November 15-17, 2018
Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin


Our future depends on our actions today

Conscious consumption becomes not just an option, but a necessity. Technological advancements can enable the smarter and more efficient use of valuable resources. With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, institutions, businesses, governments and individuals must find alternate ways to coexist with machines without harming the environment.

The 2018 Integral Conversation explores how to promote and apply technologies and innovations to enhance human potential; how emerging technologies can transform the nature of human work; and how we can develop smarter methods to lessen our impact on the environment. Together, we can shape a future whereby technology, people and the environment coexist in harmony for shared prosperity.

In a changing world, culture grounds identity and practices. While the sciences and technology propel societies’ abilities forward, communities are much more than the technological tools at hand. In this discussion, we will explore the power of the Chinese word and its role in shaping Chinese heritage, meaning, and culture, the role of arts and heritage in society, and what it means to form a vibrant and strong community that will thrive in the post-industrial age.
With advances in AI and robotics, many predict that manufacturing will soon become irrelevant. The success of East Asian economies in leveraging new technology to drive innovation and productivity has called into question the future and role of manufacturing as a jobs creator. As Andrew Sheng puts it “you can never run before you can walk.” If Asia succeeded in effectively delivery of "hard" manufacturing goods, future success will depend on embedding "soft" knowledge like AI into smart products.  But to do this, we cannot ever “skip” directly into the value-added service stage without going through the pains of craft manufacturing.  As they say, it’s the "thought" that counts, but you still have to eat, feel or smell the actual physical product.
With the advent of Industry 4.0, the business world is becoming increasingly disrupted, uncertain, and ever-changing. Business models and practices that previously sufficed are now obsolete. To excel in times of change, business leaders are faced with a different set of ideals and priorities. They must equip themselves and their companies with the right systems, strategies and outlooks to deliver innovative products and services. Leaders are faced with the urgent need for transformation and must train their workforce to adapt along with them. This panel explores the different type of leadership needed in a changing world, how business leaders view the digital future and strategies to ensure organizational flexibility and innovation.
The digital transformation is disrupting how we communicate, think, and connect. As data takes center stage, Connectivity and Cloud, Big Data and Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics are creating an entirely new social paradigm. This panel seeks to explore machine capabilities and applications that drive forward the future. In this panel, leaders from industry and academia will discuss the status and trajectory of AI and machine learning and robotics, and their roles in changing the landscape of labor and business in the coming five to ten years.
The impact of digital transformation on the labor market and the lives of millions of workers around the world is undeniable. It is no secret that rapid technological development spurred by Industry 4.0 is transforming the way people work and interact with machines at their jobs. New fields of employment will emerge, processes and devices will enhance human capabilities, whilst workspaces will evolve to fit the needs of a changing workforce. This panel seeks to explore how institutions prepare their workforce for jobs not yet foreseen to ensure inclusive economic growth for a prosperous and sustainable future.
Innovative and smart manufacturing has emerged against the backdrop of pressing global challenges such as climate change, water scarcity, food insecurity, and environmental degradation, amongst others. The rapid depletion of natural resources and adverse effects on the environment from decades of consumption-led growth have placed sustainable development to center-stage. Manufacturers have opportunity to harness technology to reduce environmental footprint and remain competitive. This panel will address whether green manufacturing is possible, and ways to build an ecosystem to achieve it.