Leaders across education, workforce, health, and impact sectors came together in Singapore in the seventh event of our Global Impact Summits Series.
After last week’s Melbourne summit, the Global Impact Summit series continued in the Asia Pacific region and onto Singapore for a day of discussions, presentations and fireside chats with leaders, founders, investors and experts across key impact sectors. Several themes were prevalent here, including the power and potential of AI, digital innovation and disruption, and a focus on the humans at the centre of innovation, whether they be learners, patients or citizens in our changing societies.
HolonIQ’s signature data-driven deep dive into the global state of impact set out the challenges and opportunities in many of these spaces, from shifts in population growth and education needs, to advanced technology, capital markets and the climate crisis. From here, the Summit moved to parallel sessions on impact, health, and education, covering topics such as talent, tech and workforce needs, the future of the university model, learning in a changing health world, Asia’s fertility challenge and mental health in the workplace.
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An evolving role for AI in education, health and impact.
AI impacts multiple sectors, as Laurence Liew, Director of AI Innovation, AI Singapore highlighted in a session on ‘Building Singapore’s AI Talent: Opportunity for All’. In this session, we heard about how AI Singapore is capacity building for AI across the population and why this will be a core competency for all nations going forward.
“We need AI talent to build ethical AI products and solutions, but more importantly, we also need everyone to be savvy users of AI. AI Singapore includes everyone, from children, to students to working professionals and every man/woman on the street.”
Laurence explained Singapore’s national R&D programme in AI, a first of its kind at national level. The programme aims to build deep national capabilities in AI, create social and economic impacts, grow local talent, accelerate the AI ecosystem, and put Singapore on the world map.
Education sessions at the summit also highlighted notable examples of AI in practice. Yvonne Soh, Co-Founder and CEO of Noodle Factory, shared how this AI-powered platform automates exam preparation and tutoring, helping educators to do time-consuming work at scale. In another fireside chat, Cialfo Co-Founder and CEO Rohan Pasari talked about the success of their AI-driven platform that brings together people, software, and data to simplify college and career counselling workflows. Headquartered in Singapore, Cialfo is experiencing rapid growth with offices in the US, China and India, and is used by thousands of students and educators around the world, from high schools to leading colleges.
In the health track, HolonIQ’s Vernon Baxter (VP, Health) hosted a fireside chat with Oncoshot CEO & Co-Founder Huren Sivaraj. This Singapore-based company is reinventing how real-time insights work in oncology clinical trials and widening access to innovative therapies globally, using technology that applies federated data systems, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to oncology patient data.
“Our mission is to improve patient access to cutting-edge cancer research by addressing enterprise-level inefficiencies arising from a lack of real-time cancer population insights during clinical research planning”
Disruption and digital innovation in Higher Education
Digital transformation efforts in Higher Education have been accelerating, driven by major shifts to online, blended and hybrid learning, new credentials, expanding partnership models, and closer ties between education and work. In Singapore we heard from university leaders Katy Montgomery (INSEAD) and Karl Engkvist (Taylor’s Education) about how the sector is responding and how they see the future shaping up for universities. In a lively session, our speakers talked about trends of customisation and ‘learn from anywhere’ in higher education, as well as micro-credentials, VR and the role of teaching professionals.
“We need faculty on the cutting edge of research, delivery and material, but we’ve got to think about what students want. It’s going to be about the user experience and putting the student in the centre. We’ve got to listen and talk to them because there’s such a disconnect”
Founder and CEO of Minerva ProjectBen Nelson also called for a focus on students and innovation in higher education models, noting that access to quality education is still associated with exclusivity, high financial costs and an unscalable model. Pushing back against the assumption that increasing access to education must decrease its quality, Ben challenged the industry to demonstrate how more institutions can offer outstanding learning experiences to more students globally.
“There is a redefinition of what university is - the pandemic has lifted that veil for institutions to say we’re not okay with the status quo, we’re going to try new models, and if they prove successful they’re going to become the dominant ways of educating students”
Health that connects clinicians and puts patients at the heart.
Learning was also a focus in the health track at the Summit, including a fireside chat with Indranil Roychowdhury, CEO & Co-Founder of Docquity. Indranil noted that healthcare professionals often face onerous continuing medical education requirements to stay on top of developments in their field of expertise. However, traditional learning models in healthcare are typically inflexible and disruptive to a clinician's schedule.
“So how do we bring in structured education in a way that is accessible by almost all doctors, not just the guys in the cities, but then focus on the core goal, which is really about peer to peer learning, peer to peer experiences”
Other sessions highlighted the potential for technology to transform how we approach healthcare, which is well understood but notoriously difficult to execute. CEO & Founder of Singapore-based MiyaHealthRamesh Rajentheran is embracing the challenge by reinventing how technology can improve patient journeys, putting patients at the heart of the experience. Their technologies help patients navigate their chronic diseases and find the right care, while enabling payers and providers to provide lower cost health plans and improve the patient experience.
In workplace mental health, Intellect’s Cassandra Loh spoke about being nimble in identifying gaps and tailoring services and delivery to ensure mental health resources are both effective and accessible.
“We are fortunate to be living in a time where there's an increasing amount of resources available to support mental wellbeing. However, the delivery of these resources is paramount to ensure that mental health support is accessible and de-stigmatised for all.”
HolonIQ’s VP, Health Vernon Baxter wrapped up the health sessions with an overview of the Southeast Asia Health Tech 50, HolonIQ’s annual list of the most promising startups from across digital health, biotech, medtech and other areas where entrepreneurs are driving healthcare innovation.
Follow 100 Days of Impact
The Singapore Summit marked Day 41 of 100 Days of Impact and a global wave of ideas and inspiration for the future of impact. As each week unfolds, we’re sharing key themes and content from each summit, including speaker highlights, insights from leading organizations and the winners of our regional EdTech, HealthTech and ClimateTech 1000s.
Stay tuned here for a weekly wrap as we move from New York and Mexico City to Bengaluru, Melbourne, Singapore and Jakarta, with exclusive insights from our participation at COP27 before our final summits in London, Paris, Berlin, and Stockholm. Be part of the action by registering for any of the face to face or virtual summits around the world, and see for yourself how 100 Days of Impact unfolds with our 5,000-strong global community.
Whether you’re participating or spectating from afar, find out the latest with #HolonIQSummits and by following @HolonIQ wherever you get your socials.
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Global Insights from HolonIQ’s Intelligence Unit. Powered by our Global Impact Intelligence Platform.