The Annual Future Ready Forum organised by SMU Executive Development showcases the latest knowledge and ideas for global leaders with the objective of empowering them for the future and leading transformative culture in their organisations.

An Assemblage of Leading Thought Leaders and Industry Experts.

We are into the 4th year of the FRF and the dates for the next FRF would be 28-29 March 2019 at the SMU campus.

Busy executives may personalise their learning journey with a multi-disciplinary approach that provides both broad and in-depth practical exploration.

Priced attractively at a fraction of the usual price of a 2-day executive programme, this is a once-a-year event with limited seating. Check the Programme Schedule below for more information on the business areas and subjects presented or download the brochure.

Learn from the best, as we have selected faculty, institutes, centres and industry experts who are most eminent and passionate in their fields.

Tap into the wealth of ideas, fresh perspectives and acquire knowledge from the various keynote topics.

Absorbing from the latest in management thinking, you will be equipped with management insights which will enable you to be open to new opportunities and challenges.

Stay competitive in the global marketplace. As the business world is constantly changing, learn what would be the best of the trending and imminent business practices for you and your organisation.

Discover the unexplored. The topics discussed will steer through the unchartered territory of the complex business world, keeping you ahead of the market and generating avenues on what is necessary to acclimatise to the future business strategies.

Expand your network. Network with fellow practitioners and executives.

Next Course Starts On 28 Mar 2019 (Thu) See Full Schedule
* Learn more

28–29 Mar 2019 (2 days)


Singapore Management University

Learning Objectives

Participation in the Future Ready Forum brings benefits to you as leader or team member.

Individual benefits include:
  • Design your own programme, one that is relevant to your business 
  • Devise a new course for your company with newly found inspiration 
  • Identify untapped opportunities in an increasingly complex business environment 
  • Discover how to best leverage new technologies to support your corporate objectives 
  • Expand your network by learning alongside global leaders who face similar challenges 
  • Enhance your performance and leadership capabilities through an interactive learning approach
Team benefits include:
  • Bond your team around a common objective through a customised interactive learning experience 
  • Rethink your business challenges in a context that fosters creative approach to find solutions 
  • Formulate action plans to achieve your team’s key strategic objectives
  • Reinforce team spirit and commitment to your corporate mission



The Future Ready Forum will cover 7 different business pathways and bite sized interactive sessions over 2 days.

Forum Pathways:-
1.     Digitisation of Business
2.     Design Thinking
3.     Artificial Intelligence
4.     Strategy
5.     Business Innovation
6.     Human Capital
7.     Leadership
*Themes are subject to change

Morning Plenary Session

The forum will begin with a plenary session which is open to the public. More detail of the panel discussion can be seen here. Breakout sessions that take place after this plenary session are strictly reserved for ticket holders only.

Topic diversity

Each pathway will feature sessions with SMU faculty and speakers presenting their latest research, insights, capabilities, and expertise, to effectively navigate through the evolving business environment.

Who Should Attend

Executives from all sectors and geographies. Management teams are encouraged to attend to enhance team dynamics and exponentially boost the impact of the learning experience. A special offer applies for groups.

Programme Schedule
Future Ready Forum 2018 Speakers
(List of speakers will be refreshed and expanded as we receive confirmations)

Mark Findlay
Professor of Law,
SMU School of Law
Corruption, Transparency and Business Culture – Controlling Corruption in Trans-national Enterprise
This session explores the nexus between corruption and enterprise by broadly examining corruption and transitional market cultures. It addresses the transparency 'paradigm' in corruption control and posits the market model (rather than one based on morality or governance) as a more effective control foundation. In transitional cultures with markets effected by complex relationships of obligation and dependency (which are mirrored in many illegitimate market arrangements), the session proposes transparency in essential market relationships and transactions requiring accountable leadership and management cultures, as crucial for control.

Nadja Alexander
Professor of Law, Lee Kong Chian Fellow
SMU School of Law
Strategic Conflict Resolution for Leaders
Conflict leadership has emerged as the most desired new skill for senior executives in the 21st century. Leaders equipped with this skill-set are better prepared to handle diverse challenges, from market turmoil and downturn to internal restructures. This session will introduce powerful engagement, negotiation and conflict management skills for improving executive response to challenging situations. During the session, you will gain insights into the use of key tools to:
• turn difficult encounters into collaborative learning conversations; and
• offer leadership in conflictual situations in a rapidly-changing international business landscape.
This interactive session has been created for executives committed to building conflict-resilient workplaces and establishing systematic approaches for dealing with conflict.


Mark Chong
Associate Professor of Corporate Communication (Practice),
Academic Director, Master of Science in Communication Management
SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business
Imagining and Creating New Futures: Storytelling and Innovation
Successfully taking your organisation to 'a place it has never gone before' requires a good story. Through story, innovators can help others see a future they can imagine but which doesn’t exist yet. Through case studies and an exercise, this workshop will show you the basic building blocks of storytelling for innovative organisations and leaders.


Leesa Soulodre
Managing Partner and Chief Reputation Risk Officer, RL Expert Group
Global Innovation Director, Inspirit IoT
Business Prototyping for Customer Experience
Application of Edge Machine Learning for Predictive Maintenance
Power and Gas machinery now includes a wealth of sensors in order to monitor equipment health. However, it is important to perform the sensor synthesis and machine learning for predictive maintenance and anomaly detection at the edge of the network; edge device machine learning is both more scalable than centralizing computation in the cloud and can also provide better response time, lower communications cost, and improved reliability. This can be particularly important for remote installations with expensive or non-existent remote communications. There are two levers for business model innovation based on the key risks in our business models today: information risk, and incentive alignment risk. By changing what decisions are made, when they are made, who makes them and why they are made, we can more effectively manage these risks and deliver a sustainable and robust business model for our future. With this in mind, during this workshop, using the Design Thinking Process and Customer Experience Framework, together we will ideate and deliver a sustainable and robust business business model for Predictive Maintenance.  


Inderjit Singh
Founder and CEO, Solstar International
Surviving a Disruptive World: Re-inventing Ourselves and Business Strategies
The fourth industrial revolution is upon us. The world is changing fast because of disruption in many areas as a result of the many disruptive technologies and trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI). These are all affecting every aspect of our lives. The rate of change we are seeing today is unprecedented. In this age of disruption there are many challenges for governments, companies and individuals. Be it political uncertainty, technological innovation or new business models, disruption can come in many forms. Companies and business leaders must stay current and innovate to survive. Are nations, companies and people ready for this rapid change? Mr Inderjit Singh will discuss the different types of disruption business and individuals will face, and elaborate the strategies businesses can adopt to survive the disruptive environment ahead of us.


So-Young Kang
Founder and CEO, Gnowbe
Founder of Awaken Group
Young Global Leader nominated by World Economic Forum
Future of Work: Digitization How Employees Learn
Experts are forecasting that 30-50% of tasks will be replaced by machines and automation in the next decade. There will be over 1 billion mobile workers in Asia alone. The future of work is rapidly changing. Given these trends, how are we preparing our employees to be equipped today to remain relevant in the future? So-Young will share some key global trends and provide practical principles and examples on how technology can be used to humanize the way employees learn to be future-ready.


Joanna Thumiger
Managing Director, Progress U
Engagement Starts with the Leader
Having engaged employees is so important today. This is measured internally with employee surveys and externally by large consulting companies for global comparison purposes. Companies spend a lot of money to attract and retain employees and yet interestingly, people join a company that interests them and matches their values, however, they most often leave the company because of a manager. What does it take to be a leader who can fully engage their employees? We will go over some of the statistics with you on employee engagement and then share what it takes to become the inspirational leader that employees want to continue to work for. Although rewards and recognition are an important part of engagement, being a leader who involves the team, develops a sense of ownership in the work, provides constructive feedback for improvement and cares about their development for future opportunities, is the key to success.


Taru Jain
CEO, FutureMarketer
Leading in the Digital Age: Helping Senior Executives Accelerate Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation is the buzz in every board-room and many Leaders are tasked with getting their company ready for the future but lack the experience or ability to drive digital transformation in a systematic and planned manner. During this seminar designed for Senior-Executives, Taru will guide Senior Executives and Boards to get a grip on their Digital Transformation journey. You’ll apply proven frameworks, co-developed with Boston Consulting Group that have helped many Global MNCs accelerate their digital transformation journeys.


Paul Lim
Founder and President, Supply Chain Asia
Industry 4.0 and its Impact on Supply Chain & Logistics
Technological developments relating to robotics, data analytics, business intelligence, IoTs and digital technology innovations have been one of the biggest disruptors in our industry in the last few years. How are these technologies impacting the logistics and supply chain sector? What can we expect in terms of adoptions and what’s the key impact of this disruption?
The following topics will be covered in this session:
• Overview of Industry 4.0
• Robotics & Automation
• IoTs in Software & Systems
• Business Intelligence


Paulina Chilarska
CEO and Founder, Cambridge Biolabs
Artificial Intelligence: Threats and Opportunities
Artificial Intelligence is taking the media by storm and entering almost every area of life and business. It is hard to pick up a single newspaper without seeing an article or two on AI. The curiosity amongst investors and businesses alike is high but very few non-scientists actually understand what AI is and what it is not, which in turn creates fears and inflates the bubble of speculation around AI. As typical with emerging technologies the early adopters will become the category leaders in the near future. But which avenue to take? And how to avoid the perils associated? In this seminar Dr Chilarska of the University of Cambridge will clarify all of the above. Artificial Intelligence will be first defined in accessible non-specialist terms and the confusions surrounding AI dispelled, followed by a summary of the areas of life and business that are likely to be most affected by AI technologies. Threats and opportunities that the modern day companies are facing or are likely to face soon due to developments concerning AI will be outlined complete with examples of AI in action as already seen in real life applications. Recent AI market entry cases will be analysed and their consequences extrapolated into the near future. Following the practical tone of the session, AI investment opportunities will be enumerated following not just those stemming from immediate AI applications as such but also those associated with the supporting technologies that very few non-specialists realise are connected to AI. This includes for example a suite of neural engine hardware and industries fuelled by AI such self-driving vehicles. Finally, the most promising future AI market leaders will be named in order to provide an immediately applicable list of potential partnerships for companies interested in investing into AI technologies.


Indigo Triplett
CEO, Speaker and Author, 4D Performance, Ltd
The Unwritten Rules: Increasing Workplace Performance and Retention
1. Your company vets the new employees and then you invest, but is retention still an issue?
2. Are you concerned with attracting, hiring and retaining top talent?
Nearly every organisation has an employee handbook, but there is absolutely nothing in there to help employees become promotable. The employee manual helps people to keep a job which doesn’t foster retention. This presentation is an opportunity for leadership to examine their personal career and their organisation’s culture. People often have every intention on being a part of a company’s growth but they lack an understanding of the culture and the expectations of their organisation. We will look at the rules of engagement that exist within every organisation, and discuss how to help people integrate into the company by understanding the unwritten rules. Leaders will learn tools for increasing engagement, which is not the sole responsibility of management or the HR department. Dr Indigo will pull concepts from her book Playing by the Unwritten Rules: Moving from the Middle to the Top and Playing by the Unwritten Rules: From a Job Defense to a Career Offense. She will share her philosophy on leveraging diversity through inclusion, preparing an organisation for growth through managing bench strength: IDP, recognizing inherent unwritten rules that either hinder or support an organisation, and being the best of the best for competitive positioning in the market place.


Julia Phillpot
Management Consultant and Leadership Coach
Leadership and the Human Connection in the Digital Age
It’s all about connection. Today, people are more digitally connected and yet often feel less human connection which can significantly impact, mood, motivation, performance and engagement. People are looking for meaning and purpose in the workplace. The requires a new approach to leading successfully. High emotional and cultural intelligence is more important than ever. Leadership style and the ability to flex and adapt to changing situations is also critical for leaders today and tomorrow.
How well are you equipped to lead with deep connection? How connected is the leadership in your organization? Do you feel connected to your people? Do your people feel connected to you, and to each other?
Julia Phillpot, an experienced leadership expert and international coach will lead a session that will help you explore how to excel at leadership in the digital age through improved human connection. 


Shai Ganu
Managing Director, Talents and Rewards - South Asia
Willis Tower Watsons
The Psychology of Pay: Balancing the Carrot and Stick for effective Executive Compensation
Conventional executive compensation models are built on certain universally accepted principles; which use the ‘carrot or stick’ approach to rewarding performance via bonuses, profit-sharing, and equity compensation. Whilst these pay-for-performance principles are quite robust and defensible to shareholders, have they achieved the desired objectives of driving performance, productivity improvements, or motivating and retaining key executives?
In this session we shall examine the effectiveness of current Executive Compensation models, and their perceived value to executives; i.e. the psychology of pay. Through anonymous live-polling, we will ask participants what they feel about conventional compensation arrangements, and which pay structures would engage them and their teams to perform their best. Through participants’ responses, we shall test the effectiveness of current programs in motivating and driving performance. We shall then discuss alternate compensation models, including examples where companies have implemented innovative compensation arrangements.
We shall also explore models that help deliver differentiated performance and pay outcomes, and make strong connections between executive performance, leadership values and behaviors, and qualitative assessments by the Board. In summary, this session will provide new perspectives on implementing balanced programs to help attract, retain, and motivate top talent.


Patrick Tan
Adjunct Faculty, Lee Kong Chian School of Business,
Singapore Management University
Unlocking the Innovation Code
Innovation is the life-blood of any business and for any company that wants to sustain an advantage in the marketplace. Most companies want to build a culture of innovation, but they struggle to develop it. This session will introduce a simple framework to explain the ways different kinds of thinkers and leaders can create a culture of innovation in their organization.
During the session, you will gain practical insights into the use of key tools to help you build, manage and embrace contrasting perspectives and complementary areas of expertise, and channel it to develop something completely new.


Jonathan Beard
Executive Director, Head of Transportation and Logistics – Asia;
Head of Business Advisory - Asia, Arcadis
The Future of Urban Mobility in a Digital World – Impediments & Enablers
Cities across the world increasingly view digital transformation as critical to delivering sustainable urban mobility. Asia in particular faces a major challenge, since it is witnessing an unparalleled scale and speed of urbanisation – increasingly, many of the continent’s mega-cities are facing gridlock. The potential offered by digital transformation and integration is clear - likewise the enabling role that technology plays: whether it be the rollout of 5G or the increasing performance of autonomous vehicles and intelligent transportation systems. However, more mundane factors, be it urban planning, regulatory environments, stakeholder resistance or pricing incentives are also critical, yet often forgotten in the rush to technology. As this presentation will highlight, all these factors need to be considered and successfully addressed, to deliver sustainable urban mobility in a digital world.


Fees and Funding

SGD 299 (incl. GST)

* Fee is subject to change. GST applies to individuals and Singapore-registered companies.
* SkillsFuture Credit can be used for this programme. Please click here for more details. Eligible for Singapore Citizens aged 25 and above.


Start Date(s)
Intake Information

28–29 March 2019

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