NUS and NTU to host inaugural Singapore panel session on globalisation at World Economic Forum in Davos

Singapore's two leading universities – National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) – will host the nation's inaugural panel and reception event alongside the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland this month.  


Focusing on the theme "Globalisation 4.0: Technology & Innovation for Humanity", Mr Heng Swee Keat, Singapore's Minister for Finance and Mr Lim Chow Kiat, Chief Executive Officer of sovereign wealth fund GIC, as well as Professor Suzanne Fortier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Canada’s McGill University, and Mr Dion Weisler, President & Chief Executive Officer of HP Inc. will headline the session.


Professor Subra Suresh, President of NTU Singapore, will moderate the discussion. Some 200 World Economic Forum delegates, including global thought leaders and key influencers, are expected to attend this exclusive event, which will be held on 23 January 2019 at the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère in Davos.


The inaugural session comes at a significant time as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (also known as Industry 4.0) comes to bear worldwide, creating new avenues for growth, while also posing serious challenges to the global socio-economic order. The disruptions arising from Industry 4.0 are already causing a sharp reaction against globalisation in many parts of the world.


The panel will discuss how Singapore is addressing the challenges of Industry 4.0, and promoting a new “Globalisation 4.0” that will shape the growth of ASEAN, Asia and beyond, over the remaining course of the 21st century.


Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat, said, “I commend NTU and NUS for coming together to host this first-ever Singapore panel discussion at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.  This year’s meeting is taking place at a significant moment when a new and more complex era of globalisation is taking shape. Singapore has always been open and globally connected.  In the past few decades, we have been raising our investments in research, technology and innovation. This panel session brings together experts on major technological advances to discuss how we can collaborate to ride the waves of change to benefit our people and peoples around the world.”   


NTU President Professor Subra Suresh said, "Singapore is a small yet forward-looking city-state that is fast-tracking to become Asia’s digital capital and a global leader in embracing Industry 4.0 technologies. The panel discussion will amplify Singapore's voice on the global stage and contribute to international discussion about the impact of technology from a Smart City’s perspective. As one of the global universities leading research and education in many key areas driving Industry 4.0, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data, NTU, the NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity (NISTH) and our Smart Campus play a key role in Singapore’s workforce training, research and innovation in Industry 4.0, and we are excited to host this first-of-its-kind event.”


NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye said, “The Fourth Industrial Revolution is redefining the fundamentals that sustain the world’s economy. Singapore – with its high education levels, digital savvy workforce and strong technology base – is well-positioned to play a key role in helping to reshape the global landscape. This panel discussion provides an excellent opportunity for Singapore to share our experiences, and at the same time, address key challenges and opportunities brought about by the globalisation of innovation. NUS is a forerunner in Singapore’s Smart Nation drive, leveraging our distinctive strengths in education and world-leading capabilities in areas such as data science, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, to accelerate Singapore’s digital transformation. We are proud to host this unique event, and we look forward to a stimulating discussion.”


Both Professor Suresh and Professor Tan are members of the prestigious Global University Leaders Forum (GULF) of the World Economic Forum.


The GULF, which comprises the Presidents of the top 28 universities in the world, was created in 2006 to enable university leaders to engage in high-level dialogue on topics such as the future of higher education and the role of science in research, development and innovation with other sectors, including the business community. The GULF also aims to foster collaboration between universities in areas of significance for global policy.


Other members of GULF include Ivy League universities such as Harvard, Princeton and Yale from the United States as well as Cambridge and Oxford from the UK, and ETH Zurich from Switzerland. NTU and NUS are among the eight Asian universities in the group that also includes the University of Tokyo, Peking University and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.


The 2019 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos runs from January 22 to 25. During the meeting, world leaders and top executives of the 1,000 foremost global companies will mingle with leaders of international organisations, prominent cultural, societal and thought leaders, and the Forum’s Young Global Leaders, Global Shapers and Technology Pioneers, to discuss a range of topics, such as the world economy, the environment and other issues of global importance.