Day One Speakers


Singapore Management University

Professor Arnoud De Meyer is President of SMU. He has a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, MBA and PhD in Management from the University of Ghent in Belgium. Previously, he was Director of Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. He has held various senior positions at INSEAD including the founding Dean of INSEAD’s Asia Campus in Singapore. He publishes widely in academic journals and books. He has consulted for organisations in Europe and Asia and serves as board member for various organisations in Singapore.


Singapore Management University

Professor Lily Kong is Provost of the Singapore Management University and Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Social Sciences. Previously, she was Provost Chair Professor at the National University of Singapore where she had held numerous leadership positions including Director of the Asia Research Institute, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and Vice Provost (Academic Personnel). She has received several international fellowship awards. She serves on various boards and committees, and she is a member of the Singapore Public Service Commission and the United Nations University Council.


Managing Partner
Ernst & Young (ASEAN Financial Services)

Nam Soon is Managing Partner, Financial Services, ASEAN for Ernst & Young, responsible for managing the advisory, assurance, tax and transactions business. Nam Soon has over 24 years of consulting and industry experience in business transformation, digital, risk management and implementation of large scale technology and operations. He graduated with an MBA from Imperial College, London and also attended executive programmes at Harvard and INSEAD. Prior to joining EY, Nam Soon held various senior positions which include Chief Transformation Officer (Asia) at Prudential and Partner of Financial Services and Wealth Management Leader with the global business services unit of IBM. He was also previously a PwC partner.


Lee Kong Chian School of Business
Singapore Management University

Dr Jochen Reb is Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour & Human Resources as well as the founding Director of the Mindfulness Initiative @ SMU. Prior to this, he was Senior Lecturer at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. His research and teaching focus on two main areas: judgment and decision making in organizations, and the role of mindfulness in organizational contexts such as leadership and performance. He is the author of numerous articles published in leading academic journals as well as several case studies on decision making and mindfulness in organizations. Being one of the pioneers in the field, he recently published Mindfulness in Organizations (Cambridge University Press), an edited volume bringing together leading researchers who study mindfulness at work. His work is widely cited.


Associate Professor of Information Systems (Education)
School of Information Systems
Singapore Management University

Dr Lee Wee Leong is an Associate Professor of Information Systems (Education). At SMU he teaches spreadsheets modelling, process analytics using simulation, business process management, supply chain processes & technology, IT project & vendor management, and leads technopreneurship study mission to China (Beijing and Zhejiang). Dr Lee has developed and licensed vehicle routing optimisation solutions and project management simulation games (waterfall method and agile scrum methodology) to both academia and industry around the world. Before joining SMU, he was heading the R&D department at Y3 Technologies and was responsible for managing the development and implementation of supply chain solutions. He has wide consultancy and professional training experience in the field of business modelling using spreadsheets, supply chain network design, process improvement, project management, negotiations and conflict management.


Director & Partner
Centre for Organisational Effectiveness

Amy has more than 20 years of experience in Human Resource Management and has deep expertise in areas such as strategic HR management, job redesign, competency profiling, talent management, organisational development and leadership development. Before joining the Centre for Organisational Effectiveness, Amy was the Director of People Matters Division and Director of Labour Relations at the Ministry of Manpower. She has also held various senior positions in organisations such as AT&T Consumer Products, SGS-Thomson, Aon Asia, Nokia and Singapore's 2010 Youth Olympic Games.


Senior Technical Staff Member, IBM Research
& Senior Manager, Cognitive Education and Interactions Department, IBM Research (India)

Dr Bikram Sengupta is a Senior Technical Staff Member at IBM Research, and Senior Manager, Cognitive Education and Interactions Department, IBM Research (India). He provides technical leadership to IBM Research’s global programmes for transforming education and also oversees research groups and projects in the Education and Mobile technology areas, besides contributing to strategy and operations as part of the India lab’s senior leadership team. Dr Sengupta has co-authored more than 45 scientific publications in international journals, conferences and workshops, and holds several US patents. Dr. Sengupta and his team has been at the forefront of exploring the role of data and analytics in transforming the education industry as it rapidly digitises. Their research has led to the development of innovative solutions for personalised education leveraging student performance prediction, learning content analytics and intervention management. The team is currently engaged in developing cognitive systems for one-on-one tutoring and career counseling.


Executive Director
SMU Academy
Singapore Management University

Dr Lim Lai Cheng is Executive Director of the SMU Academy, Academic Director of the Office of the Provost at SMU and Fellow of the SMU School of Social Sciences. She holds a BA(Hons) and MA from Cambridge University (UK), a Master of Education from the Nanyang Technological University and Doctorate in Education from University of London. She has extensive experience in the Singapore Education System and played key roles in corporate communications and curriculum development at the Education Ministry’s headquarters. She has also served on various national committees on education reviews in Singapore and currently as advisor to several education foundations in Sweden, Slovakia, South Africa and Russia.


Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Kooki Pte Ltd

Wee Tiong is the Founder and CEO of Kooki Pte Ltd, a spin-off company from the Institute for Infocomm Research under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Prior to this, he was the Manager and Lead Scientist (Principal Investigator) of two key intellectual properties in data and image analytics under the Productivity Department in I2R (A*STAR). He was also the Centre Director of the Business Analytics Translational Centre (BATC) funded by A*STAR and the then-Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).


Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer
Kooki Pte Ltd

Teewee is the Co-Founder and CMO of Kooki Pte Ltd. A former engineer, Teewee has more than a decade of global experience managing diverse portfolios in purchasing, sales and marketing, spanning countries in Asia, Europe and the United States of America. As a Data Science advocate, he is actively exploring data driven and intelligence-based marketing methods to help clients thrive in today's highly digitised business world.


Partner (Singapore)
McKinsey & Company

Cheryl Lim is a leader in McKinsey’s Education, Public Sector and Social Sector Practices in Asia. Since joining McKinsey in 2008, she has worked extensively on system and organisation transformation and business development in the fields of education, youth employment and engagement, and tourism, serving government-linked companies, public- and private-sector clients. Cheryl has also led research on Asian Millennial consumer patterns and workforce behavior in the travel and tourism industry, and on talent development solutions.


Southeast Asia Representative
Lean Global Network

John has over 20 years of experience at General Motors and Dell, specialising in Lean Thinking, Business Improvement, Strategy and Organisational Development. With assignments based in the USA, China, Korea, India and Singapore, he has held two Asia Pacific Regional Director positions. John is an adjunct lecturer at various universities, a published writer on Lean Management, strategy and global perspectives, and an active speaker at business excellence conferences, global corporations, public agencies and professional institutions.


Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer
TenX Technology

Paul is the Co-Founder and COO of TenX, a decentralised banking platform connecting blockchains to real-world financial services. A front-end interface to access benefits of public blockchains and offer alternative financial services with a fraction of cost of traditional infrastructure. Paul has a background in human-computer interaction and is a member of the teaching team for the Design & Innovation course at Stanford University bringing innovation to top companies like NASA, Deutsche bank, etc.


Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Korn Ferry &
President, Korn Ferry Institute

As Chief Marketing Officer of Korn Ferry, the world’s largest executive search and organizational and people advisory firm, Mr Distefano is responsible for worldwide branding, advertising, media relations, employee communications and all other aspects of public relations for the firm. In his role as President of the Korn Ferry Institute, Mr Distefano oversees the development of the firm’s intellectual property, innovation and thought leadership. He is passionate about the importance of people in boosting organizational performance and is the driving force behind Korn Ferry’s research into the ‘Future of Work’.
Mr Distefano earned a bachelor’s in economics from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and was named one of the world’s top 500 CMO’s by Executive Rank (number 146 in 2014 and number 499 in 2012).