GCF hosted a series of events in Singapore

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Global Citizen Forum conference: January 1, 2016

This was high level round table conference held in Singapore on January 1, 2016, which was attended by high profile alumnus of leading global universities who have made a mark in their fields. The discussion was centred on the topic ‘Elitism- Using knowledge to create wealth’, showcasing how specialised education has contributed in shaping a better and more economically empowered world. A fragile global economy has necessitated a rethinking of our education systems. Hitherto, specialised education has been a key contributor in augmenting the numbers of people who ‘add value’, but there is a marked decrease in the numbers of those who ‘create value’. And students and providers of education must seek to remedy this deficit to sustain the global economy.
To build a discourse on the viability of higher education for value creation, this round table was attempt to connect the dots and identify current trends and practices that need to be revisited for specialised education to achieve its true potential. GCF hosted this conference along with GUAL- Global Universities Alumni League – a Singapore based Alumni association, which has amongst its members, Singapore’s crème-de-la-crème that have graduated from such universities.

Conference Location & Timing

Global Citizen Forum Confrence
January 1 2016, 3 – 5 PM


Using Knowledge to create Wealth

Specialised education has contributed in shaping a better and more economically empowered world. A rise in literacy levels across the globe has reflected in a corresponding rise in income levels. Moreover, owing to open communication, ease of mobility and economic migration, the specialised education sector is becoming highly integrated, creating certain global standards that have come to define the recipients this education.
Specialised education has been a key contributor in augmenting the numbers of people who ‘add value’ to the fortunes of their immediate employers.
However, global literacy levels are uneven across the globe, especially between the developed and the developing world. And a fragile global economy has limited the ability of the ‘elite’ to add value to their immediate economic ecosystems – necessitating a rethinking of education systems. However, despite numerous social development & CSR policies which have come integral to businesses, there has been little success in ‘creating value’ that leaves a broad based and everlasting impact on the economy. Students and providers of education must seek to remedy this deficit to sustain the global economy.
A robust marketing strategy and abundant financial aid have made higher education more accessible, equipping more people to add value to their employers, augmenting individual company profits. However, there needs to be a mentality shift to enable this ‘value addition’ to cover more ground – leaving an impact beyond the confines of their immediate employer.
To build a discourse on the viability of higher education for value creation, this roundtable will attempt to connect the dots and identify current trends and practices that need to be revisited for specialised education to achieve its true potential. And how the educated, wealthy and well-connected ‘elite’ of the society can create value – and add wealth into the system so that financial prosperity does not remain in the domain of a few.
This conference will aim to:
Identify practices within the education system, which can be altered to optimise the impact of the individual value created.
Indicate the areas in which value creation is essential – such as to alleviate global poverty, building skilled labour etc.

Global Citizen Forum ‘UN 2.0’ roundtable: January 2, 2016

An exclusive and high level round table conference held in Singapore on January 2, 2016. The discussion was centred on the creation of a transformed United Nations Organisation in the light of recent changes to global polity, international communications and citizen literacy levels. This is a change that is recognised by the UN itself which has not only adopted a fresh development agenda for 2030 but has also, in a highly symbolic move, passed a resolution to open negotiations on the restructuring of the UN Security Council.
There needs to be an increased effort to open communication and channels of interaction between the people and their representatives. A restructuring of the UN hinges upon the re-analysis of the global power dynamic under the light of new information, research and omniscient technology. This tripartite nexus will form the foundation of a next generation United Nations – UN 2.0
To build a discourse around virtual communication and clean technology, this roundtable will attempt to connect the dots and identify current and evolutionary technologies that can be used to interact and adopt appropriate execution practices to encourage their efficacy in promoting democratic participation.

Conference Location & Timing

Global Citizen Forum ‘UN 2.0′ Roundtable
January 2 2016, 3 – 5 PM

UN 2.0


The United Nations of 1945 was a direct and urgent result of the Second World War with the primary objective of maintaining Peace. Over the years, the organisation has adapted and diversified to become the pioneer body on global development and harmony.
To a large extent, Global development hinges on political equitability. The term ‘Global’ development primarily requires creating consensus for a common idea of development, which can only be created when all cultures, nationalities enjoy an equal space.
Rapid development, supported with advances in technology, open communication and international migration have created a level playing field for the human species, unbound by their place of origin or colour.

Using the power of communication

As the leading world body, the UN has a remarkable list of achievements to its name. Foremost being the protection of peace, but as the world has grown and the knowledge boom has tweaked the power dynamics, the UN has a herculean struggle as it tries to factor in this gamut of changes to stay relevant to its mission. The Virtual domain has enabled a large part of the world to express their democratic privileges and claim a stake in the decision making process.
There needs to be and increased effort to open communication and channels of interaction between the representatives and the people. To build a discourse around Communication, the GCF conference of “UN 2.0” will be held in Singapore. A leading Global City that exemplifies development through positive citizen participation.

Why we need a UN 2.0?

The 70th anniversary of the UN is an opportune moment for introspection for the organisation. A highly ambitious global development plan for 2030 has already been adopted formally and smooth execution needs to follow suit.
A restructuring of the UN hinges upon the re-analysis of the global power dynamic under the light of new information, research and popular technology. This tripartite nexus will form the foundation of a next generation United Nations – UN 2.0

Creating a UN 2.0 – The Basics

Structurally, a ‘UN 2.0’ must be premised on certain hallmarks, which add value to its global, dynamic and interactive nature. GCF has identified certain criteria that must be fulfilled
 Increased use of technology for direct interaction
The UN needs to deploy technology in a manner which allows increased interaction with all 7 billion people (or develop a system which allows equal representation for all citizens on the planet) on matters that affect them directly.
Bridging the technological divide: the virtual space is to yet to be tapped as a key medium of interaction by the world body. A disconnect between global public opinion and leaders can potentially lead to dis-balanced decision making.
Technology as an integral part of the UN organisational structure
Restructuring the UNO to allow a wide berth to in depth research, public opinion along with the views expressed by international representatives for holistic decision making.
Using technology for Exponential growth: Despite having the funds and the technology to achieve the 2030 goals, the global development agenda is mired in scepticism which could be countered by extensive use of technology. By engaging technological experts, social technologies need to be identified, an execution strategy devised and regularly monitored.
 Managing Political Inequality & Removal of special privileges
The UNO needs to be restructured to mirror the internet to enable open communication. Low accountability of representatives to the UN who are not elected by popular vote, rights accorded to certain nations often acts as a deterrent for justice. This has also been recognised by the UN for recently, a unanimous resolution was passed by the UN to change the draft text of the UN Security Council.
Especially in times of a Global clean energy revolution- energy production can act as a great leveller as it undercuts the disparity between mineral-rich international cartels and the consumers of fossil fuels. The clean energy era heralds a dramatic geo-political shift that is bound to have a domino effect on international relations.
As the UN celebrates 70 years, this is the opportune moment to improve the present structure of the organisation, paving the way for UN 2.0 – an improved international organisation with greater equitability in its ranks and a more interactive structure that endorses its credibility as the leading global organisation.

Our Speakers

  • Mr Amin Toufani

    Amin is the Director of Strategy and Vice President of Strategic Relations at Singularity University. He brings a unique set of technological, entrepreneurial and policy perspectives to the dialogue of innovation on campus.
    Before Singularity, Amin founded for-profit and social impact organizations in a range of domains including: artificial intelligence, peer to peer lending, bitcoin, human rights, international development, carbon offsetting, and solar energy. Google Search ranks him as the world’s best guitar player – a title he readily rejects. In addition to his work at Singularity, he is building the World’s first hedge fund for the poor, as well as Reversopedia – a reverse encyclopedia composed of things we know we don’t know. Amin’s primary research areas include his concepts of Adaptability Quotient (AQ) and Exponential Economics (Exonomics).
    Amin has a degree in artificial intelligence from the University of British Columbia, an MBA from Stanford, and an MPA in economic policy from Harvard. He attended Harvard and Stanford concurrently and graduated an Arjay Miller Scholar.

  • Mr Harish Parameswar

    Harish Parameswar joined The Islamic Bank of Asia (“IB Asia”) in January 2012 as Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking. He is responsible for the capital markets and direct investments businesses.
    With an investment-banking career spanning more than 17 years, Harish has rich experience advising clients in Asia Pacific covering mergers, acquisitions, disposals, restructurings and other debt and equity capital markets related activities.
    Prior to joining IB Asia, Harish was Founder and Managing Director of Beacon Advisory International, a corporate finance advisory and private equity investment firm focused on emerging markets. Till 2010, Harish was Managing Director at Lazard Asia, serving as Head of South East Asia with additional responsibility for the technology and media sectors across Asia. He has also worked at Deutsche Bank and Jardine Fleming in various corporate finance roles in Singapore and India.
    Harish sits on several boards and investment committees in the region. He holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Management from IMT Ghaziabad, and a Bachelor of Commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University. Harish has also authored a book on the restructuring of financially distressed companies in India titled “Rehabilitation of Sick Companies”.

  • Mr Chia Kim Huat

    Kim Huat has extensive experience in capital market, public and private mergers and acquisitions, cross-border joint ventures and private equity investments, both in Singapore and the region.
    He travels regularly in the Asia-Pacific region advising clients on a wide range of matters, including infrastructure projects, township development, hotel management, global restructuring, REITs and Business Trusts. Kim Huat also advises foreign investors on their investments in Singapore, including listings on the Singapore Exchange, privatisations, secondary and dual listings.
    He has been recognised as a leading lawyer in his field by International Financial Law Review 1000, Chambers Global “Leaders in their Field”, Asia Pacific Legal 500, Chambers Asia and Best Lawyers, 6th Edition.

  • Mr Nitin Gupta

    Nitin is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor degree in commerce from Hansraj College, Delhi University.
    He joined Ernst &Young in the year 2000 and is presently working as a Partner with EY in M&A Practice. He has nearly twenty years of professional experience in M&A, fund raising, corporate strategy, valuations and business planning. Nitin also leads investment banking initiatives in the retail, consumer and healthcare segments. While he has also worked across broad spectrum of other sectors like cement & building products, telecom, oil and gas etc.
    In addition, he is National Talent Leader for Transaction Advisory Services and a National Leader for Cement & Building Products sector.
    Nitin has lead various thought leadership initiatives including writing sector reports and whitepapers on various topics in investment banking.

  • Dr Pervez Ahmed

    Dr Pervez Ahmed was born in Shillong Meghalaya – India, to the 5th President of Republic of India, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. He schooled at St. Edmund, Shillong. After which, he did his Pre-med at Hindu College, University of Delhi. He completed his MBBS from Armed Forces Medical College, Pune in 1970 and thereafter proceeded to New York, where he completed his Residency in Internal Medicine and Fellow-ship in Cardiology. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular diseases as well as a Certified Medical Director.
    He has been an academics enthusiast in the field of medicine for more than three decades. He has contributed immensely to the development of critical care medicine in New York, and was on the faculty of SUNY Downstate since 1976. He was also responsible for a start-up extended care Rehabilitation facility in New York and has extensive experience in Healthcare Management.
    He served as a Board Member of Max Healthcare Institute Ltd. from 2005 to 2007 and then in the capacity of the Executive Medical Director from 2007-2009, before being re-designated as the CEO and MD of Max Healthcare Institute Ltd. in Jan 2009.
    He is an active member of the Confederation of Indian Industries, and spearheaded the taskforce on talks between Health Insurance Companies and Healthcare providers.
    He has designed, developed processes & programs, and initiated 3 different hospital Greenfield projects. Escorts Heart Institute, BL Kapoor Hospital (New Delhi) and Max Healthcare.Max Healthcare is amongst the top two players from a market share standpoint in Delhi & National Capital Region. Under his leadership, MHC has seen 30 % revenue growth, 12% growth in bed capacity and established “Centres of Excellence”.
    Currently he runs his own venture to provide affordable and high quality medical care under the name of ‘Urgent Care Centre’, currently with 3 Centres in Delhi, with plans to be in Tier II & III towns as well.

  • Mr Thomas Zilliacus

    Thomas Henrik Zilliacus is a globally recognized innovator and leader in the mobile business space, who has been involved in the world of mobile telecommunications for over 30 years, starting with Nokia in 1980.
    He has had a significant number of years working in senior management positions with global industry leaders in the mobile industry. He is the Chairman and Founder of Mobile FutureWorksInc, an investment and development company focused on the mobile space, which currently holds approximately 47% of YuuZoo’s share capital.
    Prior to forming Mobile FutureWorks, he held various senior management positions with the world’s leading mobile handset company Nokia, including Regional Director for the Asia-Pacific region, which he led from scratch and which now has over US$20 billion in annual revenues, Managing Director for Nokia Southeast Asia Pte Ltd, and Senior Vice-President, Corporate Communications, with overall responsibility for Nokia’s corporate image, marketing, PR and brand.
    Thomas Zilliacus is a Board member of Si2i Ltd, a company primarily into distribution of Operator and IT products and services and retailing of mobile handsets in the South East Asia region. He is Chairman of its Nominating and Remuneration Committees and a member of its Audit Committee. He is a senior adviser to several companies in the wireless space. He is the co-founder and first chairman of the world’s leading mobile services industry body, the Mobile Entertainment Forum.

  • Mr Tan Sri Ajit Singh

    Tan Sri Dato’ Ajit Singh was born and educated in Malaysia. He is a Diplomat and joined the Malaysian Foreign Service in 1963.
    In a career spanning just over 30 years, he served in various positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at Malaysian Missions abroad in Canberra, Addis Ababa, (Ethiopia) and New York. He was Malaysia’s Ambassador in Vietnam, Austria, Brazil, (with concurrent accreditation to Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela) and Germany.
    He was elected the first Secretary-General of ASEAN and served a five-year term from 01 January 1993 to 31 December 1997.After leaving the Secretariat, he joined the National Petroleum Oil Company, PETRONAS, where he worked as Director, International Business Ventures from August 1997 to October 1999.
    In early 2009, he was appointed to the Indian Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council of Overseas Indians. In Jan. 2011, he was awarded India’s highest award for an overseas Indian, the PravasiBharatiyaSamman Award, by the Indian Government.

  • AmbassadorK Kesavapany

    Mr K Kesavapany was the Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore from October 2002 until 28 February 2012.Prior to this, he was Singapore’s High Commissioner to Malaysia from 1997 to 2002. He also served as Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Italy (1991-1997) and Turkey. He was elected as the first Chairman of the General Council of the WTO when it was established in January 1995 and a member of the Singapore Mediation Centre’s International Panel of Mediators.
    MrKesavapany graduated from the University of Malaya with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree and obtained a Master of Arts (Area Studies) degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
    MrKesavapany is Singapore’s Non-Resident Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
    MrKesavapany is a Governor on the Board of the Singapore International Foundation and President of the Singapore Indian Association (SIA). He is also a board member of the Energy Institute of Singapore (EIS), founding committee member of the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS), Term Trustee of Singapore Indian Assocation, SINDA, member of the Rotary Club of Raffles City (RCRC).
    MrKesavapany also teaches a course on “History of South East Asia” at the Singapore Management University (SMU) on an ad-hoc basis.MrKesavapany’s hobbies include Golf, Walking, Helping to “Keep Singapore Clean” and heading a program called “Helping to save people from falling through the cracks”

  • Mr Karan Singh Thakral

    Mr Thakral is Singapore’s non-resident ambassador to Denmark. He an executive director at the multi-billion dollar the Thakral Group of Companies, had earlier served as Singapore’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, resident in Singapore from July 2013 to April 2015.
    He is an entrepreneur and an active member of Singapore’s business society. Among his other appointments, Karan is chairman of the South Asia Business Group and Business India in Singapore as well as chairman of Givo Limited in India, Chairman of the Singapore Chapter of TiE. He also serves as a Board Member of the ASEAN India Business Council.

  • Ms Lim HweeHua

    Lim HweeHua is a former Singaporean politician. A member of the country’s governing People’s Action Party. She became the first woman to serve in Singapore’s Cabinet when she was made a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office in 2009. She also concurrently served as the Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Transport.
    After graduating from Raffles Institution, Lim was awarded an Overseas Merit Scholarship to study at Cambridge University where she read Mathematics and Engineering at Girton College and graduated in 1981. In 1989, she completed her MBA with a major in Finance from Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Lim started her career as an administrative officer in the ministries of finance, education and law. After completing her MBA, she worked with Swiss Bank Corp. as an investment analyst, headed research and business development at Jardine Fleming, and spearheaded strategic relations at Temasek Holdings. In 1996, she entered public life, winning elections as a Member of Parliament

  • Mr SanjivAiyar

    Mr Aiyar is the President for Pan IIM Alumni Association in Singapore.

  • Dr NitishBirdi

    First Secretary (Consular) of High Commission of India Dr. NitishBirdi

  • Mr GopichandP.Hinduja

    Mr. Gopichand P. Hinduja, serves as Co-Chairman of Hinduja Group Limited. Mr. Hinduja serves as Chairman of Hinduja Automotive Limited, Uk. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hinduja Automotive Ltd.
    He joined the family business in Mumbai in 1959. He was one of the architects of the transformation of the Group from an Indo-Middle East trading operation into a multi-billion dollar transnational conglomerate.
    He is also the visionary behind the Group’s forays into Power and Infrastructure sectors, spearheading the task of shaping the Group’s plan for building 10 GW of power generation capacity in India. He graduated from Jai Hind College, Mumbai, in 1959. Mr. Hinduja holds an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Westminster, and Honorary Doctorate of Economics from Richmond College, London.
    A graduate from Mumbai University, GP joined the family business at a young age of 19 years. With no formal management education at hand, yet GP along with his elder brother SP architected in transforming their family business from an Indo-Middle East Trading operations into a multi-billion dollar transnational conglomerate.
    From the very first acquisition of globally renowned iconic brand, Gulf Oil, in 1984 or in 1987, Ashok Leyland, the then struggling Indian automotive manufacturer which was also the first major NRI investment into India, and to more recent acquisitions of Electric Bus manufacturer, Optare in the UK and Houghton Inc. in USA, the global leader in metal working fluids, GP remains at the forefront of the Group’s global M& A activities. Irrespective of any of the business verticals that the Group may be involved in, GP prefers to have a direct, hands-on approach towards any M&A opportunity that Group keeps exploring. He prefers to keep things simple which gets reflected in his business philosophy “pragmatism with a positive outlook to help reach logical conclusions”.
    Today, GP remains the fount of any new project or new business vertical development within the Group. He has mastered the art of scaling the new project, from ground up to a certain maturity level before handing it over to another family member to nurture it further. GP today heralds a vision that sees the Hinduja Group making solid strides in Power and Renewables sector in India after successful set up of 1040 MW thermal Power Plant on west coast of India; a foray into the recently opened Defence Sector in India; of becoming a significant contributor to the burgeoning Emerging Market’s Infrastructure Story and becoming a force to reckon with in Cyber security, globally.
    Taking a keen interest in numerous philanthropic activities that the Group undertakes in fields of education, healthcare and promoting multicultural understanding, GP is a trustee of the Hinduja Foundation, the PD Hinduja National Hospital, and the KPB Hinduja College of Commerce, and the Patron of The Charity concerned for Mental Health, UK. Under GP’s able stewardship, the Group acquired Winston Churchill’s Old War Office, a Grade-A heritage structure that would be restored and maintained for posterity. His interest in social work is not limited to the activities of Hinduja Foundation. He involves himself in the causes that he holds dear and often goes out of his way to muster support for them.
    Numerous awards have been conferred on GP, such as the lifetime achievement award at the 13th Asian Achievers Awards held in London, the Asian Businessman of the Year Award in 2014, the Lifetime Achievers Award by the Indo-European Business Forum, and Business Leader of the Year 2015 award. GP believes that “every award is actually a responsibility” to carry on. Most recently, he was honoured with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by Asian Business Leadership Forum which he accepted on behalf of the Hinduja brothers. This year, the Hinduja Brothers have been ranked as the second-most influential Asians in Britain by various acclaimed publications. They work assiduously towards enhancement of relationships between their mother country and host country.

  • Mr Jai Pathak

    Jai S. Pathak is the Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Singapore office and the Pacific Asia region.  He is a member of the firm’s Corporate Department and its Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group and has served as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.
    Mr. Pathak has extensive experience in cross-border mergers and acquisitions,takeovers, dispositions, privatizations, joint ventures, licensing, infrastructuredevelopment, as well as private equity and structured finance transactions.  He has significant experience in the telecommunications, IT, banking, hospitality, oil/gas, pharmaceutical and chemical industries.  His clients have included governments, financial institutions, investment banks, multinational companies and U.S., European, and Asian companies.  His practice has included projects in the United States, Europe, India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Canada, Australia, China and South Africa.
    Mr. Pathak previously practiced with Jones Day since 1985, where he was a senior partner in its transactional and M&A practices.  He previously served as head of that firm’s India practice and partner in charge of the Singapore office.  He also spent more than a decade practicing in that firm’s London, New York and Cleveland offices.
    Representative accolades
    Chambers & Partners Global and Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific rank Mr. Pathak as a leading lawyer for Corporate/M&A in Singapore and India (top tier) in 2015 guides.  Client feedback from the publications note that he is sophisticated and undeniably talented” and “incredibly seasoned.”
    Chambers & Partners Global 2015 also ranks Mr. Pathak as Foreign Expert for India in the category Singapore: Corporate/M&A.
    Best Lawyers 2015 recommends Mr. Pathak as a leading Singapore lawyer for both Finance and M&A.
    Asialaw Leading Lawyers 2013 identifies Mr. Pathak as a leading lawyer in Singapore.
    Asian Legal Business’s Legal Who’s Who Singapore 2003 awarded Mr.”Best Corporate Lawyer” award.
    The Indian Council of Jurists presented Mr. Pathak with the “National Law Day Award – 2001″ for his unique contribution to the development of Indian corporate law.
    The American Lawyer named Mr. Pathak in its February 2009 issue to its Top Lateral Partner Hires list for 2008.
    Mr. Pathak graduated from law school (B.A. (Hons. in Jurisprudence)) from Oxford University in 1984 (M.A., 1989) and received his LL.M from the University of Virginia in 1985.  He previously earned his B.A. (Hons.) and M.A. degrees from the University of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.

  • Dr Richard Dasher

    Richard Dasher has been Director of the US-Asia Technology Management Center since 1994 and, concurrently, Executive Director of the Center for Integrated Systems since 1998. His research and teaching focus on innovation systems and the impact of new technologies on industry structure and dynamics. Dr. Dasher serves on selection and review committees of major government funding programs for science, technology, and innovation in Canada and Japan. He is an advisor to start-up companies, business accelerators, venture capital firms, and nonprofits in the U.S., China, Japan, and S. Korea. Dr. Dasher was the first non-Japanese person ever asked to join the governance of a Japanese national university, serving as an outside Board Director and member of the Management Council of Tohoku University from 2004 – 2010. Dr. Dasher received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Linguistics from Stanford University. From 1986 – 90, he was Director of the U.S. State Department’s Advanced Language and Area Training Centers in Japan and Korea that provide full-time curricula to U.S. and Commonwealth Country diplomats assigned to those countries.

  • Mr Adhiraj Singh Bisht

    Mr Singh is the Sales and Account Director for Asia Pacific with Tarantula Global, a world leader in telecom site management software. He has been associated with the telecom industry for a decade, with experience in International Business Development, Program Management and Corporate Planning. Prior to Tarantula, he worked with Telstra in Melbourne and American Tower Corporation in Mumbai, India.
    He is a Telecom Engineer from RMIT, Melbourne, and an MBA from IE Business School, Madrid. Having lived in Australia, Europe, India and Singapore, he is able to bridge gaps across national and corporate cultures; his passion is to build value-creating relationships across borders.