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Borderless Issues in a Bordered World - Thought Leadership event in Singapore - April 2019

Event information>


The University of London were delighted to be back in Singapore in April 2019 for a week’s worth of activities for our alumni and supporters, starting off with our successful Thought Leadership panel discussion entitled Borderless Issues in a Bordered World.

We were honoured to host the event at the beautiful Eden Hall, home of the British High Commissioner to Singapore, His Excellency Scott Wightman and to welcome so many alumni and guests for a lively discussion.

The discussion was chaired by Vice-Chancellor, Peter Kopelman who posed the question: In an era of economic uncertainty and power shifts, what advice and lessons can Singapore offer the UK?

Our panel included distinguished alumni Oliver Tan, CEO and Co-Founder of ViSenze and member of the Forbes Technology Council, and Grace Lee-Khoo, Founder and Creative Development Director at Access Path Productions. They were joined by His Excellency Scott Wightman for a lively debate which included an overview of the current state of affairs on Brexit from His Excellency and discussions about personal experiences of Brexit.

In line with Brexit discussions, questions were raised about the impact of the hardening of borders alongside increased mobility as jobs become more mobile (remote working, increased automation). This led the discussion to what the working world will look like in the future with the general consensus being that the focus will be on jobs which require human creativity and empathy, which tied in with our Career Insights event later on that week. The week of activities also saw the inaugural University of London-SIM Lecture, Blockchain-ging the world: How this new technology might, can, and should affect our future, which was held at SIM Headquarters on 4 April. To read more about this event, please see the full article on London Connection.

We were pleased to see so many of our alumni members join us in the prestigious location and engage with our topic discussion.

If you would like to find out more about our alumni events, please visit our alumni pages.

Event speakers

Grace Lee-Khoo
Founder and Creative Development Director, Access Path Productions
Grace Lee Khoo is the Founder and Creative Development Director of Access Path Productions. A UK-trained applied theatre practitioner, she completed her Master’s Degree in Applied Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2016. An Honours graduate from the National University of Singapore’s Theatre Studies programme in 2009, she also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from the National Institute of Education (Singapore). In 2017, Grace was an international artist-in-residence at Graeae Theatre Company (London) – UK’s flagship disability-led inclusive theatre company. Grace’s latest project is ‘And Suddenly I disappear: The Singapore-UK ‘d’ Monologues’ where she served as associate producer and performer. The international production about disability, diversity and difference between the 2 countries premiered in Singapore, opened at the Southbank Centre in London and toured the U.K. in 2018.

Oliver Tan 
CEO & Co-Founder, ViSenze, Forbes Technology Council
Oliver Tan is the Co-Founder and CEO of ViSenze, an A.I. company founded in 2012 that bridges content and commerce through visual search and discovery. Under Oliver’s leadership, the company has emerged as a global leader in retail-tech innovations, bridging visual content and commerce through machine learning and computer vision. ViSenze was named an Interbrand Breakthrough Brand in 2017, Top 25 AI Companies by Datamation in 2018, and won Best AI Product in Retail at CognitionX London 2017, a leading AI event held in association with the Alan Turing Institute, the UK's national institute of data science. Prior to founding ViSenze, Oliver was the global business head for five years at a pioneer cyber security start-up (named on Gartner Magic Quadrant) until its successful exit. He is an active member on the Forbes Technology Council, advocating innovation and responsible technology developments. Oliver earned his B.Sc (Hons) from the University of London and MBA (Distinction) from Royal Holloway, University of London and holds a professional CFP qualification. In 2018 he was recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by the Singapore Computer Society, was named among the top ten innovators and disruptors in 2017 in Singapore by The Peak Singapore and was listed in the Top 40 Individuals Shaping E-commerce in Southeast Asia in 2016 by ecommerceIQ.

His Excellency Scott Wightman
British High Commissioner to Singapore
Scott arrived at the British High Commission, Singapore in May 2015 as British High Commissioner. He began his career in the Diplomatic Service in 1983 and has worked in the British Embassies in Beijing, Paris, Rome and, most recently, in the Republic of Korea, where he was the UK ambassador. Scott’s ties with Asia continued during his tenure as Director for the Asia Pacific region in the FCO from 2008 to 2010. Scott is from Edinburgh in Scotland and has a degree in French from the University of Edinburgh.