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Keynote Speaker

Our Keynote Speaker is 

Dr. Adrian Wee Jin Kuah 
Senior Research Fellow & Head, Case Studies Unit
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

National University of Singapore 

Keynote Synopsis:

The Singapore education system is rightly acknowledged globally for its superior education outcomes. Our education enterprise was a solution that was designed and evolved to meet the material challenge of economic development. It was driven by an instrumentalist and pragmatic logic.  Thus, many intangible issues (such as identity, national narrative, civics education, moral reasoning, etc.)  were deprioritised in favour of tangible ones (such as STEM education).  

However, as Singapore society and politics evolve, the intangible issues have now returned to the fore, contributing to the complexity that we encounter today and that is likely to be magnified in the future.

How can our education enterprise adapt to a society increasingly defined by the contestation of narratives, ideas and ideologies? How do we respond to the growing diversity that defies our conventional categories for identity? What skills and concepts do we require to address these issues?

This talk will attempt to unpack the underlying principles of our education enterprise and stimulate a discussion on what should be retained, adapted or disposed of.

About Mr Adrian Kuah: 

Dr Adrian Kuah is Senior Research Fellow and Head, Case Studies Unit at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. His research interests include futures thinking, urban governance and public policy, and complexity science.

Adrian started his career in the civil service first as a foreign service officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then as an economist in the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He subsequently left for the private sector as a business strategy consultant before embarking on an academic career with the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. As Assistant Professor on its Military Studies programme, he taught on the MSc programmes as well as the Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College's professional military education courses.

He returned to the civil service for a second stint in 2013 as Lead Strategist in the Centre for Strategic Futures, Strategic Policy Office, Prime Minister's Office, where he was involved in whole-of-Government futures research and scenario planning. He led a team of researchers in analysing complex, cross-cutting public policy issues across the social, economic, infrastructure and security domains. He also conducted training on futures thinking and complexity science for the Singapore Public Service at the Civil Service College.

Adrian obtained his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Economics and Politics from the University of York, graduating with first class honours, followed by his Master of Arts degree in International Politics from the University of Warwick. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Defence Policy and Economics from Cranfield University, where his doctoral studies were fully funded by RSIS.