have been speaking on global leadership at the stars Singapore Symposium.  I had spoken three times previously on leadership at stars Symposiums, twice at the quaint medieval city of Stein am Rhein in Switzerland, and once in the seaside Chinese city of Penglai in Shandong province. The Symposium was held for the first time in Singapore over the period 16 to 19 February 2014.

The stars Symposium is positioned as the leadership development “Symposium for Leaders of the Next Generation.” I was attracted to it because I think it is an extremely smart idea, and since it is managed by a Swiss foundation – the stars Foundation – I expect it to be of high quality and reliability. 

Many programmes around the world are run for people who have already reached senior levels in companies and organisations; but stars Symposiums are organised for participants who are up-and-coming – they are nominated by chairmen and CEOs of their organisations because of their superior performance and high potential. 

I find the stars not only exciting for its content, but also for its very extensive global network of alumni comprising participants and speakers of the nine Symposiums that have been held thus far. Because I believe in the mission of the stars Foundation, I have agreed to serve on its International Board.

The Symposiums help to prepare the “Leaders of the Next Generation” by:

•             Enhancing a better understanding of the economic, scientific, political, cultural, and social challenges that will impact businesses and organisations in the next 5-10 years,

•             Broadening their horizons through interdisciplinary and intercultural dialogue with peers and global leaders from all fields, and

•             Contributing to their personal development to drive responsible choices and sustainable actions. 

The stars Symposiums have some very distinctive features. Each Symposium has about 100 international participants, aged 35-45 years old, mainly from Business but also from Science, Politics, Culture, NGOs,  and Media.  The programme is highly interactive, with an inspiring slate of speakers addressing the issues that would shape the evolving future, issues like demographics, technology, economics and politics. Its alumni of participants and speakers now total close to a 1000 from more than 75 countries. The annual Symposium at Stein am Rhein focuses on global challenges and trends, the one in Singapore focuses on global and Asia-specific developments and challenges, and the programme in China focuses on global and China-specific developments and challenges.

I believe the stars Symposiums represent an excellent opportunity for companies and organisations all over the world to expose their next generation leaders to big ideas for the future, as well as build up their global network of contacts. And Singapore with 37,400 international companies, including 3,200 from China, 4,400 from India, 7,900 from ASEAN (ex-Singapore) and more than 7,000 MNCs from developed countries (60% with HQ functions) would be a wonderful place for international companies to expand the horizons, perspectives, knowledge, and networks of their key staff through the stars Singapore Symposium.


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