Harvard Conference 2014 Topics

Harvard 2014 Conference
Harvard 2014 Conference

Plenary Sessions

Academic
“Shaping Future Leaders: Implications of Globalization on Education Policy in Asia”

  • Moderator: Irene Shao

An increasingly globalized society requires both Asia and the rest of the world to reevaluate education policy. This plenary examines how the internationalization of education has impacted traditional education policy around the world. What can Asian and Western systems learn from each other, and how might we integrate their policies? As economies become more intertwined and technologies develop, what changes are required of governments, educational institutions, and NGOs to effectively engage and educate students? Ultimately, how can these countries and institutions work together to improve global education?

Business
“Asia Redefining Business: Small to Big, Startup to Multinational”

  • Moderator: Sue Yang

How is Asia redefining the way we think about business – from startups to multinationals? This plenary explores how Asian countries and companies have combined tradition and established ways of doing business with new methods. What unique forms of entrepreneurship do we see from India and China to Indonesia and Saudi Arabia? How have sovereign wealth funds, state-owned enterprises, and established conglomerates thought about investing and expanding abroad? What sources of capital are available and how is that evolving with policy innovations and increased venture capital and private equity involvement?

Panel Topics

Business Leadership
“The New Business Leaders of Asia”

  • Moderator: Diana Lee
  • Associate: Michael Averell

This panel will explore the role of leadership in Asia in the context of corporations, nationalization of industries, and response to crises. We will discuss how the new types of challenges and opportunities in Asia necessitate a new type of business leadership. How can business leaders in Asia benefit the public? How can corporations recover from severe difficulties? How will greater competition impact the growth of Asian businesses? Imperatively, we need new ideas, new goals, and new leaders in Asia.

Entrepreneurship
“From the Bottom Up”

  • Moderator: Wendi Zhang
  • Associate: Amy Jin

As we witness the emergence of great ideas transforming into startups, we must consider what makes some startups fail while others are projecting a spot in the Fortune 500. There have been many successful models, but is it possible to apply a past model to an innovative product? In addition, a new type of entrepreneurship has come to the spotlight: social entrepreneurship. Where does a company that attempts to solve societal problem fall in the marketplace, and what common characteristics–if any–do the successful startups for social good possess? Through many personal stories, these panels will explore topics in depth to equip you in the realm of startups: (1) Joining startups, (2) Navigating the legal side and resources for startups, and lastly (3) Entrepreneurship for the social good.

Finance
“What’s next in Asia? Potential Outcomes of Current Market Trends”

  • Moderator: Sue Yang
  • Associate: Shawheen Rezaei

With the evolution of economic development unique to contemporary Asia, countries in the region face new financial prospects and looming questions that will define future trajectories. The region weathered the 2008 financial crisis and emerged leading the ongoing global recovery. Rising Asian economies continue gaining momentum and influence, and with that, responsibility in the international system. Internally, Asian countries strive to expand their own capital markets while keeping doors open to lucrative foreign investments. In this panel, we consider the current conditions specific to China and Malaysia. Through their contrasting viewpoints, we explore three particularly heated issues facing the region today: (1) balancing the roles of foreign and domestic capital markets, (2) investing in long-term needs like infrastructure and sustainability, and (3) increasing regional cooperation.

Health
“Global Health and the Rise of Asia: New Perspectives and Open Questions”

  • Moderator: Bobby Brooke Herrera
  • Associate: Artur Meller

In an era of rapid and extensive globalization, the world faces a wide range of problems. Key among these are threats to human health. Over the course of three panels, we will discuss the impact of a rising Asia on the management of trans-boundary health problems. Our aim is to not only explore Asia’s conceptions of and contributions to global health, but also to provide unique insights into new thinking and developments in the field of global health. We will begin by examining the simultaneous ‘rise of Asia’ and ‘rise of health’ in global affairs. How does Asia describe the current global health system? Does their definition differ from the rest of the world? We will then discuss health threats specific to Asia, focusing primarily on the global tobacco epidemic. What factors drive health threats in Asia? What are the social determinants of health and poverty? Finally, we will discuss how Asia has implemented effective solutions to prevent and treat global health problems. What is the appropriate role of governmental global health action? How can the ‘individual’ impact the global health initiative?

Media
“Observing Media Trends in Asia”

  • Moderator: Anusha Deshpande
  • Associate: Hamna Nazir

As the socioeconomic and political landscapes of Asian nations undergo constant transformations, so too does the media. In this panel, we will analyze how types of consumer mediaÑtelevision, music, video games, literature, etc.Ñhave evolved over time and how they have affected society. Then, we will examine how the media keeps the government in check. With the rise in protests against governments across the continent, transparency of government policies and actions is of the utmost importance. However, how do we develop the tools to ensure governments are honest? Furthermore, how do we develop ethical journalists? Lastly, we will study social media’s impact on Asian societies. While we will discuss social media as a medium for movements, we will also discuss its marketing potential. How are companies and individuals using it to not only improve their own businesses, but to improve society as a whole?

Security and Diplomacy
“Exploring the Changing Face of Security across the Asian Continent”

  • Moderator: Gregory Pavone
  • Associate: Olivia Campbell

The dawn of the twenty-first century has seen more and more conflicts that would have once been issues of regional security becoming issues of global security. With key geopolitical events occurring at a rapid rate, spanning the continent of Asia, international perceptions of what constitutes “security” are changing. What are the implications of this on global diplomacy, how will it define new conflicts, and what does it mean for humanitarian causes? This panel will discuss several critical issues in the Asia-Pacific region that have developed from of matters of regional security into ones that engage the global community: (1) the developing Syrian humanitarian crisis including new models of refugee camps and the origins of international funding of both the conflict and humanitarian aid; (2) the future of restrictions and acceptance of nuclear weapons in North Korea and Iran; and (3) the implications of Chinese commercial diplomacy in the Middle East.

Technology
“Tech Innovation in Asia: Building Up, Breaking Down, and Bankrolling”

  • Moderator: Nathan Ie
  • Associate: Hillary Do

Technological innovation has been the largest component of sustained economic growth in the history of industrialized economies. In his hallmark paper, Stanford Professor of Economics Moses Abramovitz found that while increases in capital and labor inputs have historically accounted for only 15% of economic growth, increases in innovative activity accounted for the majority 85%.

What does it take to promote innovation? We’ll explore how Asian countries are building up their tech startup ecosystems, breaking down barriers to innovation, and bankrolling the pursuit of disruptive innovation. Specifically, the Technology panels will examine how tech firms in Asia are innovating and growing — diving into the role of government (or lack thereof) in each geography, the persistence of innovation in the face of censorship, and the impact of capital markets on innovative activity.

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