The Closing Ceremony marks the official ending of the HPAIR Asia Conference 2019. The Ceremony will feature three prominent keynote speakers, as well as the presentation of the Impact Challenge winners. The event will be accompanied with a refined gala dinner, allowing delegates a chance to socialize over delicious food and drink.
Career Development Workshops will give delegates a chance to explore contemporary career trends, as presented by HR managers from partner companies. Delegates will also be invited to workshops organized by our partner companies where they will be able to address questions on future career choices and receive tips for job success.
The International Night Performances are a celebration of international cultures through performances showcasing the unique talents of HPAIR delegates. Delegates will enjoy a beautiful concert, through which the rich heritage of HPAIR’s exceptional delegates will be showcased through musical, theatrical, or dance acts.
Impact Challenge sessions will allow conference delegates to use knowledge gained through the conference in a practical way by solving challenging cases in various areas, ranging from social policy to business. This is a unique opportunity for participants to experience working in multicultural teams, engaging with professionals, and sharing their perspectives on global challenges.
HPAIRx a unique initiative that will enter its fifth year at the HPAIR Asia Conference 2019. It will give delegates an unprecedented and unique opportunity to give a short talk (10-15 minutes) on a topic of their choosing that the audience can relate to. HPAIR hopes that speakers will not only provide an inspiring platform for change, but also that delegates themselves will learn from and be inspired by one another. HPAIRx is designed to be a window into the hopes, dreams, struggles, changes, innovations, that have touched the lives of our delegates and beyond. All delegates are welcome to apply to speak at HPAIRx, and the application will be sent to all registered delegates. Out of this pool, five delegates with the most impactful stories will be chosen to speak.
The Hidden Risks of International Capital Flows
In 2013 at Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev University, Chinese president Xi Jinping outlined the start of the Belt and Road Initiative, one of the most ambitious infrastructure and investment initiatives in history. As the world has become more interconnected, international capital flows have become an integral economic link between Asian nations. While the Belt and Road Initiative represents the most prominent of these initiatives, it is only part of the wider picture of Asia-Pacific intra-regional capital flows.
Although foreign investments and loans have spurred productivity growth and fostered vital connections between Asian countries, there remain many risks that are associated with deepening economic connections among countries. For instance, 23 out of the 68 countries with projects linked to the Belt and Road Initiative are at risk of debt distress, while high external debt levels of Southeast Asian countries are leading to fears of a debt crisis. Questions this panel will address include what are the economic, cultural, and technological barriers to increased foreign investment? How do ongoing political and trade tensions shape the landscape of investments? How should governments address the major challenges associated with capital flows?
The Art of Advocacy through Storytelling
Whether it be film, fiction writing, fashion, food, fine or performing arts, the salience of the arts has long been in its power to tell stories that speak to human experiences, bridge cultural divides, uplift underrepresented and marginalized voices, and promote empathy among disparate social and cultural groups. The need for diverse stories contributes to the growing need for diverse voices and perspectives to tell those stories. How can art be employed as a tool to advocate for pertinent social change? How does one create art that can both teach and touch people? What are the challenges to using art as such a tool — for example, censorship or lack of representation in certain artforms — and how can they be overcome? From storytelling through art, awareness can be raised, unity can be achieved, and action can be inspired.
Humanity’s Next Threat: Loss of Biodiversity
Scientists and researchers have long touted the drastic effects of climate change, with a dire sense of emergency to fix or alleviate the problem. However, a lesser publicized environmental sustainability problem has potentially the same effects, if not worse, than those of climate change: biodiversity loss. According to a UN Environment Report, 8 out of 10 of the world’s most plastic polluted rivers in the world are in Asia, threatening the existence of nearly 25 percent of the region’s endemic species. Worse yet, in a Nature paper, the researchers found that high levels of biodiversity loss was on the same rank of other major drivers of environmental change: climate warming, ozone pollution, acid deposition on forests, and nutrient pollution. Despite the magnitude of the effects of biodiversity loss, little publication or attention has been given to it in the greater world context. Thus, this panel will attempt to answer the question of why biodiversity loss is a greater issue to focus on in the world, with focus given on what has been done to combat the issue, what are newer developments in the field, and what cultural intersections must be made to motivate the world to save biodiversity in a unified effort.
The Future of Warfare: The New Cold War in 5G, AI, and Data Supremacy
Emerging technologies are changing the nature of warfare and rapid advances in unmanned systems, robotics, artificial intelligence, cyber, quantum, networking, and big data systems are already shaping the way wars will be fought in the coming decade. China is testing its surveillance technology in its “Uyghur 5G Warfare Lab” while their government has proclaimed data to be its “fundamental strategic resource” moving forward. Russian President Putin says the nation that leads in AI ‘will be the ruler of the world,’ a bold statement that is spurring a new arms race for dominant artificial intelligence. But the race to build autonomous weapons systems raises important questions about how and when humans might cede authority to machines that can act and react far faster than we can—increasing the potential risks to a catastrophic level. Factor in that artificial intelligence is being developed primarily by private enterprise, the way war is waged will fundamentally change as new stakeholders will wield enormously more power than governments and nation states historically have in the past. Cyber mercenaries, killer robots, and AI spies—it’s not science fiction anymore.
Breaking the Taboo: Mental Health in the Asia-Pacific
Perspectives towards mental illnesses vary greatly across the Asia-Pacific. At one extreme, countries like Australia and New Zealand have invested considerable resources to build frameworks for mental healthcare. On the other end of the spectrum, countries like India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Pakistan face many challenges such as the lack of available medical treatment, dilapidated facilities, and critically low numbers of mental health professionals. In between, although countries like China and Thailand have made significant progress in tackling mental health in the last decade, many problems still remain. In China, with 20,000 psychiatrists for a population of 1.4 billion, around 92% of an estimated 173 million people in China suffering from mental disorders go without care. Studies by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development identified depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal behavior and substance-abuse disorder to be the five leading mental health problems in the region.
The widespread tendency to stigmatize and discriminate against people with a mental illness leaves talking about mental health taboo. In recent years, there have been concerted efforts in Asia-Pacific countries to raise awareness and to establish legal and policy frameworks around mental health issues. In contrast with more Westernized models of mental health, which prioritize the individual, the more family-oriented cultures in Asia-Pacific countries demand a different approach.
In this panel, we will discuss the issue of mental healthcare and its associated stigma in the Asia-Pacific as well as analyze the progress that has been made, in recent years, by the combined efforts in Asia-Pacific countries to raise awareness and to establish legal and policy frameworks around these health issues.
Technological Influences on Visions of Humanity
Globally, there exists a stark dichotomy between countries that have chosen to embrace technology in a globalized system and nations that have been slower to adopt it—which has built a division that has proliferated today with the rise of superpower nations and the developing world. Technology has been at the forefront of creating this divide—and more specifically, certain types of technologies have resulted in greater growth and impact than others. In Asian markets, the adoption of new technologies has been a relatively new phenomenon in the grand history of Asian nations, especially in the age of the semiconductor and computational software. However, the change that integration with technology has caused in Asian systems has often outpaced the West, with Chinese corporations centralizing data and utilizing QR codes to India’s rise of FlipKart and Jio. Technology empowers people—and when it is mixed with commerce, it gives birth to new ways of living that revolutionizes the lives of individuals within nations.
This panel will focus on the past, present, and future of technology in amplifying human ability to solve problems, with an emphasis on new technologies at the forefront of adoption and how they could be integrated into the lives of people. A discussion of genetic engineering, the moral sides of robotic intelligence, and the future of energy are among a few of the many topics that will be discussed in this analysis of technology, leaving delegates with a greater degree of appreciation for its potential and future.
Unleashing Breakthrough Innovation in Government (in partnership with Astana Civil Service Hub)
In the last decade, the Asia-Pacific region has witnessed unprecedented developments in technology thanks to social penetration, consumers’ openness to new technologies and the mobile Internet, and willingness by companies to innovate. However, can the same be said for governments in the Asia-Pacific region? When we overlook government’s role in innovation, policymakers are less likely to take risks in the future, oftentimes stifling much needed progress. When speaking of innovation, oftentimes we tend to first think of digital innovations in the private sector, although data and technology can fundamentally change the way government operates. For example, consider India’s national digital ID and Estonia’s data embassy to Singapore’s robotic police force. With trust in government at an all-time low in many countries, it’s more important than ever to replace archaic systems and services with better ones.This seminar will discuss how governments may improve themselves by adopting innovative practices and streamline its public services. Through delving deeper into political, social, and economic issues of our society, delegates will gain a more well-rounded understanding of the public sector as well as its shortcomings. Delegates will have the opportunity to brainstorm and create innovative policy solutions to the 21st-century challenges of governing.
Team Trivia Competition—Delegates vs Speakers
In celebration of the progress of scientific discovery throughout history, this seminar aims to allow the delegates to interact with one another in a mutual trivia competition! Delegates will be paired in teams of 6 each among members of the track, and will compete against one another and a team of keynote speakers from the track in a trivia asking questions about science ranging from fundamental discoveries in Chemistry to the laws of Physics—encompassing everything from naming notable scientists to predicting biological phenomenon. The format of the competition will take the form of an online Kahoot game moderated by the HPAIR staff, where teams will join using their phones and answer questions projected on a megascreen—awarding points for the quickest and correct answer. In the spirit of fun, delegates will bond with one another and engage in friendly competition to celebrate all the great achievements in scientific history!
Erasing Ecological Footprints Through the Digital World
With the trend of growing global populations and corresponding needs, the energy and environmental sustainability sectors have never faced such magnitudes of issues in the degradation of our planet. Fortunately, the rise in technology and the digital world has created a mechanism that could ultimately save the life of our planet. As social media applications and organizations grow more popular, they have begun connecting people from all over the world in various sectors and fields of work. Moreover, the strong digital presence has led to an easy tool for spreading awareness and promoting change in villages around the world, regardless of socioeconomic status or cultural differences. Thus, there is a greater need to utilize digitalization to curb the negative effects of unsustainable human habits. In this seminar, the possibility of using digital methods in environmental efforts will be explored, especially pertaining to what factors to consider and adopt when using specific methods to reach different populations across the world.
Shaping Spaces, Changing Culture
A cultural space can be defined as a communal environment for people to negotiate questions of belonging, societal identity, and community. Whether the cultural space in question be a museum, library, restaurant, or performance space, architects, urban designers, and leaders of cultural institutions constantly have to balance considerations of aesthetics, functionality, and accessibility when designing any kind of physical environment. In this seminar, delegates will explore these considerations and the dynamic relationship between space, the people within the space, and culture — how space can contain culture, influence culture, and even be culture itself. Indeed, Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.”
Innovation Growth in Asia: Spearheading R&D in the Modern Age
An explosion of R&D in Asia has propelled Asian companies to become more efficient, competitive, and innovative. In fact, Asia accounts for nearly 30% of global R&D spending, totalling $782 billion. Behind this movement are major tech leaders such as Alibaba, which spent nearly $4 billion on R&D, as well as governmental support for developing cutting-edge technology. This new focus on tech driven—by AI and digitization—will have wider implications on whether Asia can maintain its competitive edge with the Western world and even spearhead innovation of the future.
While Asia’s investment in R&D is growing faster than western countries, this investment—especially Chinese investment—still lags significantly behind Western investment in terms of value, according to PwC. At the heart of R&D is the ability to adapt to changing times, and it remains important for business leaders and policymakers to create an environment conducive to innovation. In this seminar, delegates will explore best practices for companies to maintain competitiveness and analyze government policies to allow Asia to take the lead in global R&D.
Kazakhstan Night is an evening filled with performances, games and getting to know the host country’s culture. Delegates can expect performances by an orchestra playing traditional instruments, dances in traditional dress, Kazakh games, cuisine and much more! Delegates will dive into Kazakhstan’s culture and learn about the great nomadic nation at the heart of Eurasia!