Activate:Singapore 2014

Haoliang Xu, UNDP
Haoliang Xu in discussion with Max Everest-Phillips (Photo: Guardian MediaGuru Activate Summit)

Activate is a high-profile series of events for digital innovators organised by the Guardian that provide a profile to discuss transformations that will shape the world’s future.  After London, New York and Delhi, the inaugural South-East Asian event was held at in Singapore 16-17 January 2014 in partnership with the Global Centre for Public Service Excellence.

Through its Tech Talent day, Activate Singapore encouraged young, nimble companies and internet innovators to pitch their solutions in front of a panel of judges with a chance to win investment in their start-up company and advertising space with the Guardian. The Centre sponsored one of the three competition categories which called for solutions that empower poor, excluded or vulnerable people in developing countries to better access or benefit from public services.

The Centre’s independent board member, Professor Anastase Shyaka, briefly spoke on use of technology in public services and headed the judging team for Category 2 of the Tech Talent competition. Twelve companies were shortlisted to pitch their work to the judges and Milaap Social Ventures, a Singapore-based company providing crowd-funded micro-loans in India was identified as the winner.

During the Activate Summit senior UNDP colleagues participated in panel discussions, provided a global development perspective and highlighted the opportunities for public service to leverage digital innovation.

  • Haoliang Xu, Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, UNDP: ‘Tech-led Innovation in Public Services and the Future of Regional and Global Governance’;
  • Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Director a.i., Bureau for Devt. Policy, UNDP: ‘Activate Tech Talent Panel Session’;
  • Max Everest-Phillips, Director, GCPSE: ‘Tech-led Innovation in Public Services and the Future of Regional and Global Governance’.  

The video of the UNDP-led session on 'Tech-led Innovation in Public Services' with Haoliang Xu and C. V. Madhukar (Director of Investments, Omidyar Network) can be viewed here.

On the sidelines of the event, the Guardian also interviewed Haoliang Xu for its Global Public Leaders Series. This interview can be accessed here.