Panel Topics

Corporate Leadership

Redefining Industry, Strategy, and Management with Innovation and a Global Mindset

  • Moderator: Angela Chen

Angela Chen is a business professional at Google, working on brand strategy and operations for YouTube. Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, she has lived in various cities around the world, including Sydney, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Professionally, she is interested in the intersection of business, finance, technology, and media, and has gained diverse work experiences in these fields, including product management for a successful global franchise at Activision-Blizzard, the world’s leading interactive gaming publisher. Angela started her career at Wall Street firm BlackRock as an Investment Analyst following financial markets and industries. Passionate about Asian affairs, she has organized/participated in numerous campus organizations and student conferences since college, most recently moderating for HPAIR-Harvard 2015. She also volunteers as an ambassador for US-Taiwan relations on Capitol Hill in Washington DC on behalf of a non-profit foundation. Angela holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Associate: Michael He

Subpanel Topics:

  • Developing Business Leadership for the Asian Century
  • Innovation and Technology in the Private Sector
  • Emerging Economies: Resource Development, Investment Frontiers, and the Challenges of Globalization

Panel Description: 

Changes in Asia’s business landscape as a result of globalization have highlighted the need for leaders to adapt existing industry and management practices in order to account for new technologies and the rise of emerging economies. In this panel, we will look at the disruption of traditional business models and explore the strategic and financial directions that businesses are headed to sustain their competitive advantages. Under that context, we will examine how the public and private sectors have worked together to inform government policies and business activities that encourage innovation and drive long-term value. Finally, we will explore globalization’s lasting impact in the region through social, economic, and political outcomes, including the challenges of corporate responsibility as well as the opportunities of investing and operating in frontier markets.

Energy and Sustainability

New Opportunities in Energy

  • Moderator: Stephen Hawkins
  • Associate: Kaiyue Lu

Subpanel Topics:

  • Energy and Environmental Preservation
  • Energy Access in the Developing World
  • Innovations in Energy: Seeking Renewable and Alternative Sources

Panel Description:

Energy is inextricably linked to the economic development of nations – its derived products are integrated into consumer lifestyles and are what permit continuous advancements in technology, medicine, and more. Within this context, it is impossible to overlook resource constraints and depletion, and thus sustainability must come into the forefront of the agenda with a conscientious view toward our environment.

First, this panel will consider the broad environmental consequences of the exploration and production of traditional energy sources. In addition to discussing the responsibility of energy companies and governments in rectifying the environmental consequences caused by resource exploitation, we will discuss sustainability as it relates to international development and how the global standard of living can be improved with greater access to cleaner and more efficient energy. Finally, this panel will examine the pressures on the energy sector and the innovations that have arisen along the lines of “necessity as the mother of invention.”

Moderator Bio:

Stephen Hawkins is currently pursuing his Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he is a John F. Kennedy Fellow. Stephen most recently served as a Summer Fellow for Here Now, a New York-based climate change movement accelerator.While there he helped manage a global petition in conjunction with Religions for Peace involving 13 senior religious figures, from 5 major faiths, in 30+ countries, in a call on heads of state to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2050.  Prior to this, Stephen served as a consultant to Fortune 100 companies. He has also served as a pollster to presidential and parliamentary campaigns for candidates on four continents. For Newsweek, he designed and conducted a thought leadership study of 8,000 US consumers concerning ecofriendly practices. For TIME Magazine, he wrote and executed a poll on public attitudes and behaviors related to renewable energy and climate change in the US, South Korea, India, Brazil, Turkey, and Germany.  Stephen has also worked at the British Embassy in Washington DC, at the US House of Representatives, and as an advisor to the management of a Guatemalan non-profit. Stephen attended The George Washington University, where he earned his B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs.


Entrepreneurship in Asia: Successes, Failures, and Worldwide Impact

  • Moderator: Anusha Deshpande

Anusha Deshpande is originally from Atlanta, the land of peaches, sweet tea, and second-person plurals, as she’ll remind y’all as often as she can. She’s an Associate Director at Omnicom where she focuses on advertising, branding, and new business development. Her career began in the world of entertainment, where she worked at Disney, MTV Networks, and Hulu.

In her spare time, she perfects baking doughnuts, samples New York’s spin classes, and forces herself to like Fernet because that is mandatory when you move to Brooklyn. She graduated cum laude from Harvard College with a degree in Film Studies and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.

  • Associate: Eleasha Chew

Panel Description:

Across Asia, different political systems and economic philosophies create radically different operating environments for entrepreneurs. By bringing together an exciting mix of the most innovative entrepreneurs, executives and thought leaders, this panel will examine the realities of Asian entrepreneurship and the factors that hinder, encourage and shape start-up communities. We will also examine entrepreneurs’ responses to these considerations to highlight the immense creativity they tap into to bring their passions to life.

Subpanel Topics:

  • Fostering Tech Startup Communities across Asia: Networks, Capital and Opportunities

Silicon Valley does not own the monopoly on being a tech development and startup hub. As evidenced by countries like China, Korea and Singapore, the entrepreneurial landscape in Asia is very much alive. This sub-panel seeks to explore start-up and tech entrepreneurship communities across Asia and how such communities develop, thrive, access capital, and grow.

  • Social Entrepreneurship: Inspiring Innovation for Social Good

How do we harness the power and profit of businesses for social good? This panel is designed to explore solutions as to how we can bring meaning and purpose into the workplace through social entrepreneurship. Whether you are a budding entrepreneur or a serial social entrepreneur looking for the next big idea, ignite your passion for innovation by meeting game-changers who are committed to making a positive impact and building a healthy economy – one that serves the common good and provides a solid platform for sustainable development and prosperity.

  • Beyond the Startup: Scaling Up without Screwing Up

This sub-panel will explore the topic of scaling a company across Asia. We’ll look at how the political and economic realities across Asia impact the culture and feasibility of entrepreneurship. Is it easier to be an entrepreneur in certain Asian countries than in others? Why or why not? When venture capitalists choose which start-ups to fund, what do they look for? We’ll also examine the consequences of government policies and practices that remain after a company scales beyond Asia.

Finance and the World Economy

Macro- and Microeconomic Growth in Asia: Local and Global Implications

  • Moderator: Jennifer Zhu

Jennifer Zhu was born and raised in California, but has been calling New York City home for the past two years. Most recently, Jennifer was an investment banking analyst in the Financial Institutions Group at Morgan Stanley, covering banks, asset managers, financial technology companies and insurance companies. During her two years at Morgan Stanley, she worked on a variety of capital raises for companies of all sizes as well as several multi-billion dollar M&A transactions. In September, Jennifer will be joining Pine Brook Partners, a growth equity firm, as an associate in their financial services practice.

Jennifer graduated from Harvard College with honors, majoring in Economics with a secondary in Government. This conference will be Jennifer’s 8th HPAIR Conference. Jennifer was the Executive Director of the 2012 HPAIR Asia Conference in Taipei, Taiwan and also previously served as the Director of Conference Programming for the 2011 conference in Seoul. At Harvard, she was also the President of the Chinese Student’s Association.

  • Associate: Peter Jin

Subpanel Topics:

  • Building on Asia’s Macroeconomic Growth
  • The Rise of Asian Currencies in International Trade
  • Investigating the Capital Structures of Corporations

Panel Description: How have Asian economies built up and sustained macroeconomic growth for the past several decades? The “Asian Miracle” of the Four Asian Tigers heavily relied on export-led growth and strong government-led economies. China has similarly witnessed high growth rates in recent years with perhaps a slowdown in sight, and Asian currencies, particularly the Yuan, have become increasingly influential in foreign markets and international trade. How does the future look for both developing and developed Asian countries’ economies? Furthermore, a discussion of Asia’s macroeconomic growth must be bolstered by a look through the microeconomic lens. How should Asian businesses finance their growth? From young entrepreneurs to CEOs of established businesses, raising capital is one of the most important and challenging tasks a business leader faces. A bewildering array of options exists: bank loans, angel financing, venture capital, growth capital, private equity, and capital markets are only the tip of the capital iceberg. This panel will explore the topic of financing through the two lenses of business and investor. This panel seeks to inform delegates not only of what financing options are available and how they are used, but also to equip them with the basic tools to begin evaluating which financing options are best for their situation.

Health and Social Policy

From Understanding to Solutions: Bringing Better Value to Asia’s Healthcare Systems

  • Moderator: Thomas Wang

Thomas Wang is a 2nd year M.D. student at Harvard Medical School who will be serving as the moderator for the health and social policy panels at HPAIR. As a brief background, he graduated 2 years ago from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in neuroscience and minor in public health. He was born in Beijing, China, but lived most of his life up to high school in Vancouver, Canada before attending college in the US. Thomas has a strong interest in health within the international sphere, and his professional interests include global health, particularly in Asia, healthcare management and delivery, public health infrastructure, and medical innovation. In college, he had extensive experience in research, teaching, and leadership roles for large student organizations. He recently moderated the health and public policy panels at Harvard, and looks forward to meeting and working with you all in Manila.

  • Associate: Fatuma Rinderknecht

Subpanel Topics:

  • The Transformation of Healthcare from Urbanization and Changing Demographics
  • Encouraging Healthy Behavior – The Role of Public Health and Social Media
  • Government or Private Sector? The Future of Asia’s Healthcare Infrastructure

Panel Description:

Asia currently holds some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Overall, rapid growth has had desirable, positive effects over the past few decades – better living standards, lower mortality rates, more disposable income, increased access to technology, and a more educated populace. People are dying less from communicable diseases due to improved public health programs, such as vaccinations, and as more people migrate to large urban centers in search of opportunities, they find increased access to basic services and more choices on how they want to live. These changing demographics, however, have resulted in formidable health and social costs. Countries are experiencing soaring rates of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, asthma, cancer, and mental depression. However, knowledge of these illnesses and their associated risks are poor, with misinformation rampant. Moreover, as healthcare systems develop to meet the increased demand, disparities have also increased as the wealthy reap the rewards of medical advances while the poor face increasing barriers to healthcare access. Many Asian countries are well aware of these issues, but have difficulty finding solutions quickly enough to address them. Unhealthy behavior is a key factor – how can we better use public health campaigns and social media to improve health and change behavior? Although healthcare spending is rising, we are not seeing marked improvements in health – how can we bring more value into the system? As governments struggle to tackle these issues, can the private sector offer more efficient solutions in overcoming these formidable healthcare challenges? These are important concepts and questions we will be addressing in our section Health and Social Policy.

Human Rights

Evolving Solutions for Human Rights in Asia

  • Moderator: Caitlin Ryan

Caitlin Ryan is a Master of Public Policy candidate at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She previously worked as a Deloitte management consultant to the U.S. federal government, where she primarily focused on homeland security issues. For 2+ years she drove a multi-agency data analytics project at the U.S. Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center. In that role, she coordinated with federal investigators, attorneys, and victim specialists to collect and analyze data on domestic sex trafficking cases. Her efforts helped lead to the arrest of 21 traffickers and recovery of 15 survivors of human trafficking. She collaborated with Free the Slaves, FAIR Girls, and DC Stop Modern Slavery on board governance, strategic planning, and training. Her team authored a piece entitled “Supply Unchained”, encouraging companies to make incremental changes to address labor abuse in their global supply chains. Before Deloitte Caitlin studied international politics and human rights at Georgetown University, and interned at Amnesty International, USA. She attended high school in Kobe, Japan and has lived and volunteered in Thailand and Indonesia. Caitlin is especially interested in public-private partnerships to push for social change, especially concerning human and labor rights. She would love to hear from you on Twitter! @cryandc

  • Associate: Montita Sowapark

Panel Description:

Despite Asia’s rapid economic development over the past few decades, global attention has exposed wide gaps in access to human rights, ranging from issues of free speech to human trafficking. If Asia is to become a robust presence in the international realm, leaders of Asian countries must continue working toward a free and egalitarian society for all groups. Minority voices must be heard and marginalized populations must be protected. Questions of authority, standards, and capacity will continue to pose complex challenges, so new solutions are needed to create sustained change. This panel will bring together practitioners from regional governments, businesses, non-profit organizations, and civil society groups to discuss challenges to and innovations in combating human rights issues in Asia. Most importantly, the panel will connect and foster the next generation of human rights leaders in Asia and beyond.

Subpanel Topics: 

  • Modern-Day Slavery: The Many Faces of Human Trafficking

Today, there are more slaves in the world than ever in human history. An estimated 20 to 30 million people are forced to work against their will, often without compensation and in dismal conditions. Human trafficking takes many forms – forced labor, sex trafficking, forced child labor, child soldiers, child sex tourism, involuntary domestic servitude, debt bondage – and survivors of the crime can be found in every country in the world. We will look at the different forms in which human trafficking is manifested in Asian countries, and the innovative efforts being taken to combat this grave human rights violation.

  • Dangerous Speech

Access to speech expression are highly restricted by many governments in Asia. This panel will look at how innovations in technology, media, and communication have allowed individuals and groups to catalyze dialogue regarding controversial issues and enact socio-political change.

  • Bending Tradition: The Fight for LGBTQI Rights

As Asia continues to develop and democratize, traditional values are often coming into conflict with growing LGBTQI and feminist communities. This panel will explore the current obstacles faced by the LGBTQI communities in many Asian societies and the ways in which these communities and allies are finding solidarity, subverting traditional norms of gender and sexuality, and demanding access to equality.

Security and Diplomacy

Can Innovative Diplomacy Ensure a Stable and Prosperous Asia?

  • Moderator: George Hampton

George Hampton is currently studying toward a Executive Master in Public Administration in international economic policy management at Columbia University on a Fulbright Scholarship. Until September 2014 George was Deputy Head of Mission at the Permanent Mission and Embassy of New Zealand in Vienna, Austria. Previously, he was an Advisor (Economic) to the New Zealand Prime Minister and subsequently seconded from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as Private Secretary to New Zealand’s Cabinet Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control. In 2013, George was selected as one of 20 ‘Young Strategists’ for the joint Johns Hopkins University and International Institute for Strategic Studies Program in Security & Geo-economics. George received a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts, with First Class Honours in Diplomacy and International Relations (summa cum laude), from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

  • Associate: Alex Kim

Panel Description: Geopolitical stability is critical to certainty and surety for markets, and ultimately for sustainable economic growth and human development. Given the potential for conflict in Asia over the next quarter century, what role can diplomacy and security frameworks play in maintaining stability rather than provoking tensions: what can innovative diplomacy offer to reduce the tensions in Asia’s growing hotspots, particularly in maritime disputes, competition for trade and markets, and the destabilization in the Middle East? Furthermore, what effective diplomatic channels should these countries in dispute and conflict pursue?

Subpanel Topics:

  • Keeping Sea Lanes Clear

While communication advances have brought Asia and the world closer, international commerce still relies heavily on physical transportation. How will the rise of China threaten US ability to project its naval capabilities? What will this shift, together with China’s ambitions in the South China Sea, mean for freedom of navigation in the sea lanes on which global commerce relies, and in what ways can international law adapt to help settle disputes?

  • Commercial Diplomacy and the Next Resource Horizon

Resource access can be critical to sustaining growth. From China to the Asian Tigers, Asian states have increasingly used global value chains to source commodities in Africa, Australia, South America, the Arctic and beyond. How does China’s model of resource diplomacy challenge or confront those employed by the US and its multinationals? Will others in Asia replicate this, and what are the implications and impacts of these models on the least developed states in the world?

  • Confronting ISIS and the Crisis in the Middle East

ISIS has brought about an entirely new set of challenges for Middle Eastern states as well as the international community. The U.S., its Middle Eastern allies, and even Japan has been embroiled in a conflict that has destabilized the region and the world-at-large. How can the international community build an effective coalition – if it should at all – to combat ISIS while simultaneously mitigating the sacrifice of human lives and improving the deteriorating refugee situation?