ASB: LESA 2020 Brings Together A Unique Blend of Captains of Industry, Government Leaders, and Intellectual Powerhouses

by Bloomberg | 26 November 2020 | In The News

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Nov. 26, 2020

Virtual conference attended by 8,000+ participants brings together a rare line-up of leaders from industry, government, and academia discussing how to navigate a post-pandemic world

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Nov. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — From 16 to 19 November, over 8,000 leaders from Asia and beyond gathered virtually for the Leadership Energy Summit Asia (LESA) 2020, organized by the Asia School of Business (ASB) Iclif Executive Education Center.

The virtual summit, themed “Navigating Uncertainty with Leadership Energy In Action”, brought together a prolific and A-list speaker line-up, including 2019 Nobel laureate Esther Duflo, Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, Founder of MERCY Malaysia and Special Advisor to Prime Minister of Malaysia, Aireen Omar, Group President of RedBeat Ventures and AirAsia, and academic powerhouses from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and ASB who shared their ground-breaking research and insight.

From Duflo, who shared her Nobel-winning approach of alleviating global poverty, to Tan Sri Dr. Mahmood, who extracted learnings from her experience in humanitarian crises to advise Malaysia’s government on the current pandemic, to John Sterman, Professor of Management at MIT Sloan School of Management, who argued for a multi-solving approach to tackling both COVID-19 and climate change, each speaker brought unique and diverse perspectives on tackling today’s challenges.

“Most people try to find one solution that will solve all the problems at once. But it is hard to make progress with a single hammer for all the problems. You make progress by breaking down problems into thousands of much more manageable problems,” said Duflo during her keynote.

Said Sterman, “As humans, we are not good at dealing with complex systems with time delays before effects are felt. This makes it hard to drive behavioral changes for things like climate action and COVID-19. Knowledge is the solution. There is hope.”

Professor of Applied Economics Roberto Rigobon highlighted one of the key criterions to address today’s crisis, drawing on his research of countries that have transformed from poverty to wealth: “Tackling challenges is hard. Leaders need to have a vision that is so compelling that workers and citizens buy into it and are willing to make personal sacrifices for the public good.”

Despite the virtual event format, participants were impressed by the summit experience. Feedback from participants included the following:

“My observation is that this has proven to be a very successful summit from all angles – record level of participation, country reach, quality of content, diversity and consistently impressive role-players. Truly world-class.”
Datuk Nora A. Manaf, Group Chief Human Capital Officer, Maybank.

“I never knew learning from Professors could be so exciting – Prof. Roberto Rigobon was humorous and practical, Prof. Loredana Padurean was so interesting from start to finish. I’m impressed by how colorful and diverse the professors are at MIT and ASB, and enjoyed the conference very much!”
Datin Mornifairos Bt Othman, Executive Vice President, People Leader at Maybank.

“We truly enjoyed tuning in to the breadth of the topics presented at LESA 2020, listening to the insights and approaches presented each speaker. The summit has also successfully enabled rich conversation among the participants and presenters. Kudos.”
Ahmad Zakky Habibie, Executive Director, Ancora Foundation.

Other summit highlights included a series of Masterclasses, sponsored by Sarawak Energy on topics such as: “The Strategic Intra/Entrepreneurial Organization”, “The Dollar, the Renminbi, and the International Monetary System”, and “Storytelling for Leaders”.

Meanwhile, The Iclif Leadership Energy Awards (ILEA), sponsored by Maybank, paid tribute to individuals using their “Leadership Energy in Action” to make a positive impact. Award winners were: Dian Sasmita, Founder of Sahabat Kapas (Indonesia), for advocating against violence towards juvenile prisoners, Marita Cheng, Founder of Robogals (Australia), for supporting and inspiring women to pursue careers in STEM, and Dr. Tamana Asey, Program Director of Afghanistan Forensic Science Organization, for championing women’s and girl’s rights by standing against virginity testing.

“We are proud that LESA 2020 has served as a platform to address the critical challenges today’s leaders face,” said Prof. Charles Fine, founding President and Dean, ASB. “And we are incredibly grateful to our sponsors who have made this event a reality – their support was critical in helping ASB reach such a global audience. We want to extend special thanks to Maybank, Sarawak Energy, CX Technology, Lawrence S. Ting Foundation, and Ancora Foundation, for showing us through their partnership what leadership energy looks like in action.”

About Asia School of Business

Asia School of Business (ASB) was established in 2015 by Bank Negara Malaysia in collaboration with MIT Sloan School of Management to be a premier global business school, a knowledge and learning hub infused with regional expertise, insights and perspectives of Asia and the emerging economies.

ASB’s Iclif Executive Education Center executive education programs and degree programs have been globally-acclaimed for leading the way in management education. Through its award-winning Action Learning based curriculum, in partnership with the corporate community and students from across the world, ASB is committed to developing transformative and principled leaders who will contribute towards advancing the emerging world.



This article was originally published on Bloomberg