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Welcome Address By Professor Cheong Hee Kiat At The Global Inclusive Blockchain Conference

Welcome Address By Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President, Singapore University Of Social Sciences (SUSS), At The Global Inclusive Blockchain Conference On Tue, April 17, 2018, 9.00 a.m., The Performing Arts Theatre, SUSS

Distinguished guests, colleagues, partners, ladies and gentlemen;

  1. Good morning and a warm welcome to the Global Inclusive Blockchain Conference.
About the conference

  1. This bilingual conference has received very strong support - from six industry sponsors and 15 partners, including U SME, Singapore’s National Trades Union Congress' unit for small and medium-sized enterprises, and our friends from Britain and China, as well as the media.
  1. We are happy to be building this strong connection in key parties interested in Blockchain. Creating such connections with the industry, so that we can serve as a bridge for industry experts to share their insights with our students, is in the DNA of ​SUSS. This conference could not have come at a better time, given the huge global interest and excitement over blockchain of late.
Blockchain and SUSS

  1. SUSS already has a thriving Fintech & Blockchain community, which was formally established in 2016. Since its inception, the community has grown in scale and depth, facilitating numerous exchanges between industry practitioners, our faculty and our undergraduates, both full-time and part-time.
  1. In line with SUSS’ mission of providing lifelong learning, the short courses offered by our FinTech & Blockchain community are designed not only for our students, but also members of public.
  1. Let me mention two SUSS students who have benefited from such opportunities.
  1. Eugene Tan is a Year 3 full-time undergraduate reading his Marketing major and a minor in Analytics. Out of curiosity, he signed up for a programming workshop offered by our FinTech & Blockchain community. After learning the basics about crypto-currency and blockchain, he participated in more conferences, seminars, and workshops. He started his internship with a Singapore company two months ago and is now working on an initial coin offering (ICO) project.
  1. Then, there is Edwan Chiam, an SUSS alumnus from our part-time programme, who is interested in blockchain and has attended many short courses offered by our FinTech & Blockchain community. He was subsequently engaged in one of the community’s projects and earned an opportunity to work as a Business Analyst for Sentinel Chain, a B2B market place that provides financial services to the unbanked around the world. When Sentinel Chain was compromised during its ICO process, Edwan played an instrumental role in diffusing the crisis with his technical skills. He is now a trusted member of the organisation.
  1. Both Eugene and Edwan will speak in the panel discussion featuring young influencers from SUSS on Day 2 of the conference. Do come for their sessions, give them your encouragement and crowd wisdom, and I think Eugene and Edwan, and other SUSS undergraduates and alumni like them, will have plenty to share on the subject of blockchain with the audience.
  1. Why is SUSS in this? New technologies, new systems, new work practices and paradigms are confronting us relentlessly, almost assaulting us, our public agencies, businesses, society and the individual. Institutions like SUSS need to keep abreast of developments, curate new information and applications, build new communities of practice, like this FinTech & Blockchain community, and disseminate information and training to prepare our communities for the future. In particular, as an applied university, we give priority to directing our effort at enhancing student learning and their preparation to be effective in their present and future workplaces and social settings.
  1. This focus and preoccupation at SUSS tie in nicely with our university’s mission to equip learners with the skills to serve society through lifelong education, and our education philosophy centred on the 3Hs – Head, Heart and Habit.
  1. Through platforms such as Global Inclusive Blockchain Conference, we are cultivating the third “H” or “Habit” — that is the habit to network, learn and exchange among us. There’s also the second “H” – Heart, or social conscience. What struck me about many individuals in the worldwide blockchain community, some of whom I’ve met, is their intense interest in the technology, their modesty about the strides they are making and, most gratifyingly, their desire to contribute for the good of the wider community. Many of them have their hearts in the right places, eager to bring some positive change to the world. We can do with more of such, in many areas affecting human livelihood and well-being.
  1. Probably, many here today are the converted or are the knowledgeable. Some out there look at cryptocurrency as means to get rich quick. Speculation can negate some of the good you are trying to achieve. Others may not see the many uses of blockchain, or put it to dishonest use. The challenge is for this community here to explain well and get people, even the ordinary people, to understand better and to put this technology to good use.

  1. Friends and colleagues, I wish all of you two instructive and delightful days of enriching networking and exchange. Let us have the habit and humility to learn from the “giants” at the conference. And last but not least — the heart to build on their lessons that will make a difference to our society!

Thank you.

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