SPEAKERS

Be ready to be inspired by thought leaders and champions in youth and education advocacy. Through their sharing and discussions comes actionable solutions for a future-ready society.

DR. MASZLEE MALIK

DR. MASZLEE MALIK

Dr. Maszlee bin Malik is a Malaysian politician who served as the Minister of Education in the Pakatan Harapan administration under former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad from May 2018 to January 2020. He has served as the Member of Parliament for Simpang Renggam since May 2018.

He was an Assistant Professor at the International Islamic University Malaysia (2011-2018) and a humanitarian and social activist before he joined politics just before the 14th GE.

His belief that education should be inclusive and empowering is manifested in the policies formulated during his tenure as Minister of Education. This is consistent with what he advocated as an academician and social activist prior to joining politics.

His upcoming book "Memori Bukan Memoir" will be a must-read; shedding light on his 20 months as the Minister of Education.

RASHVIN PAL SINGH

RASHVIN PAL SINGH

Rashvin is the Group CEO of Biji-biji Initiative and Me.reka, which is one of Malaysia's pioneering and award-winning Social Enterprises. Biji-biji Initiative champions sustainability through implementing Circular Economy Solutions and its Ethical Fashion line. Me.reka is an ed-tech social enterprise that focuses on developing talents for the future industries, through digital skills and technology. In 2018, Me.reka completed its equity crowdfunding round to raise RM1.6m from 121 unique investors through PitchIn. Me.reka operates a 12,000 sq feet Makerspace in Publika, Kuala Lumpur, and another with Taylor's University called Taylor's Me.reka Makerspace.

Rashvin plays a regular role in global programs and speaking engagements, he was a panel speaker at the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) in 2020 and 2021, Asian Financial Forum 2021, and was selected as an Obama Leader in the Asia Pacific inaugural cohort.

Quek Sue Yian

QUEK SUE YIAN

Quek Sue Yian is the Executive Director of Hong Leong Foundation (HLF), and part of the management team at the Hong Leong Group. She and the team at HLF spearhead their efforts to advance education and community development in Malaysia through their scholarship program, the ROAR Skills program and are also founding members of the Malaysian Collective Impact Initiative. Beyond her work at HLF, she is also the Founder and Director of Magicbird Publishing, which produces authentic Malaysian children's literature, as well as Co-Founder of Surin Academy, an inclusive school, Co-Founder of Anyaman Preschool and Co-Founder of Power of Play, a child centred play and expressive therapeutic space.

She is a Law graduate from Brunel University London and holds an MSc from the University of Birmingham for Poverty Alleviation and Development. She has also attained a Diploma in Child Psychology and Learning Disorders and trained under Play Therapist UK regulations whereby she conducts therapeutic play sessions under a newly -formed business called Pop! Or Power of Play.

PALVINDER SINGH

DR. PALVINDER SINGH

Dr.Palvinder Singh is the CEO of S.T.I College (S.T.I.C), one of Malaysia’s innovative and industry-driven skills college. Started a decade ago, he brought in international skill education elements from Germany & Australia to innovate the local skills industry, with his firm believe that skills education must be transformed to be future-proof. A medical doctor (MD) by training, his passion for education embarked him into the journey of creating a level playing field for individuals of all socio-economic background; a firm advocate in the power of education - he believes ‘It only takes One Educated child, to change the fortunes and future of a family‘.

Through the innovative partnership with Hong Leong Foundation (HLF) & ME.REKA, STIC has collaborated on creating a new class of graduates who will be trained in Skills and Digital Skills, making them the first of its kind skills graduates who is multi skilled and IR 4.0 ready. As serial entrepreneur, he successfully runs multiple companies, from e-commerce, to manufacturing, green-energy, and training.

CHE PUAN SARIMAH IBRAHIM

CHE PUAN
SARIMAH IBRAHIM

Che Puan Sarimah is an award winning TV host, actress and professional emcee who is well known and loved by Malaysians for the past 23 years.

Educated with a Psychology background, however she started her career hosting on The Disney Channel In 1998 and then went on to host numerous TV Shows including the Asian version of the global hit TV show aired on the Hallmark Channel -“ The Biggest Loser Asia” aired regionally across Asia. She has also hosted her own TV Talk Show “The Sarimah Show” and has graced the cover of “Readers Digest Asia” magazine.

She is very well known as an outspoken celebrity mental health advocate and has recently been appointed the Patron of MIASA (Mental Illness Awareness and Support Association) Malaysia.

Currently living in KL, she is busy investing and developing both mental health and special needs education businesses in Malaysia in order to support Malaysians who are in need.


TS. ZAINAB BT AHMAD

TS. ZAINAB BT AHMAD

Patrick is an author, speaker and virtual business consultant. He co-founded Block Ten Strategy, a company that helps businesses build and operate virtual teams and build strong cultures in a remote setup. He is also the Chief People Officer of Team Positive Inc, an e-commerce business in the financial education space, overseeing company culture and employee happiness and wellness for the organization.

Patrick is the author of “Break: Conquering Burnout with Sabbath Rest,” and host of “Hustle Muscle,” a podcast that aims to help professionals escape burnout and experience growth in their careers.

Overall, Patrick’s goal is to help organizations build engaging work environments that foster passion, purpose, and productivity.

COSTAS SOTIDIS

CON SOTIDIS

Con Sotidis is Social Media strategist supporting small business, entrepreneurs and job seekers establish an effective brand on LinkedIn and coaching his clients to leverage their brand to gain new connections, clients and increased sales.

Con's business development and account management experience saw him be one of the leading salespeople in his industry and he is now sharing this experience with others via his digital marketing and social selling training and webinar solutions, via his Social Selling Warrior brand.

He is an award-winning Director of Learning, and highly sought-after host, speaker and commentator for many events, as well as been judged as the No. 1 blog to follow in the Top 15 International HR Blogs for 2015.

He was awarded an Australia Day medal in 2000 for his services to the public sector.


CRAIG LANGLEY

CRAIG LANGLEY

Craig is a 50 year old Welshman living in England for the last 30 years. At heart, he is an engineer and have a Software Degree and a Diploma in Marketing and have spent his career working in International Business Development since 1993.

Over the years, he has built 4 technology companies and started his current company 10 years ago doing Automotive Business Development in Europe and the US. Been on LinkedIn since 2007 and have been a Sales Navigator user for 5 years. He loves explaining complex technical products in a simple way and training people on how to get the most from LinkedIn and Sales Navigator.

At home, he is a dad of 5 and can be found on the golf course in his spare time, or watching a James Bond movie.


JOSEPH FRIDNER

JOSEPH FRIDNER

Joseph Fridner is passionate about education that gives students a tangible skillset for the future, especially regarding soft skills like innovation, entrepreneurship, and cultural understanding. He has the last year initiated multiple projects in the domain such as Sprint Forward, which was a project that gave 14 university students from 8 different countries the experience of Google ventures virtual Design sprint. Another example is the Course “The Global village: Entrepreneurship” he created for “Stenbackeskolan”, a K-9 school in Sweden. The course gave 5 students from Sweden and Kenya the opportunity to work in virtual teams with each other guided by entrepreneurs from Hong Kong, Germany, and Pakistan.

He is now moving to Hong Kong to intern at the Swedish Chamber of Commerce and also to work at a local mental health Startup Called “Care Bear”. His long-term vision is to be a part of building social ecosystems with the purpose to grow and scale impact Startups, especially in the educational sector


SERENA LEE

SERENA LEE

Serena Lee is the founder & CEO of Care Bear with a background in psychology and counselling. On top of her role in research and clinical work, her passion in social innovation and human-centric design led her to found Care Bear, a mental health startup and social enterprise based in Hong Kong, incorporating technology and the human touch to build peer-support and resilience among youth with depression.

As a Gen Z “Zoomer”, Serena believes in driving collective impact for sustainability. Highly involved in mental health and human rights advocacy, she acts as a catalyst of change through mediums like TED Circles and A Series of Definitions on Clubhouse where vulnerability is a strength and stigma is discussed. Honing a “glocal” mindset has also brought her work in psychology onto the global stage as a presenter at the American Psychological Association Convention 2020 and membership at the International Association for Youth Mental Health, and opened doors to collaborative community projects internationally. In her free time, she is an avid reader, baker and explorer of new experiences.


GABRIEL EKMAN

GABRIEL EKMAN

Gabriel Ekman is co-founder and CEO of BAG Innovation. He previously ran several successful startups and has strong experience in project management. He holds a BA in Project Management and several advanced certificates in areas such as organizational management, design thinking, sales and innovation management. Gabriel leads the growth department at BAG and serves as a Board Member for the StArfrica Project in Rwanda, helping entrepreneurs establish their business in East Africa.

Previously, Gabriel established 2 entrepreneurship schools in Rwanda and several more in the East Africa region, which supports the bottom of the line communities with practical business tools. Gabriel has consulted with 50+ companies in East Africa and created one of the first team- building games in Rwanda, The Coach Cards. He is also the founder and business coach for the LOOP Accelerator Rwanda.


TYLER CHIN

TYLER CHIN

Tyler became a recruiter in 2018 after he contracted eye complications and could not continue his career in ghostwriting. Starting as an intern, he quickly climbed his way up to Strategy & Development Manager of a recruitment agency in less than 2 years. Tyler was also elected as the Head of Corporate Communications for the Recruiters Association Malaysia.

This was largely due to his unique style of interviewing which combined a mix of behavioural and conversational interviewing techniques to allow him to get to the root of a candidate's value system within 1 hour. Tyler now runs his own startup, Transform Cultures to help companies improve their hiring accuracy while providing the best possible candidate experience.


DR. SUMITRA NAIR

DR. SUMITRA NAIR

Sumitra is Vice President & Head of Digital Skills and Jobs at Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). She leads MDEC’s digital talent development and inclusion initiatives. To-date her work has impacted more than 2 million Malaysians via digital skills and income opportunities.

She also serves as Adjunct Faculty at the Monash University School of Business and Economics. Her past roles include leadership and advisory positions in corporate responsibility and sustainability portfolios at DiGi Telecommunications and Telenor ASA (Norway).

Sumitra holds a PhD in Business & Economics from Monash University Malaysia, a Graduate Diploma in Accounting and Finance from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), an Executive Management Certificate in International Marketing from INSEAD University, as well as a Bachelor of Economics with Honours from University Malaya. Her most important role is being a mother to two digital natives.


MONICA CHAN

MONICA CHAN

Monica is the cofounder of CareerContact, an edtech startup that focuses on youths' digital skill development in Southeast Asia. CareerContact connects high school students to small enterprises around Southeast Asia to work on meaningful projects in user experience, web development and digital marketing. Monica is also a doctoral candidate at Columbia University (Teachers College), where she studies Education Technology. Her previous work experience includes UX research at global tech firms such as Uber and Microsoft, and data science and research at American edtech firms Amplify Education and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


RAMACHANDRAN MUNIANDY

RAMACHANDRAN MUNIANDY

Ram is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Asia Mobiliti, a mobility tech startup with the mission to improve transportation and mobility in Southeast Asia. The early years of Ram's career placed him in high-technlogy industries as a software and systems engineer in the field of bioinformatics, neural networks and satelite communications. He pursued entrepreneurship with business of his own, among which are a business intelligence solutions provider for SMEs and a start-up that successfully prototyped a real-time crowd-sourced road traffic prediction system in 2009.

Ram is a founding member and served for two years on the senior leadership team of a global non-profit organization, Kingdomcity that builds local communities and invest in outreach missions to 3rd-world countries. Recently selected as Digerati50 - The Ones Who Will Help Shape Malaysia's Digital Economy in 2020/2021 by Digital News Asia, he also serves on the board of several promising startups, namely as a Non-executive Chairman of Regov Technologies, a blockchain and AI startup, and founding partner of Cyclestate, an eSports agency. He also serves on the Tech Advisory Panel of Sri KDU International School, Klang. Ram holds a degree in Computing from the University of Lincoln, UK. He is married with 2 beautiful daughters, ages 10 and 8.


TS. DR. CHUA WEN-SHYAN

TS. DR. CHUA WEN-SHYAN

Dr. Chua Wen-Shyan is currently the Head of Malaysian Smart Factory 4.0 under the Selangor Human Resource Development Centre (SHRDC). He obtained his Ph.D. in Control Systems Engineering and B.Eng. in Mechatronics Engineering from Monash University Malaysia. His key area of expertise lies mainly in the area of Control and Automation Systems, Fault Detection and Identification (FDI), and Predictive Maintenance Strategies; which are widely used in Industry 4.0 applications. He is also appointed by the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) in collaboration with the Machinery and Equipment Productivity Nexus (MEPN) as one of the mentors (advisors) for the PRODUCTIVITY1010 initiative to support the industries in their journey towards digital transformation. As the Head of Malaysian Smart Factory 4.0, Dr. Chua and his team are focused in delivering high impact talent development programs to accelerate the growth of local talents who would be the workforce in supporting the growth of Industry 4.0. The programs developed by his team at the Malaysian Smart Factory 4.0 are also able to support the industries and community towards achieving sustainable digital transformation through high impact talent development strategies.


CHEVONNE HASSAN

CHEVONNE HASSAN

Chevonne is a passionate life coach, speaker, and mental health advocate. She focuses on creating safe spaces for people to share from their experiences with a passion for women’s health. Chevonne has held management roles specialising in high-performance development and coaching across entire organisations, all while challenging the status quo.

By bridging people in the workplace to encourage culture, values, and safety between Employers and Employees, Chevonne loves assisting organisations in growing the right way for long-term stability and sustainability.

With 19 years of experience in the Asia Pacific market, Chevonne’s unique offering provides a safe pair of hands to consult your organisation in a convenient, flexible manner.


PATRICK MABILOG

PATRICK MABILOG

Patrick is an author, speaker and virtual business consultant. He co-founded Block Ten Strategy, a company that helps businesses build and operate virtual teams and build strong cultures in a remote setup. He is also the Chief People Officer of Team Positive Inc, an e-commerce business in the financial education space, overseeing company culture and employee happiness and wellness for the organization.

Patrick is the author of “Break: Conquering Burnout with Sabbath Rest,” and host of “Hustle Muscle,” a podcast that aims to help professionals escape burnout and experience growth in their careers.

Overall, Patrick’s goal is to help organizations build engaging work environments that foster passion, purpose, and productivity.


FELIPE CONFINO

FELIPE COFIÑO

Felipe G. Cofiño has 25+ years experience as a Human Resource & Learning Development Executive with degrees in Finance and Human Resources. He has worked in Hospitality & Tourism for Hyatt Hotels Worldwide and most recently has spent the last 10 years in the Banking and Finance industry in the Washington D.C. Maryland, Virginia area.

He is skilled in recruiting, workplace culture, training, as well as career, executive and LinkedIn coaching. Ultimately assisting others with their career journey.

He is a proud 1st generation Latino-American. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife of 25 years, daughter, son and foster son. In addition to his mother and niece that also live in Casa Cofiño. Extracurricular activities include photography, camping, reading, watching movies (Sci-Fi fan), music and exercising with his dogs.


RIE EICHMANN

RIE EICHMANN

Rie Eichmann is an intercultural communication trainer and global skills coach who is passionate about teaching “a global mindset” to professionals and students alike.

Rie has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and a Masters in Business Administration.

Rie collaborates with Hokusei Gakuen University in Hokkaido, Japan, to run a global skills program which is aimed at challenging students to think about how their skills and passion can be applied to be competitive in the international arena.

Rie’s passion is to train up the next generation to think outside their city, or country, and give them the confidence and skills to take their career across the globe. Whether it is travelling abroad for study or work, or working remotely in other countries the way she does. Rie wants to give everyone the determination, skills and resilience needed to stretch beyond their comfort zone, dream bigger dreams and achieve more than they thought possible.


RIE EICHMANN

VANDANA SHARMA

Major Vandana Sharma is a woman leader, entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, HR industry leader, career coach and an ex military officer from the Indian Army. Vandana’s Military contribution to the Kargil War of 1999 have been recorded and commended in the Military History of Army Ordnance Corps.

Vandana was the Linkedin Top Voice, India for 2019. She is a multiple award winning woman entrepreneur and has twenty four years of diverse experience across multiple sectors. Her Startup STREE was recognised as one of Top 10 women startups 2020 by Women entrepreneur Magazine, India. Vandana mentors a lot of young Indian startup founders on building effective organisations and driving a more productive environment and culture within constraint environments.

The sheer diversity of roles and her undaunted spirit demonstrated by taking up first time/ high risk projects across Industries has helped shape her personality as a brilliant Human Resource Leader. Vandana leads from the front and is admired by her female and male counterparts equally. Women and young college students across Indian Business schools and colleges, draw high inspiration from her to stay fearless and achieve more by having conviction in their dreams and working towards them.


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