Conference Programming

Encapsulated in this year’s theme, Passion for Change, are two core pillars that will serve as guiding frameworks for content at the HPAIR Asia Conference 2019. 


DIGITALIZATION is not only actively shaping many aspects of our personal lives, but is also changing how companies, both large and small, must adapt and innovate to stay competitive. Globalization has increased its significance even more, and the role of digitalization has deep implications on the future of our planet.

Digitalization has the potential to bring an immense amount of growth to humanity, but also to bring chaos into the order we built. HPAIR delegates will discuss and debate how digitalization is changing societies across Asia by assessing the challenges and opportunities it brings. 

CULTURE is the main constitutive element shaping societies across the world. It is at once a bond that keeps nations at peace and a cause for strife and disruption. Our culture is our humanity. Traditions, languages, cuisines, beliefs; these are all elements that have been shaped and refined by the forces of time. But with a global world, can they remain?

A nuanced understanding of culture’s crucial role in society is vitally important towards building a sustainable future for humanity. HPAIR aims to bring together delegates from various cultural, geographical, and personal backgrounds to contribute to a fruitful exchange of cultural identities.


Asia Conference 2019 Tracks

+ Art, Media & Culture

This track will take a look at major strides that have been made recently in various fields and industries, putting diversity and Asian representation in the spotlight, be it in film, music, writing, or other channels for art, media, and culture. Participants will discuss the constantly-accelerating technological advancements and increasingly digitalized world we find ourselves in, and how art, media, and culture are subsequently affected. This time of digitalization has also witnessed the emergence of large corporations using their platforms to enhance their brand and consumer experience.

Delegates will explore how the boundaries between and within art, media, and culture are being pushed and stretched. Art is just as important for a moving piano performance, as for scientific lab research or a business model. Delegates will be encouraged to consider how they can harness the capacities of creative expression to elevate their own endeavors. Art communicates and fuels change in powerful ways that no other medium can; it reveals truths, it disturbs, it unites, and it speaks. To everyone and for everyone.

+ Energy & Environmental Sustainability

On average, products are bought and trashed within 6 months. This short-lived product life contributes to a global 2.12 billion tons of trash, a number that is only increasing each year. While global efforts have been made to live more sustainable lives, individual wasteful lifestyle habits still persist and continue to augment our ecological footprints. In this current age, two factors could be central determinants of future energy and environmental sustainability efforts: digitalization trend and cultural differences.

With the growing rate of people choosing to interact online, digitalization has had wide implications on current energy and environmental sustainability efforts. Campaign techniques using social media platforms have contributed greatly to connecting efforts around the world. Meanwhile, the shift of manual to automated (i.e. AI) technologies has allowed for less waste and more efficiencies in both clean energy and agricultural sectors. Lastly, there has been a rise in using mobile apps, which are more accessible in all different parts of the world, to spur individual motivation and accountability in environmental sustainability efforts.

Culture will shape future energy and environmental efforts. The current generation has had more digital connections than ever through the internet and social media. In addition, this generation uniquely faces a plethora of problems not very evident before, such as climate change, rising sea levels, and loss of biodiversity. How do these changes impact how the current youth treat environmental issues? Moreover, do cultural changes create a clear disconnect from previous sustainability efforts? Delegates will explore these questions during panels and seminars led by global thought leaders and practitioners.

+ Global Markets & the Economy

Asia is the world’s most dynamic economic region. Of the world’s 30 largest cities, 21 are in Asia, according to the UN. By 2020, Asia will also become home to half of the world’s middle class. Asia’s remarkable economic success has been the product of integration with global markets, coupled with a growth strategy that mobilizes the capabilities of domestic institutions. There are signs, however, that the synchronized global recovery of the past few years is starting to fade, and risks to the Asian and global forecast are now more and more critical, reflecting increased financial market volatility, rising trade tensions, and instability associated with digitization. Many have now come to the consensus that Asia is in need of a new growth model that will enable it to remain at the forefront of development over the coming decade and beyond.

In light of Asia’s shifting cultural landscape and increased digitization, it is imperative for leaders and policymakers to embrace change. This track will delve into the complicated interplay among financial markets, trade, and foreign direct investment and will discuss appropriate policy responses to the issues at hand. Delegates will hear from renowned business leaders, academics, and policymakers to analyze fundamental challenges facing Asian nations and explore ways for Asia to adapt in an ever-changing global marketplace.

+ Governance & Geopolitics

Governance and Geopolitics are core driving forces of turbulence in contemporary world affairs. Societal organization and governance have always been pivotal in their outcomes, whether flourishment or disruption. Rapid digitalization and increased cultural interactions in the 21st century are providing a significant impetus for the importance of the issue. As Western liberalism continues to be challenged by a rising East, scope of the conflict starts to escalate. The unfolding of this turbulence is leading to significant structural shifts of the world order with state interactions transitioning from multilateral to bilateral, and the consequent emergence of regional blocs as the central units of international affairs. Understanding the nature of this emerging world order is of crucial importance for building a sustainable future for humanity.

Contemporary issues in geopolitics are interdisciplinary and exceedingly complex. Thematic changes in global geopolitics arise predominantly in a new Cold War in the age of data and AI between the United States and China in increasingly diverse domains of warfare ranging from 5G telecommunications information warfare and espionage to economic statecraft through massive private corporations. Around the world, in a new era of geopolitics defined by instability, the only thing constant is change: for better or for worse.

+ Science & Technology

At the epicenter of human progression and prosperity stand the foundations of science and technology that fuel innovation, discovery, and commercialization. Influencing one another’s development, their mutual growth brings civilizations into a new era of living. As XXI century unfolds, the contemporary world is becoming a furnace for both Science and Technology. Modern research and technological advancements are penetrating every aspect of human life, be it economic, political or social. Everyday breakthroughs are forever altering individual’s way of living or even the organization of society, resulting in the new picture of the entire world. Understanding the nature of this unstable power is of crucial importance for building a sustainable future for humanity and preventing the chaos it may cause. In the Science and Technology track, delegates will dive into the world of innovative discoveries in science, and learn about the integrated use of scientific discoveries and digitization in entrepreneurship. Digital transformation has become one of the newest global trends, which is facilitating the process of its implementation - not only in IT, but also in politics, economy, medicine, and business. Scientific and digital development enabled us to track the traces of corruption, create safe cybersecurity systems and blockchain technology, and lead more sustainable businesses. Delegate will gradually be able to rationalize the direct role that innovation and discovery play in developing new products, and how recent revolutions in engineering and technology—including artificial intelligence, gene editing, and quantum computing—will pose as opportunities for expansion as humanity enters the next technological revolution. Ultimately, the track will develop exciting visions for entrepreneurs and the novel companies they lead.

+ Social Policy & Justice

In the past few decades, societies in Asia have experienced rapid and dramatic economic, cultural, and political shifts, a phenomenon that has incited not only significant social change, but also rampant inequality. Besides factors such as income inequality, humanitarian crises, and natural disasters, cybersecurity risks have become an influential factor in global power dynamics. Within the same geopolitical boundaries, progress and harmony are challenged by gender-based discrimination, lack of mental healthcare, and clashes between modern and traditional culture.

In the midst of these inequalities, societies face strong challenges created by human injustice and improper implementation of social policies, and will require brave and judicious solutions to mitigate humanitarian crises. By capitalizing on the increasing digitization within societies, transcending ethnic and cultural barriers, and engaging the brightest young minds across the world, we may be able to enact positive change. Through delving deeper into political, social, and economic issues of our society, delegates will gain a more well-rounded understanding of many controversial and pressing issues facing the Asia-Pacific region today.

In this track, delegates will examine the ideal of justice on a global scale and be challenged to construct solutions to these complex issues.