Inside Asia Podcast
The Portfolio Life (w/Curtis Chin)

The Portfolio Life (w/Curtis Chin)

July 18, 2019

In this weeks episode we meet politico, public relations specialist, former ambassador, private equity advisor, digital nomad, and public commentator, Curtis Chin. Curtis is many things to many people. And while he likes to think of himself as a kind of modern-day Renaissance man, his parents say that’s code for “unemployed.” We’re talking about what it means to have what Curtis calls, “a portfolio” life.” We also move the conversation in the direction of Asia in transition and take from Curtis his view on the emerging and potentially disruptive influence of China. His comments come at a critical time when the world is debating how best to engage with this emerging Superpower in order to secure political détente, new prosperity, and greater integration of our global economy.

The Great China Divide (w/ Jim McGregor)

The Great China Divide (w/ Jim McGregor)

July 11, 2019

China is not the nation it once was. It’s grown up, become stronger; more resilient and self-assured. Its influence in matters of global geopolitics is absolute and bending the knee to the US is most assuredly not in the script.

Jim McGregor, long-time China resident, corporate advisor and respected insider, shares his unfiltered opinion on the evolution of US-China relations and how and why things have gone so off kilter.

In this week’s Asia Insider Minute, we take a cut at thinking past the blame and towards the solution - and imagine a future where policy-makers on both sides see a future fashioned from collaboration versus competition.

The importance of story-telling (w/ Neil Bearden)

The importance of story-telling (w/ Neil Bearden)

July 4, 2019

Neil Bearden is an INSEAD Professor, investor, decision scientist, and children’s book author. Neil is many things, but above all others, he’s a story-teller. On this week’s episode he shares his views on the art of story-telling and why it is so essential to lean into story in this age of science. And why we, as humans, have found such meaning and utility in the telling and receiving of stories.

Sustainable Education (w/ Glenn Chickering)

Sustainable Education (w/ Glenn Chickering)

June 20, 2019

This week’s guest is Glenn Chickering, Head of Faculty at the Green school on Bali, Indonesia. Students there live and breathe the environment and all things sustainable. Raise the subject of climate change with any 4th grader here and you’ll get an earful on everything from personal accountability to corporate responsibility. Sitting in the heart of the jungle, surrounded by rice paddies and flanked by a river, there’s arguably no school like it in the world…

The Artist’s Way (w/ Gregory Burns)

The Artist’s Way (w/ Gregory Burns)

June 13, 2019

Gregory Burns is an artist, story-teller, and Olympian. It’s an unlikely combination of talents and the fabric of a man who’s made Singapore his home. The 19th century American writer and Naturalist, Henry David Thoreau claimed that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Is it possible that the artist offers us a way out?

AI and the Ad Industry’s Death Rattle

AI and the Ad Industry’s Death Rattle

June 6, 2019

This week’s guest is Ian Chapman-Banks, CEO of Sqreem, an AI-enabled adtech company working to take on the US 1 trillion-dollar global advertising business - a sector ripe for disruption.

It’s no easy feat to entirely unwind an industry eco-system, but that’s what Ian and dozens of ad-tech entrepreneurs around the world are trying to do. As he rightly points out, the playing field has shifted. Advertising goes where consumer eyeballs roam. And in this case, digital platforms are the place where consumer buying decisions are taking place.

The Angry Clean Energy Guy (w/ Assaad Razzouk)

The Angry Clean Energy Guy (w/ Assaad Razzouk)

May 23, 2019

Take a quick poll among your friends and associates on what they consider to be one of the greatest challenges of our day, and increasingly, liberals and conservatives alike will say climate change. The subject has had its share of detractors and political nay-sayers, but with the passage of time, evidence mounts that humans – not Mother Nature – are the undeniable chief culprits of this pending disaster.

Acknowledging the crises is one thing. Actually doing something about it is another. Where to begin? My guest this week, Assaad Razzouk, says there are lots of moving parts in this climate change puzzle, but holding corporations accountable, he says, could prove a catalyst.

Assaad has a vantage point on the subject. He’s Group Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Sindicatum Sustainable Resources, a Singapore-based clean energy investment group that buys, owns and operates projects throughout India and Southeast Asia. From this vantage point, Assaad has learned a few things about government intransigence, corporate behaviour, and public indifference. Rather than sit on what he knows, he’s taken to social media to beat the drum in favour of environmental responsibility.

Education Overhaul (w/ Crystal Lim-Lange)

Education Overhaul (w/ Crystal Lim-Lange)

May 19, 2019

This week we turn to the subject of Education. It ranks alongside food, shelter, and job opportunity as a foundation requirement for any progressive society, yet, the very tenants of traditional education and the perceived importance of a formal degree are increasingly the subject of scrutiny, and in some cases, derision.

The universal question being asked is this: Do high schools and universities effectively prepare students for a world rife with change, disruption, and the unpredictable impact of artificial intelligence and the likely displacement of hundreds of millions of jobs?

To help me answer these questions, I spoke with Crystal Lim-Lange, a self-described “future-readiness expert,” who in partnership with her husband, Dr. Gregor Lim-Lange, have created a business to help students cope with the growing pressures of growing up and entering the workforce.

Why Sustainability Trumps Consumption

Why Sustainability Trumps Consumption

May 9, 2019

Anurag Banerjee is the Founder and CEO of Quilt.ai, an artificial intelligence, or AI-enabled consulting firm that mines data for the greater good.

Anurag’s group recently released its “Beyond the Bottom Line: Sustainability Report” with two stated objectives: The first: To uncover six so-called Cultural Codes of Sustainability, representing what matters to people with regards to being ‘Sustainable’, ‘Ethical’ and ‘Responsible.’ And the second: To measure and rank the Sustainability Performance of 50 Organizations across 10 Industries.

In our conversation with Anurag we explore the insights of Quilt.AI`s sustainability report, discussing the evolving willingness of consumers to make sustainability-driven choices, as well as what brands might do in order to become more sustainable.

Indonesia: The Dreaming Giant

Indonesia: The Dreaming Giant

May 2, 2019

Richard Borsuk is a veteran journalist, long-time resident of Southeast Asia, and a leading expert in Indonesian political economy. When I first met Richard in the early 1990s, Indonesia felt like a sleepy backwater, better known for its plantations and fishing villages. Back then, from my high-rise and fast-paced outpost in Hong Kong, Indonesia felt like a sleepy backwater, better known for its plantations and fishing villages. Still, it was a nation on the rise.

In my conversation with Richard, we explore how Indonesia’s rising religious and sectarian divides could put a damper on the country’s economic prospects. In a country where 50% of the population remains under the age of 40, youth holds the key – both as a powerful voting block and also as the custodians of a more forward-looking, economically vibrant Indonesia. Of course, youth can go both ways. With better job prospects and improved economic output, Indonesia could begin to take its rightful place as one of the most important economies in Asia, if not the world. On the other hand, should the country fall on hard economic times, the youth might not be so forgiving.