er Dr Teng holds a Doctor in Business Administration (DBA) from the University of South Australia, Master in Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering (BEng) from the National University of Singapore. He is also a Professional Engineer (P Eng, Singapore), Chartered Engineer ( C Eng, UK) and Fellow Member of several prestigious professional institutes namely, Chartered Institute of Marketing (FCIM), Chartered Management Institute (FCMI), Institute of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE), Marketing Institute of Singapore (FMIS), Institute of Electrical Engineers (FIEE) . He is also a Practising Management Consultant (PMC).



Mr Shabir Aslam

Director, Education

British Council Singapore


Update, Upskill. Improve: Repeat – The lifelong learning journey from an IT Professional to an Education Director

Mr Shabir Aslam was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire. He studied at the Crossley and Porter Grammar School before leaving for University where he graduated with a first class honours degree in Management Studies from the University of Lancaster.

Shabir has over 20 years’ experience within the commercial and academic industries. In his early career, Shabir completed various consultancy projects in Education, Management and IT Management as well as lecturing in Managing and Maintaining Organisational Effectiveness, Managing Change and Managing Information Technology before embarking on a career as an IT Professional servicing commercial and academic environments.  In this capacity, Shabir acted as a consultant for various sectors, advising on infrastructure design, implementation, rollouts, and the use of technology. Shabir co-wrote 2 publications on the theme of virtualisation and simulation as aids for business development and progression.

Over the last ten years Shabir has worked extensively within the further and higher education fields internationally, initially within the development and implementation of educational technology infrastructures and the design and development of curricula supported by technological innovation and latterly looking at effective partnership developments.

Shabir’s experience within the commercial, vocational and academic sectors led him to the position of Director of Education at the British Council in Singapore which he has held since 2013.

Workshop - 2.45pm



Dr Huong Ha

Academic Coordinator and Senior Lecturer (Business and Management)

UON Singapore


Smart Nation-Smart Learning

Dr. Huong Ha holds a PhD from Monash University, Australia, a certificate issued by University of Oxford, Department of Continuing Education, The Oxford Teachers’ Academy, and Oxford University Press and a Master’s degree from National University of Singapore. She is one of the moderators of the IMF elibrary forum on energy policy. Her previous positions, prior to joining UON Singapore, include Dean, Director of Research and Development, Deputy Course Director, Chief Editor, Executive Director, Business Development manager, etc.

She has many years’ experience in manufacturing, marketing research, higher education and research in management related areas, such as change management, consumer protection, corporate social responsibility and governance. She has authored a number of books, and among them is a book entitled “Change Management for Sustainability” published by Business Expert Press (USA).

Dr Huong Ha has been an invited member of (i) the international editorial boards of many international journals; (ii) the scientific/technical committees of several international conferences; and (iii) international advisory board of many professional associations.