Speakers and Moderators


Regional Manager Asia/Pacific and Member of Group Management, Sika, Singapore

CHEN Dongxiao
CHEN Dongxiao

President, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, Shanghai, China

Prof. Dr. Chen Dongxiao is the President of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS). Dr. Chen got his Ph.D from Fudan University. He specializes in the studies of the United Nations, China’s foreign policy and China-U.S. relations. He has led numerous research projects commissioned by China National Foundation of Social Sciences Studies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council and many more. Dr. Chen has published extensively on UN reform and China’s multilateral diplomacy. He is the chief editor of China Quarterly of International Strategic Studies (CQISS), a flagship English journal on China’s diplomacy published by SIIS and World Scientific Publishing House (Singapore). He is also adjunct professor of Shanghai International Studies University.

Dr. Chen is high-level advisor of the Independent Team of Advisory (ITA) for ECOSOC Dialogue on longer-term positioning of the United Nations Development System (2016), member of ASEAN Regional Forum’s (ARF) group of Experts and Eminent Persons (EEP), senior advisor on economic diplomacy for China’s Foreign Ministry and senior advisor of International Business Leaders Advisory Council for the Mayor of Shanghai (IBLAC). He also holds the position as Vice Chair of the China National Association of International Relations.



Co-Founder, CEO and Executive Director, Chongbang Group, Shanghai, China


President, Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Former US Ambassador to NATO; Former Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council; Member, stars International Board, Chicago, United States

Ivo H. Daalder is president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He served as the US ambassador to NATO from 2009-2013.

Prior to his appointment as ambassador to NATO by President Obama, Daalder was a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, specializing in American foreign policy, European security and transatlantic relations, and national security affairs. Before joining Brookings in 1998, he was an associate professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and director of research at its Center for International and Security Studies. He also served as director for European affairs on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council staff from 1995-97.

Ambassador Daalder is the author and editor of 10 books, including The Empty Throne: America's Abdication of Global Leadership (with James M. Lindsay). Other books include In the Shadow of the Oval Office: Profiles of the National Security Advisers and the Presidents they Served — From JFK to George W. Bush (with I. M. Destler) and the award-winning America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy (with James M. Lindsay). Daalder is a frequent contributor to the opinion pages of the world’s leading newspapers, and a regular commentator on international affairs on television and radio.

Ambassador Daalder was educated at the universities of Kent, Oxford, and Georgetown, and received his PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is married to Elisa D. Harris, and they have two sons.


Independent Author and Journalist, Zurich, Switzerland

Mark Dittli is an independent author and journalist based in Zurich, specializing in economics and international finance. He also is the economics editor of Republik, a Swiss online magazine (www.republik.ch). Until October 2017, he was the editor-in-chief of Finanz und Wirtschaft , Switzerland’s premier financial newspaper. Mark has worked in financial journalism for more than 18 years. He has studied business administration in Zurich, journalism at New York University and is a CFA charterholder (Chartered Financial Analyst). He is married, has two children and lives in Zurich.
Katja FINK
Katja FINK

Principal Investigator, Singapore Immunology Network; stars alumna, Singapore

After graduating from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, with a master's degree in biochemistry and immunology Katja Fink started her PhD at the Institute of Experimental Immunology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, where she worked with mouse models to characterize anti-viral immune responses.

After a postdoctoral appointment in the same lab Fink moved to Singapore in 2006 and worked for the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases, Dengue Unit, where she held a position as post-doctoral fellow and where she started to work with dengue. Thereafter Fink got her current position as Young Principal Investigator at the Singapore Immunology Network SIgN, an A-STAR institute at Biopolis.



CEO & Director, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), Singapore


Professor Emeritus of Experimental Immunology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) and University Zurich; Vice Chairman of the stars Foundation Board, Zurich, Switzerland

1994 - 2008 Joint Full Professor for Immunology, Medical Faculty University of Zurich, and Department of Biology, ETH Zurich
2000 - 2005 Chairman of the Department of Biology, ETH Zurich
1989 Associate Professor for Exp. Pathology, Medical Faculty, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich
1980 Oberassistent, University Hospital of Zurich, Institute of Pathology, Dept. of Exp. Immunology
1975 - 1980 Member, Basel Institute for Immunology
1973 - 1975 Postdoctoral Fellow, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England
1964 - 1972 Diploma in Biochemistry and Ph.D. Thesis in Molecular Biology, ETH Zurich
Concurrently Board Member of biotechnology companies and foundations
Subrahmanyam JAISHANKAR
Subrahmanyam JAISHANKAR

President, Global Corporate Affairs, Tata Group; Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore; Former Foreign Secretary of India, Mumbai, India

Dr. Jaishankar was the Foreign Secretary of India from January 2015 to January 2018. He has more than four decades of diplomatic experience. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1977, and has represented India’s interests and fostered friendly working relationships across the world. Dr. Jaishankar played a key role in negotiating the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement.

Dr. Jaishankar’s early postings abroad were as Third and Second Secretary (Political) at the Embassy of India in Moscow from 1979 to 1981. From 1981 to 1985, he served as Under Secretary (Americas) of Policy Planning at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). He then spent three years, from 1985 to 1988, as First Secretary handling political affairs at the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC, followed by two years as First Secretary and Political Advisor to the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka. In 1990, Dr. Jaishankar was appointed as Commercial Counsellor in Budapest, an appointment which he held for three years. Upon his return to India, he served as Director of East Europe Division at MEA, and later as Press Secretary to the President of India. He left to Tokyo in 1996 as Deputy Chief of Mission. In 2000, he was appointed as the Ambassador of India to Czech Republic and served in Prague till 2004. Upon his return from Prague, Dr. Jaishankar led the Americas Division at MEA for three years. Dr. Jaishankar has also served as India’s Ambassador to the United States (2013–2015), and China (2009–2013), and as High Commissioner to Singapore (2007–09).

Dr. Jaishankar holds a Ph.D. and M.Phil in International Relations and a M.A. in Political Science and is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

He is married to Kyoko Jaishankar and has two sons and a daughter.


Prakash KANNAN
Prakash KANNAN

Deputy Chief Economist, Head Total Portfolio Management, GIC, Singapore

Prakash Kannan is Head of Total Portfolio Management at GIC. He was formerly an Economist at the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund. He also served as the desk economist for Turkey in the European Department of the IMF.

His research interests fall in the general field of international macroeconomics. He has published in the European Economic Review, and has written several book chapters including NBER Conference volumes and the IMF’s World Economic Outlook.

He has a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from MIT. Prior to his career at the Fund, he was an economist at the Central Bank of Malaysia.


Carlson LAU
Co-Founder and CEO, EV Hive; stars alumnus, Jakarta, Indonesia
LEE Pooi See
LEE Pooi See

Program Leader, Nanomaterials for Energy and Water Management (NEW), Singapore

Prof. Lee received her Ph.D. degree from National University of Singapore in 2001. She joined Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd (now Globalfoundries) in research and technology development department from 2001-2003.

She is a recipient of the 2001 Norman Hackerman Young Author award presented by the Electrochemical Society, USA. In January 2004, she joined the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University as an Assistant Professor. She was promoted to tenured Associate Professor in 2009. In Sept 2015, she was promoted to Full Professor.

Pooi See has authored and co-authored many publications in the field of nanomaterials for energy and electronics applications. She holds more than 30 patents filed/provisional applications at present. She served as the Sub-Dean/Asst. Chair (undergraduate) in MSE from July 2004-2008, Associate Chair (Research) in June 2012-2014, and Associate Chair (Faculty) in March 2014. She was awarded the National Day Awards, Public Administration Medal (Bronze) in 2014. Pooi See is a recipient of the prestigious NRF Investigatorship, Class 2015.

Pooi See is a member of Materials Research Society and she serves as the editorial board member of Advanced Energy Materials, Scientific Reports and Frontier. She is interested in synthesizing innovative nanomaterials, and harnessing its multi-functionality through understanding the structural-property characteristics. She has developed high energy capacitors, energy saving electrochromic coatings, novel transparent conductors, flexible and stretchable devices. She is keen in advancing the frontier of green nanotechnology and to translate research outcomes into real solutions.


LIM Siong Guan
LIM Siong Guan

Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore; Former Group President, GIC; Former Head of Civil Service of Singapore; Member, stars International Board, Singapore

Siong Guan Lim was appointed Advisor to the GIC Group Executive Committee in Januar 2017. From September 2007 until December 2016 he was Group President of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC). The GIC manages the financial reserves of the Singapore government. He was Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board from October 2006 to June 2009. The Board is the Singapore government’s lead agency for planning and executing strategies to enhance Singapore’s position as a global business centre. Much of its work is attracting international corporations to set up manufacturing and services activities in Singapore as critical links in the global supply chain.

He has been an Adjunct Professor in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore since 2005, instructing on leadership and change management, as well as a Senior Fellow of the Civil Service College since 2006.

Siong Guan Lim was the Head of the Singapore Civil Service from September 1999 to March 2005. He was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense (1981-1994), the Prime Minister’s Office (1994-1998), the Ministry of Education (1997-1999) and the Ministry of Finance (1999-2006). In every appointment he introduced innovative policies and practices which enhanced the drive, capacity, capability and performance of the organization. Mr Lim has chaired the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (2004-2006), the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (2004-2006) and, the Central Provident Fund Board (1986-1994) and was a board member of many companies including Temasek, the other sovereign wealth fund manager of Singapore.


Director, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore; Founding Director of Carnegie India, Singapore

Professor C Raja Mohan is Director at the Institute of South Asian Studies. Earlier he was Professor of South Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. 

Professor Mohan has been associated with a number of think tanks in New Delhi, including the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, the Centre for Policy Research and the Observer Research Foundation. He was also the founding director of Carnegie India, New Delhi – the sixth international centre of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC.

He was the Henry Alfred Kissinger Chair in International Affairs at the United States Library of Congress, Washington DC, from 2009 to 2010. He served on India’s National Security Advisory Board. He led the Indian Chapter of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs from 1999 to 2006.

Professor Mohan is one of India’s leading commentators on India’s foreign policy. He writes a regular column for the Indian Express and was earlier the Strategic Affairs Editor for The Hindu newspaper, Chennai. He is on the editorial boards of a number of Indian and international journals on world politics.

Professor Mohan has a Master’s degree in nuclear physics and a PhD in international relations. Among his recent books are Samudra Manthan: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Indo-Pacific (2013) and Modi’s World: Expanding India’s Sphere of Influence (2015).



Chairman PwC Switzerland, Member of the Board of PwC Europe; Member of the stars Foundation Board, Zurich, Switzerland

2016 - present Member of the Board of PwC Europe
July 2012 - present Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers Switzerland
2013 - 2016 Member of the Office of the Global Chairman
2003 - June 2012 CEO, Territory Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers Switzerland
2010 - 2013 Member of the Global Network Executive Team
2007 - 2008 CEO, Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers Eurofirms (Continental Europe)
1999 - 2003 Responsible for Tax & Legal mergers and acquisitions activities worldwide
1996 Responsible for Tax & Legal mergers and acquisitions activities across Europe
1995 - 1998 Head of the Tax & Legal team, PricewaterhouseCoopers Zurich
1992 Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers
1988 Doctorate in Law, University of Zurich
Concurrently Member of the board and chairman of the Tax Chapter of the Swiss Institute of Certified Accountants and Tax Consultants, member of the board of economiesuisse, member of the Foundation Board of Avenir Suisse, Chairman of the Public Affairs Committee of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Zürich, a member of the Rotary Club and honorary auditor of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft. Dr Markus R. Neuhaus also lectures at the ETH Zurich, where he holds the title of “Executive-in-Residence”.

Founder and CEO, Astroscale, Tokyo, Japan

Nobu Okada founded Astroscale in Singapore in 2013 due to a strong desire to address the growing threat of space debris. He used his personal funds as seed money and hired a team in Singapore in 2013 and opened an R&D office in Japan in 2015, and UK office in 2017 whilst raising 53M USD capital. The team calls themselves "Space Sweepers" and their mission is to secure long-term space flight safety by developing space debris removal technologies.

Nobu is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and is also a member of The Future of Space Technologies Council, World Economic Forum and International Astronautical Federation. He also served as a member of the Subcommittee on Space Civil Use, and Space Industry at the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan. Nobu Okada has won the third prize of Start-up of The Year 2018 for Forbes JAPAN, and listed as Technology Pioneer by World Economic Forum in 2017.

Prior to Astroscale, Nobu was an IT entrepreneur and strategy consultant, and had managed IT companies in Japan, China, India and Singapore. He led one company to a successful IPO. Before joining the IT industry, he worked for McKinsey & Company and the Japanese Government in the Ministry of Finance. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the University of Tokyo in 1995 and an MBA from the Krannert School of Business, Purdue University in 2001.

When he was a teenager, Nobu attended a camp at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in the United States where he met Japan’s first astronaut, Mr. Mamoru Mohri. He received the handwritten message, "Space is waiting for your challenge" and he has been inspired to work on space ever since.


Deanna ONG
Deanna ONG

Chief People Officer, GIC; stars alumna, Singapore

Deanna Ong was appointed Chief People Officer in April 2017 to oversee human capital strategy, talent management, leadership and organization development in GIC. She has been responsible for Human Resource & Organization and Corporate Governance since 2012. Ms Ong was Director, Finance from 2009 to 2014, during which she headed the Finance Group responsible for financial management across GIC’s portfolio, covering financing arrangements for assets, tax planning, investment holding structures, accounting and management of group revenue and expenditure. Prior to joining GIC in 1994, she was a tax accountant with Arthur Andersen. Ms Ong is currently a board member of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds.

Ms Ong holds a Bachelor of Accountancy from the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, and has completed the Stanford Executive Program.


ONG Ye Kung
ONG Ye Kung

Minister for Education, Singapore

Ong Ye Kung was elected Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC in Sep 2015, and appointed to the Cabinet of Singapore on 1 Oct 2015. He had held the positions of Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence. He is concurrently a board member of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Chairman of the Chinese Development Assistance Council. 

Prior to his Cabinet appointment, he held the position of Director of Group Strategy at Keppel Corporation, overseeing long term strategic planning of the Group’s activities. Before joining Keppel Corporation, he was the Deputy Secretary-General of National Trades Union Congress, overseeing the Labour Movement’s employment and employability programmes. 

He also held various positions in the Government earlier. These include the Chief Executive of Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), during which he spearheaded many initiatives to build up the Continuing Education and Training infrastructure. 

He was the Principal Private Secretary to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong from 2003-2005, and Press Secretary to Prime Minister Lee from 1997-2003.  Mr Ong was also the Deputy Chief Negotiator for the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.   

Mr Ong graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK) with a Bsc (Econs) First Class Honours, and holds a Master of Business Administration from the Institute of Management Development, Lausanne, Switzerland. He is married and has two teenage children.


ONG Yew Soon
ONG Yew Soon

Professor of Computer Science, School of Computer Science and Engineering, Co-Director, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Research Center, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore

Dr. Ong Yew Soon is Professor and Chair of the School of Computer Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is founding Director of the Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Research Center and Principal Investigator of the Nanyang Technological University-Rolls Royce Corporate Laboratory on Data Analytics & Complex Systems. He is named as a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher in both 2015 and 2016, and cited amongst the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds. He received the 2015 IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine Outstanding Paper Award and the 2012 IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation Outstanding Paper Award for his work in Memetic Computation. 

He has coauthored over 200 refereed publications comprising of 100 refereed journals, 120 refereed conference papers and 8 book chapters, excluding 7 edited books, 3 edited special issues and 10 technology disclosures/patents filed. His research grants in the last five years amounts to a total of more than 15 million USD. These comprises of external research funding from both national and international partners that includes the National Research Foundation, National Grid Office, A*STAR, Singapore Technologies Dynamics, Boeing Research & Development (USA), Rolls-Royce and Honda Research Institute Europe (Germany), MDA-GAMBIT. His research works have received Citation counts (H-Index) greater than 9000 (44) on Google Scholar, 4000 (30) on Scopus and 3500 (28) on Web of Sciences databases. Several of his research technologies in memetic computation have also been commercialized and licensed to companies and institutions worldwide. His FAME technology led to the internationally renowned IOS 'Dark-Dots Game' that beat popular apps and games including Facebook, What's App, Angry Birds and Bejeweled! It was the top action game in 48 countries including USA, China and Singapore in 2011; downloaded by well over 448,000 players worldwide when it was first launched. "Large-Scale Engineering Simulation for Complex Adaptive Systems (LesCaS)" is a decision support system designed for large scale modelling, simulation and optimization of complex systems which was licensed to the Agency for Science, Technology and Research Institute. LesCaS also led to startup companies "Meme Analytics" and "NeuroTen". At the National Research Foundation of Singapore, he serves as a Scientific Advisor of the Singapore Digital Economy Initiative and as Management committee member of AI Singapore.



CEO Reinsurance Asia, Regional President Asia and Member of Group Executive Committee, Swiss Re; Member, stars International Board, Singapore

Jayne Plunkett started her career at John Deere Insurance Company in 1992, where she held various positions in the Commercial Lines segment in Property and Casualty. In 1999 she joined GE Insurance Solutions, where she served as Insurance Pricing Team Leader, Deputy Chief Reserving Actuary, Head of Casualty Risk Management, and Head of Planning and Analysis.

Following the acquisition of GE Insurance Solutions by Swiss Re in 2006, Jayne Plunkett joined Swiss Re as Head of the Kansas City Hub for Property & Casualty. From 2008 to 2012 she worked in Asia as Head of Casualty Underwriting for the region. In 2013 she assumed the global position as Head Casualty Reinsurance, also managing the unit dealing with large and complex transactions for P&C Reinsurance. As of July 2016, Jayne Plunkett was appointed as Chief Executive Officer Reinsurance Asia, Regional President Asia and member of the Group Executive Committee.

Jayne Plunkett is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Additionally, she was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2010.

Jayne Plunkett was born in 1970 and is an American citizen. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Drake University, USA.


Danny QUAH
Danny QUAH

Dean and Li Ka Shing Professor in Economics, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Danny Quah is Dean and Li Ka Shing Professor in Economics at the School.  His research interests include income inequality, economic growth, and international economic relations.  Quah's current research takes an economic approach to world order - with focus on global power shift and the rise of the east,  and alternative models of global power relations.  

Quah is Commissioner on the Spence-Stiglitz Commission on Global Economic Transformation; Member, Executive Committee, International Economic Association; and Senior Fellow, Asian Bureau of Finance and Economics Research.

Quah gave the third LSE-NUS lecture in 2013, TEDx talks in 20162014, and 2012, and the Inaugural LSE Big Questions Lecture in 2011.  His blog is regularly named one of the top 100 Economics blogs in the world (20162017a2017b) Quah’s research has been supported by the Khazanah Research Institute, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the British Academy, the UK’s Economic and Research Council, and the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Quah was previously Assistant Professor of Economics at MIT, and then Professor of Economics and International Development, and Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre at LSE.  He served as LSE’s Head of Department for Economics, and Council Member on Malaysia’s National Economic Advisory Council. 

Quah studied at Princeton, Minnesota, and Harvard.


Ulf Henning RICHTER
Ulf Henning RICHTER

Managing Director, Richterion Ltd, Shanghai, China

Ulf Henning Richter received a Doctorate in Economic Sciences from the HEC Lausanne, Switzerland, for his thesis on corporate responsibility in a globalizing world, and an MBA from the European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel in Germany. He is also an Executive in Residence with the Social Innovation Centre at INSEAD.

In his research, he concentrates on the multifaceted links between corporate strategy, innovation, responsibility, sustainability, and governance in times of globalization, and sustainable investment in emerging economies.

Previously, he taught undergraduate and graduate courses on business strategy, international management, international marketing, global economy, global governance, and business ethics in three continents in English, French and Spanish. His previous appointments include Portland State University in Oregon, USA, Centrum Católica, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, and the International University of Grand Bassam, the Centre de Recherche et d'Action pour la Paix, and the Ecole de Commerce et Gestion in Côte d'Ivoire. In 2007, he was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University.

Currently, he serves as delegate of the Ivorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to promote sustainable investment into Côte d'Ivoire. He strongly believes in the future of Africa as the backbone of worldwide wealth production in the 21st century.

Ulf was born in Cologne, Germany, and he loves the sea. He has 20 years of sailing experience in 20+ countries on three continents.


Author, Film Director; Member, stars International Board, Lugano/London

Michael Schindhelm (1960) lives in Ticino (Switzerland) and in London. He is a writer (German), filmmaker, performing arts expert and cultural advisor for international organizations. He served as director general of Theater Basel and founding director general of Berlin’s Opera Foundation and worked also as playwright (librettist), TV presenter (Der Salon, Swiss TV) and translator.

In 1979 he studied at the International University of Voronezh (USSR) and graduated 1984 with a Master of Science in Quantum Chemistry. From 1984 – 1986 he was Research Assistant at the Academy of Science in East Berlin.

Christoph SCHMID
Christoph SCHMID

Attorney-at-law and Partner, Wenger & Vieli AG; Member of the stars Foundation Board, Zurich, Switzerland

1986 - present Wenger & Vieli AG, Attorney-at-law; Partner since 1989
1985 Arnold & Porter, Foreign Associate, Washington DC
1982 - 1984 District Court of Meilen (Zurich)
1979 - 1982 Ringier AG, Legal Department
Concurrently Member of the Board of various companies and foundations in Switzerland

Director, Singapore-ETH Center, Singapore

Gerhard Schmitt is Professor of Information Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), Director of the Singapore-ETH Centre in Singapore, and ETH Zurich Senior Vice President for ETH Global.

His work focuses on the definition and design of Information Architecture (iA) as the next level of Computer Aided Architecture Design (CAAD). The creation of a simulation, visualisation and interaction platform for the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) is at the centre of his research, which focuses on the development of intelligent design support systems using artificial intelligence methods.

From 1998 - 2008, he served as Vice President for Planning and Logistics and Member of the Board of ETH Zurich. He directed the development of ETH's strategy and planning in cooperation with the 16 scientific departments and the central administration. In 2000, he initiated the development of a third and virtual campus, named ETH World, with an international master plan competition.

In 2003, Prof. Schmitt initiated the concept for Science City, ETH's new campus in Zurich, a revolutionary interchange between ETH Zurich and the public. In 2007, he initiated the transition of ETH Science City towards a zero carbon emission campus. Prof Schmitt's efforts in developing and transforming ETH Science City earned him the European Culture of Science Award in 2010.



Executive Chairman, stars Foundation, Stein am Rhein, Switzerland

1998 - 2016 Member of the Board of UBS Wolfsberg and Congress Hotel Seepark AG
1998 - 2014 CEO, UBS Wolfsberg. Emphasis on Business Development, i.e. initiating, supervising, and conducting UBS Briefings, UBS Health Forum, UBS Arts Forum, UBS Study Trips, UBS Think Tanks, Wolfsberg Podium (www.wolfsberg.com)
1981 - 1998 Various responsibilities for UBS Management and Executive Development, Member and Chairman of the Board of UBS Art Collection
Concurrently Member of the Board of various companies and foundations in Switzerland

Consultant on Asian Affairs; Former East Asia Correspondent of Neue Zuercher Zeitung; Member, stars International Board, Tokyo/Zurich

In 1978, Urs Schoettli was appointed Secretary General of the Liberal International, a world-wide federation of liberal and democratic parties, of which Urs Schoettli acted as Executive Vice President from 1983 until 1993. Also in 1983, he joined the Neue Zurcher Zeitung and became its South Asia Correspondent in New Delhi. Between 1986 and 1990, Urs Schoettli served as Representative of the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation in India.

In 1990, he left the Neue Zurcher Zeitung and became Head of project of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Spain. Between 1993 and 1994, he served as Director of the political academy of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Portugal and as Honorary Director of the Commission for the Greater Europe in Vienna and Moscow.

Urs Schoettli returned to the Neue Zurcher Zeitung as its Correspondent in Hong Kong in 1996. Three years later, he moved from Hong Kong to Tokyo and worked as the East Asia Correspondent of the Neue Zurcher Zeitung until 2002. During the following five years, Urs Schoettli was the China Correspondent of the Neue Zurcher Zeitung, based in Beijing. He then became the Far East Correspondent for the Neue Zurcher Zeitung based in Tokyo.

Urs Schoettli was Co-Editor of the reviews Indo Asia, LibroAperto and Debate Abierto. He has published widely on topics of liberalism, development policies and international security issues in Latin American, American and European journals. Urs Schottli is also the author of numerous books on South Asia, citizenship and environmental issues. Urs Schoettli studied philosophy at the University of Basel.


Art Collector, Business Leader, Former Swiss Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, Mauensee, Switzerland

Uli Sigg was born in Lucerne on 29 April 1946. He is a Swiss business journalist, entrepreneur, art collector, patron, castle owner, rower (he was Swiss champion in the eights discipline at the age of 22) and a former Swiss ambassador to Beijing (1995-1998) for the People’s Republic of China, North Korea and Mongolia.

Uli Sigg studied law at the University of Zurich from 1968 to 1972 and graduated with a doctorate. Sigg is considered a great expert on China. He spent a large part of his life in the country. Not only was he the founding president of the Switzerland-China Chamber of Economics, he also established CSE China Schindler China Elevators Co. for the Schindler Group; it was the first joint venture involving a Western industrial enterprise and a Chinese state company. Sigg worked for the Schindler Group from 1977 until the end of 1990. Sigg was appointed as the general commissioner for the Swiss pavilion at the World’s Fair, the Expo 2010 in Shanghai, by the Swiss Federal Council on 18 April 2007.

At the end of the nineties, Uli Sigg returned from China to Schloss Mauensee in Lucerne, Switzerland. Even today, Uli Sigg’s close relationships motivate him to stay in China for several months every year.

Sigg has had and still has a seat on various administrative boards, including the Ringier Publishing company, CIBA and Vitra Design. He is also a member of the advisory board for the China Development Bank. Sigg advised the Herzog & de Meuron architects’ office during the construction of the national stadium in Beijing. Sigg is also a member of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and is on the International Advisory Council of the Tate Gallery in London.

Uli Sigg is well-known as an art collector to a wide circle of people. He began to collect Chinese contemporary art in the 1990s. As a result, he accumulated the world’s largest and most significant collection in this field within a few decades. Sigg personally knows many of the artists, whose works form part of the collection.

In 2012 Lars Nittve, former director of the M+ museum, announced that Rita and Uli Sigg donated 1463 works of their collection to the M+ in Hong Kong, for a total amount of 163 Mio US Dollars. In return, the Hong Kongese government offered to buy 47 pieces of art for 22 Million US Dollars. Thus Uli Sigg has fulfilled his promise of giving the collection back to China. The M+ museum is scheduled to open in 2019.


TAN Chong Meng
TAN Chong Meng

Group CEO, PSA International, Singapore

Tan Chong Meng is the Group Chief Executive Officer of PSA International, a leading global port group with port operations in Asia, Europe, Middle East and Latin America. He heads PSA’s Senior Management Council, the executive team responsible for making key decisions Group-wide.

Chong Meng joined PSA on 1 October 2011, bringing with him a wealth of experience in managing the complexity, diversity and breadth of a global business. Together with his management team, he is responsible for the overall performance of the PSA Group and provides strategic direction on growing the company’s value through maximising assets, developing PSA port positions and engaging global business partnerships.

Outside the PSA Group, Chong Meng serves as a non-Executive Director on the board of the National University Health System (NUHS) and also a Board Member of IE Singapore.

Before joining PSA, Chong Meng served as the Executive Vice President, Global Commercial, Shell Downstream, of the Royal Dutch Shell Group. He led six global businesses – many of which are world leaders engaged in the marketing and sale of fuels, lubricants and specialty products to commercial customers vis-à-vis Aviation, Marine, Industrial, Land Transport, Construction and Liquefied Petroleum Gas. A global leader with more than 20 years of experience in Shell, Chong Meng worked in USA, Europe, China and Singapore, holding various senior leadership positions. His responsibilities spanned from management, sales, marketing, trading, refinery operations, customer service to merger & acquisitions. Besides keeping a sharp focus on business growth and profitability, Chong Meng is equally balanced in people development, having spent many years leading the Asian Talent Council within Shell to effectively grow and promote Asian talents within the company.

Prior to Shell, Chong Meng had also worked in various positions with Singapore’s Ministry of National Development for five years.

Yinglan TAN
Yinglan TAN

Founding Managing Partner and CEO, Insignia Venture Partners; stars alumnus, Singapore

Yinglan Tan is Founding Managing Partner at Insignia Ventures Partners. Prior to this, he was Venture Partner at Sequoia Capital where he was the first hire in Southeast Asia. On the investment front, Yinglan sourced multiple investment opportunities for Sequoia India including Tokopedia, Go-jek, Carousell, Appier (where he represented Sequoia on the board), Dailyhotel (where he represented Sequoia on the board), Pinkoi and 99.co. He was also involved with evaluation of these opportunities, diligence, writing of investment notes and supporting the investments with strategy, recruiting, business development and fund raising.

He serves on the Singapore Government’s Pro Enterprise Panel (headed by Head of Civil Service), the Committee on the Future Economy's Sub-Committee on Future Corporate Capabilities and Innovation, and Investment Committee on Strategic Research Innovation Fund at Nanyang Technology University, as well as the Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme Evaluation Committee for SPRING Singapore. 

Yinglan was honoured as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2012. He also serves on the WEF Technology Pioneer Selection Committee Panel (2015-2017), Young Leader by the Milken Insitute (2016), Top "40 leaders under 40" by Prestige Magazine (2015), one of 100 Leaders of Tomorrow by the St Gallen Symposium (2010), 100 Global Thinkers (2011) by think-tank Lo Spazio della Politica, a World Cities Summit Young Leader (2014), a WEF Global Agenda Council member on Fostering Entrepreneurship (2011-2013) and a Kauffman Fellow.

Yinglan was educated at Harvard, Stanford and Carnegie Mellon.


TANG Siew Mun
TANG Siew Mun

Head of ASEAN Studies Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore

Tang Siew Mun is the Head of the ASEAN Studies Centre and concurrently a Senior Fellow at the Regional Strategic and Political Studies programme at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

His primary research interests are Asian security, ASEAN’s relations with the major powers and Japanese foreign policy. Prior to joining ISEAS, he was Director for Foreign Policy and Security Studies at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), Malaysia and Senior Lecturer at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. He has contributed to numerous book chapters and op-ed pieces in addition to national and international journals.

Tang holds a B.A (Hons.) from the National University of Malaysia, a MA in War Studies from King’s College London, a MA in International Studies from the Claremont Graduate University and a Ph.D. from Arizona State University in Political Science.



Associate Director for Outreach, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), Singapore

Takehiko TSUTSUI
Takehiko TSUTSUI

Senior Vice President, Business Development, Member of Executive Committee, Japan Tobacco Inc.; stars alumnus, Tokyo, Japan

Takehiko Tsutsui is Senior Vice President of Business Development and a member of Executive Committee at JT, a leading international tobacco company that is also actively present in pharmaceuticals and processed foods. 

Building on an educational background in mechanical engineering, he has more than 19 years of extensive experience in strategy building and M&A at both JT and JT International (JTI), JT’s international arm headquartered in Geneva. 

After spending 6 years in the manufacturing division, he progressed his professional career in business development. He moved to JTI where he took a Director position to be one of the core members of 20 billion dollar deal to acquire Gallaher, a FTSE100 company in the UK. During his 7 years in Geneva, he became Vice President of Corporate Strategy to support senior management on their strategic decision setting. In 2012, he returned to Tokyo to lead Group’s strategy function and 2 years later he was promoted to Senior Vice President to oversee global business development and high level strategies to develop the future paths for the company’s long-term success. He spends almost half of a year travelling all over the world to manage on-going projects and seek for new opportunities of innovation.


President, Institute for International Monetary Affairs (IIMA); Member, stars International Board, Tokyo, Japan

Hiroshi Watanabe is President of the Institute for International Monetary Affairs (IIMA) and former CEO and Governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Japan’s policy-based financing institution for international financing. In the past, he served as various positions, including Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, in the Ministry of Finance (MOF). After leaving MOF, he took to teaching as professor of the Graduate School of Commerce and Management, Hitotsubashi University. Mr. Watanabe received LLB at the University of Tokyo and MA in Economics at Brown University.


Chief Representative, BASF China; Former President, European Union Chamber of Commerce in China; Member, stars International Board, Beijing, China

Joerg Wuttke is Vice President and Chief Representative of BASF China, based in Beijing. Since joining BASF in 1997, Mr. Wuttke has been responsible for helping guide the company’s investment strategies for China, negotiation of large projects and government relations.

Previous to joining BASF, Mr. Wuttke worked with ABB for 11 years.
From 2001 to 2004 Mr. Wuttke was the Chairman of the German Chamber of Commerce in China.  From 2007 to 2010, and 2014 to 2017 he was the President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China.

In January 2011 the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC), a Paris based body of major business associations that lobbies the OECD, named Mr. Wuttke to become Chairman of the BIAC China Task Force.

Since its establishment in 2013, Mr. Wuttke is member of the Advisory Board of Germany’s foremost Think Tank on China, Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), in Berlin.

From 2013 to 2016, Mr. Wuttke was Vice Chairman of the CPCIF International Cooperation Committee, a group representing Multinational Companies in China’s Chemical Association.

Mr. Wuttke holds a BA in Business Administration and Economics from Mannheim and he studied Chinese in Shanghai 1982 and Taipei 1984-85. A frequent speaker on business and industry issues in China, he co-authored:
“The Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industry in China” Springer Publishing Trust (2005);
“Energy Resources Security” Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (2006);
“My 30 years in China” ACA Publishing (2008)
“Gelebte Geschichte - 40 Erfahungen” (2012) CBT China Book Trading
“The Handbook of Chinese Organizational Behavior: Integrating Theory, Research, and Practice” Edgar Elgar Publishing in May 2012.
“Peter Tichauer; Perspektivenwechsel” (2015) OWC
“The Dark Side of China’s Economic Rise” in "Europe and the World: Global Insecurity and Power Shifts; Helmut K. Anheier and Robert Falkner (eds.); (2017) University of Durham and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd


Assistant Chief Executive, Data Innovation and Protection Group, Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore; Deputy Commissioner, Personal Data Protection Commission, Singapore

Yeong Zee Kin is a Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) lawyer. Prior to taking up his present appointment as Assistant Chief Executive (Personal Data Protection Commission) of the Infocomm Media Development Authority, and Deputy Commissioner of the Personal Data Protection Commission, he was Senior State Counsel and Director of Technology Law in the Civil Division of the Attorney-General’s Chambers and held a concurrent appointment as Senior Director (Special Projects) in the Legal Services department of the Ministry of Communications and Information. He was also legal advisor to the Smart Nation Programme Office and the Cyber Security Agency.

Before this, he was Senior Assistant Registrar and CIO cum CDO of the Supreme Court of Singapore. During his time in the Supreme Court, his administrative responsibilities included (at various times) the management of its registry, statistics unit and CISD. He managed the Supreme Court's Shipping, Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Employment lists. He developed specialised procedures for managing IP cases, eventually collating them and issuing the Supreme Court IP Court Guide. He continues to be engaged in procedural law reform as a member of the Ministry of Law’s IP Dispute Resolution Framework Review Committee and the Supreme Court’s Civil Justice Commission.

Zee Kin was instrumental in maintaining Singapore's leadership in court technology in electronic filing and introducing online case files. During his time in the Supreme Court, he saw through mid-life enhancements to its first generation Electronic Filing System and managed the development and transition to the current eLitigation system. Additionally, he pushed the boundaries of electronic discovery through the issuance of the Electronic Discovery Practice Directions in 2009 and its revision in 2012, and authoring a number of early decisions in this area. He was also passionate about promoting the use of technology to manage electronic evidence pre-trial and to present electronic evidence during hearings. He implemented the paper-less hearing system in the Court of Appeal and pushed out revisions to the Supreme Court Practice Directions to permit the use of presentation slides for oral submissions. He received the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2014.

In the area of legal technology, Zee Kin plays an active role in the exploitation of ICT by the legal profession for over a decade. He has been involved in all upgrades to LawNet, the profession’s online legal research portal. He is currently a member of the Singapore Academy of Law’s Legal Technology Cluster Committee and chair of its Pleadings Selection Committee. He is also active in the promotion of legal education in the area of TMT law. Apart from speaking and publishing in this area, he is a member of the Academy’s Technology Law Conference Series core team, the planning committee member managing the programme for both its 2011 and 2015 conferences and the editor of the conference publication. He received the Academy’s Merit Award in 2013.

He was formerly a partner in Rajah & Tann LLP's iTec (intellectual property, technology, entertainment and communications) practice group and was previously seconded to the Singapore Academy of Law as Assistant Director of LawNet. He commenced his career as Deputy Public Prosecutor and State Counsel with Criminal Justice Division of the Attorney-General's Chambers where he prosecuted a wide range of offences, including computer and white collar crimes.