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Welcome Remarks by Prof Tan Tai Yong at SUSS-UOB-SMF Global Leadership Symposium

Mr Ian Wong, Managing Director and Head of Group International Management, UOB

Mr Lennon Tan, President, Singapore Manufacturing Federation and Group Chairman, ADERA Global Pte Ltd

Distinguished guests, colleagues, friends.

Good morning, and welcome to the SUSS-UOB-SMF Global Leadership Symposium. We are delighted to have you with us this morning.

2        We are also very privileged to have world-renowned leadership expert, executive coach, and best-selling author Dr Marshall Goldsmith here with us this morning. This event would not have been possible without the generous support of our partners, United Overseas Bank and the Singapore Manufacturing Federation, and their partners.

3        Together, we are embarking on the first step of an exciting journey that seeks to cultivate critical leadership skills among students, executives, and industry professionals. Our goal is to nurture a new generation of local leaders poised to make a global impact while championing the cause of social good.

4        The theme of today’s symposium is ‘Engaging, Enabling, Empowering Talents and Organisations for New Times’. Indeed, in today's fast-paced world characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA), there is a need to empower talents capable of leading us in navigating these challenges.

5        Leadership skills are the bedrock of individual and institutional success. The rise of artificial intelligence only accentuates the significance of these skills. In the face of global and local disruptions, leaders must be able to inspire, motivate, adapt to unpredictable change, and steer a course towards desired outcomes.

6        At SUSS, we pride ourselves on fostering lifelong learning and transforming society through applied social sciences. Our mission revolves around creating enriching lifelong learning experiences driven by a genuine passion for community.

7        Leadership skills are pivotal to this purpose as they enable us to harness the full potential of our human capital and leverage the capabilities of AI to innovate for excellence and generate solutions that mitigate potential risks and improve lives.

8        Leaders must find the delicate balance between managing people and machines to succeed in this endeavour. Human qualities like humility, empathy, agility, and ethical judgment set leaders apart from machines and artificial intelligence. These traits are essential for fostering collaboration, inclusivity, and a shared sense of purpose within our workplaces and communities.

9        Additionally, leaders must harness the power of machines to unravel the complexities of our world. Through this human-machine collaboration, leaders can instil organisational agility, resilience, and determination, guiding us towards a future where humans and machines can work productively together to deliver results that neither could achieve independently.

10      To help leaders achieve their full potential, SUSS offers diverse leadership and management courses for professionals and executives. Our hands-on programmes, like the Master of Management, deliver practical insights into real-world leadership challenges. They can also be tailored for different specialisations, such as Aviation Management, which we co-developed with the Singapore Flying College under the Singapore Airlines Group, to strengthen their employees’ capabilities.

11      Moreover, our customisable executive CET programmes, like the Enterprise Leadership for Transformation (ELT), connect participants with peers, fostering valuable insights and business adaptation, as well as essential mentoring and practical skills for entrepreneurial success.

12      Developing leadership skills is an ongoing, lifelong process, and it's never too early to start. Besides courses and programmes, SUSS offers numerous leadership opportunities to nurture and develop our undergraduate students. From local programmes, which include service learning, work attachments, entrepreneurship initiatives, student advocacy and interest groups, to global experiences such as immersion learning and international internships, we provide diverse experiential learning platforms to engage, enable and empower our students to lead and create social impact locally and globally.

13      We have witnessed countless success stories in our coaching programmes for our student leaders. One example is Ms. Abigail Wong Chun Qian, a part-time Sociology undergraduate and the President of our Current Affairs Interest Group. She attributes her growth and development to the guidance of an alum mentor, Ms Paulna Tan, who helped hone her decision-making and leadership skills by learning from fellow student leaders.

14      Today, we eagerly anticipate an enriching learning experience with Dr Goldsmith and a distinguished panel of industry experts who will share their invaluable insights on global leadership. As a university deeply committed to creating social impact, this symposium aims to spark ideas and foster exchanges that will empower talents and organisations to navigate the challenging times ahead.

15      Thank you for joining us on this exciting journey of leadership development, and we look forward to the transformative impact we can collectively make.

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