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Asia Corporate Leadership Council

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The Asia Corporate Leadership Council works to define, exemplify and promote best practices in corporate purpose for Asia by building future fluency and stewardship competencies on issues central to the flourishing of business and society. It comprises a select group of senior-most leaders of western MNCs in Asia, regional corporates, SGX Boards, and major family offices. Via vanguard research and deep interaction with experts and among members, the Asia Corporate Leadership Council is designed to deliver the fact base, planning insights and execution knowhow required for companies to successfully advance their corporate purpose performance in Asia.

The Asia Corporate Leadership Council brings together the combined capabilities of The Conference Board, Inside Asia Advisors and The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) to offer the unique combination of expertise and resources needed to accomplish the ambitious remit of this Council.

 

Meeting Calendar:

Council Meeting

Thursday, October 8, 2020

8:30am-11:00am

Alchemy Dialogue

Thursday, November 12, 2020

6:30pm-8:00pm … *

Council Meeting

Thursday, December 10, 2020

8:30am-11:00am

Alchemy Dialogue

Thursday, January 14, 2021

6:30pm-8:00pm …

Council Meeting

Thursday, February 16, 2021

8:30am-11:00am

Alchemy Dialogue

Monday, March 8 and 15, 2021

6:30pm-9:00pm …

Council Meeting

Thursday, April 8, 2021

8:30am-11:00am

Alchemy Dialogue

Thursday, May 13, 2021

6:30pm-8:00pm …

Council Meeting

Thursday, June 10, 2021

8:30am-11:00am

 *Alchemy Dialogues feature informal follow-on conversation. 

  • Alltech China
  • Bank of Singapore Ltd
  • Banyan Tree Holdings Limited
  • Citi
  • Corteva Agriscience
  • Deloitte Asia Pacific
  • Esquel Group of Companies
  • HP Greater Asia
  • HSBC Private Bank (Singapore)
  • International SOS Pte Ltd Singapore
  • Jardine Cycle & Carriage Limited
  • Linde Gas Asia Pte. Ltd
  • MasterCard Asia Pacific Pte Ltd
  • National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre
  • RGE Pte Ltd
  • SWIFT
  • Unilever Asia Pte. Ltd.

The program comprises four components:

 

1.   COUNCIL CONVENINGS

 

A.   Formal Bi-Monthly Council Meetings (*virtual, hybrid or in-person – TBD)

 

Six, 2- to 3-hour, Council meetings per year featuring: research briefings; expert panels; facilitated round-robin and break-out discussions; and member case studies and peer-assist exercises. Meetings will focus on dimensioning key components of the “purpose-driven” agenda across stakeholder groups that include, but are not limited to:

 

  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Partners/Suppliers
  • Communities
  • Government
  • Environment
  • Shareholders

 

Across these different stakeholder groups, a confluence of fast-moving developments is threatening to upend traditional corporate operating models. These developments include, for example: the digitalization of everything, yawning inequality, public health failures, deglobalization, the rise of populism, unprecedented financialization, and the widespread reassessment long-standing economic, political, and institutional consensuses.  Each stakeholder group, accordingly, is faced with a new set of challenges. 

The Council will work on behalf of its members to illuminate key developments and identify blind spots, which, if inadequately explored, could undermine an organization’s ability to successfully adapt to new market conditions and stakeholder expectations.

Each event will include: a short collation pre-reading/pre-listening material; a succinct, post-event Insights Summary, and a short-list of important additional reference materials and resources.

Council meetings will be held under Chatham House Rules. 

Council discussion will be guided by the critical and objective facilitation of Council Program Directors, and will typically drive toward answering one or two, high-priority focal questions each session.

 

B.    Informal Quarterly “Alchemy” Dialogues (*virtual, hybrid or in-person - TBD)

 

Alchemy Dialogues willy bring together Council members, thought leaders and special guests for unique and immersive conversations that expand member mindfulness about the behavioral, societal, and civilizational issues that are shaping the corporate purpose playing field. 

“These four discussions will be to the “right brain” (creative, artistic) what the formal six Council meetings are to the “left brain” (analytical, methodical). Topics might include, for example:

 

  • Diversity’s Role in Innovation Process
  • The Film Industry and The Power of Story Telling
  • Finding Meaning in the Modern World and The Hero’s Journey
  • Social Media and the Principals of Behavioral Science
  • Leadership, Vulnerability and Neuroscience
  • Ecofeminism and the New Environmental Movement

 

A quick overview of the topic will be followed with a discussion-in-the-round format, encouraging real-time engagement (versus more formal Q&A). Chatham House Rules will apply.

 

2.   RESEARCH and THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

 

Bespoke to the ACLC… 

Corporate Purpose Assessment: A 60- to 90-minute, one-on-one Corporate Purpose Assessment to help you identify and remedy the key gaps in your corporate purpose agenda. Our Program Director will walk you through a structured preparedness assessment and provide you with qualified feedback within the first two months of your joining the Council.

 

The Future Fluent Brief: A bi-monthly compendium of thought leadership, news, and resources to keep Council members abreast of leading-edge developments in the corporate purpose space. The brief will provide a synthesis of notable scholarship, research reports and media pieces on the topic of corporate purpose and distill out key insights for quick learning by Members.

 

Annual Research Project(s): (see reference research agenda)

The ACLC program comprises a dedicated primary research program designed to:

  • Illuminate key corporate purpose imperatives, issues, and challenges.
  • Identify tools and methods for, and pathways to, corporate purpose excellence.
  • Factually inform the public dialogue on the topic of corporate purpose.  

 

Preferential Access for ACLC Members…

TCB.org Access: ACLC Members will get access to the all the global research and data resources of The Conference Board via TCB.org. Membership in the Council included three TCB.org accesses, one for you and two for your specified designates (www.tcb.org).

 

CCL Research: ACLC Members will get access to the all the global research and data resources of The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), through the www.ccl.org website.

 

Inside Asia Advisors: Access to IA’s extensive network of Asia experts and insiders convened through bespoke roundtable gatherings, weekly podcasts, and Inside Asia Newsletter analysis and resources for further reading/listening. Available at www.insideasiaadvisors.com.

 

Members will guide the research agenda. Projects will be organized to produce a sequence of modular deliverables for member engagement and “actioning”.

 

3.   PUBLIC OUTREACH

 

The Council will undertake programmatic Public Relations, both via traditional channels and social media, to promote the awareness and prominence of the Council. Members will have the opportunity to feature in these activities on a voluntary basis.   

Year 1 will feature at least two public domain engagements – e.g. press conference or public webcast, etc. – designed to showcase and promote Council ideas to stakeholders and the public. 

As described above, beachhead research projects will feature publicity and dissemination campaigns to promote the good ideas of the Council. Council research and insight material will be appropriately sanitized for public domain use.

 

4.    CALL-TO-ACTION

 

It is proposed that the Council group, or a subset thereof, commit to some coordinated projects in service of selected stakeholders in Asia that exemplify corporate purpose in action.

Through group and individual meetings, project ideas will be discussed and shortlisted for group consideration. Working with participating members, the Council team will develop action plans and provide coordination support and project management.

The Asia Corporate Leadership Council (ACLC) is strategic, agenda-driven, and research-led. It features a continuous primary research and thought leadership program designed to:

 

  • Illuminate key corporate purpose imperatives, issues, and challenges.
  • Identify tools and methods for, and pathways to, corporate purpose excellence.
  • Pinpoint disruptive forces for business as they relate to developments and changes in technology, economics, sociology, the environment, biological science, and other factors.
  • Examine the critical shifts in leadership methods and practices to adapt to these changes.
  • Factually inform the public dialogue on the topics of Corporate Purpose and responsible business.

 

The thought leadership program is comprised of two parts.

 

I. CORPORATE PURPOSE trends, practices, and methods

A.   Situation Assessment – The State of Corporate Purpose in Asia

Objectives: Benchmark the status corporate purpose activity and trends in Singapore and Southeast Asia.  Compare corporate purpose maturity in Asia with global best practice. Identify key gaps and opportunities for accelerated progress.

Methodology: Structured depth interviews with C-suite; review of corporate reporting information and investor analyses; comprehensive literature review. 

Scope: The project will establish:

  • Current frameworks, definitions, and principles on corporate purpose.
  • The status, adoption, and communication activity on corporate purpose in Asia, and how it varies across    organization type, ownership, industry, country, etc.
  • Focal areas – stakeholder groups, regions/locations, issue areas.
  • What ‘good’ looks like (examples, caselets, etc.), key areas for improvement.
  • Drivers of change – stakeholder expectations, regulations, governance requirements, activism.
  • Impact of the current COVID disruptions, and how it may precipitate change in corporate purpose focus and activity.

The project will be organized to produce a sequence of modular deliverables for member engagement and “actioning”.                                              

Getting from Now to Next – Planning and Implementing the Corporate Purpose Journey

From this beachhead situational understanding, Council research will turn to focus on identifying the implementation pathways to corporate purpose excellence in the future. Envisaged follow-on projects might include:

  • Corporate Purpose Measurables – State-of-Corporate Purpose evaluations of member companies. Data commons and benchmarking tools.
  • Purpose-Driven Leadership – Leadership and management practices, tools, and methods.
  • Addressing the Practical Challenges – How can companies transform from legacy, profit-driven businesses into new-age purpose-driven organizations? Solutions to hard problems and contradictions. Roadmaps, methods, and timeframes.

 

B.    Corporate Purpose Monitor

AI-based data collection and big data analytical tools will be used to produce a bespoke Asia Purpose-Driven Monitor that identifies, tracks, and qualifies key drivers in the rapidly emerging purpose-driven eco-system.

The monitor will track, aggregate, and trendline incidences of corporate purpose-related events and commentary in the public domain – positive and negative – by consumers, investors, corporates, and governments/regulators.

Internally, the Monitor will provide members with early warning on key risks and opportunities. Externally, it will provide a prominent measure of corporate purpose progress and failure in the region.

 

II. FUTURE FLUENCY

The ACLC research team will synthesize intellectual debate and distil key facts, ideas, and insights on controversial future issues to improve member understanding and identify looming corporate leadership hazards and opportunities. Key scholars and thought leaders will feature as expert speakers at Council events.

 

Illustrative Future Issues

 

  • Ethical AI – What is the state-of-play in AI for business? What advancements should members expect and when? What potential ethical and control issues do these advancements pose, e.g. data privacy, individual agency, consumer persuasion, algorithmic transparency, etc.?
  • Disinformation – In the midst of growing concerns relating to data propriety, fake news, and the weaponization of information, where and how can business step in to steward best practices in data privacy, information integrity, and civil discourse?
  • 5G – Amidst astonishing hype, both positive and negative, just how transformational will 5G be to work and life, and within what timeframe? What possible 5G upsides and downsides should business plan and prepare for?
  • Inequality – Across many dimensions, inequality is on a sharp rise – wealth, education, digital enablement, public health, opportunity access, etc. COVID damage stands to greatly accelerate inequality dynamics, and the risks of extreme inequality and utter dislocation between the haves and have-nots are clear and present. How can business step in to address inequality issues and strengthen social cohesion?
  • The Reimagined Workplace –New and unforeseen challenges specific to attracting, retaining, and engaging employees are now amplified by a global health crisis that requires fast-track migration to new modes of virtual people management and workplace. What does this mean for corporate culture, workforce cohesion, and employee engagement and productivity?
  • Climate Change – While “sustainability” to date has been primarily associated with environmental stewardship, it also speaks to the inadequacies of the current corporate business model. Employing circular systems to minimize resource inputs and reduce waste, pollution, and carbon emissions is simply good business. How far are Asia-based businesses prepared to go in deploying circular system innovations?
  • Automation and Jobs – Automation trends portend to obsolete many jobs in the coming years, especially so in developing countries with the least skilled workforces. What role should business play in skills development for the future economy?

 

A key premise of the Council is that business will need to help governments see over the horizon on these complex and difficult issues. An important component of Council research and discussion will therefore be to identify opportunities and means for business to effectively shape and support productive and successful – and “forward thinking” – public policy.

 

CEOs, Chairmen/women and Executive Directors of multinational companies in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Steve Stine

Steve Stine

Program Director, Asia Corporate Leadership Council of Singapore
The Conference Board
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