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Inaugural Global Innovation Forum - Leveraging Exponential Technologies for Competitiveness and Development

October 4-6, 2017


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    The inaugural Global Innovation Forum on “Leveraging Exponential Technology for Competitiveness and Development” will take place in Singapore on October 4-6, 2017. The event is being co-hosted by the World Bank Group (WBG)’s Trade and Competitiveness (T&C) Global Practice together with its partner in Singapore, the INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute (EMI), National University of Singapore (NUS) as well as key agencies the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board (SPRING).

    This is the first Global Innovation Forum that the WBG is organizing to explore how exponential technologies are leading to innovations to address global challenges around competitiveness and development. This global event brings together countries at the frontier of innovation as well as emerging markets who are trying to better understand the implications of these developments on their own development process. This event will facilitate systematic policy dialogue among participating countries, including policy makers, academics and the private sector.

    Popular media is replete with reporting on the technological solutions such as Internet of Things, driverless cars, 3D printing, virtual or augmented reality. And yet, policy makers from developing countries may dismiss these as irrelevant for their homegrown contexts, given the absence of a coherent policy discourse around the very nature of these exponential technologies, the non-linear timeline in which they tend to achieve scale, or their ability to deliver transformational impact to billions. Whether countries will harness the promise held by exponential technologies or be disrupted by them will ultimately depend on their ability to develop agile national innovation, research, learning and entrepreneurship systems, and adapt trade, labor, competition, and intellectual property rights policies to their benefit. 

    II. Forum Objectives and Structure

    The key objectives of the Forum is two-fold:

    1. Promote exchange among developed countries, emerging economies and development partners on issues related to the role of industry 4.0, knowledge and networks, private sector role in technology transfer, innovation and productivity growth;
    2. Disseminate knowledge generated by the WBG on topics such as the Future of Manufacturing, Institutional Infrastructure for Innovation, as well as complementary knowledge developed by other global and regional institutions.

    The three-day Forum is structured as follows:

    • Day 1 - Global launch of the World Bank’s Innovation Flagship report.
    • Day 2 - Global thought leadership on exponential technologies and their implications on a country’s competitiveness and development.
    • Day 3 – Practitioners exchange – policy makers and the private sector – working on this topic.

    III. Forum participant profile and Country Delegations

    We expect around 200 participants from 30-40 countries to attend the Forum. The target audience solicited from each country will comprise decision makers from various Ministries (primarily Finance; Economy; Industry and Trade; Science and Technology; Research; and Education); key business promotion associations, e.g. Chambers of Commerce, Technology Transfer Centers, especially for the SME sector; leading public research institutions; higher education institutions; think-tanks; and technical specialists in topics being addressed by the Forum. Partners include thought leaders on the topic including the US, Japan, Germany, UK, Singapore, South Korea, China, Poland, India and Israel.

    Some of the confirmed speakers include:

    • Head of the Israel Innovation Authority, Ahron Ahron
    • Managing Director, Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Dr. Raj Thampuran
    • National University of Singapore Entrepreneurship Center Director, Prof. Wong Poh Kam
    • Dame Wendy Hall, Professor of Computer Science at Southampton University and chief architect of the United Kingdom’s new digital and artificial intelligence strategy
    • CEO, Singularity University, Rob Nail
    • Harvard Business School, Professor Christian Ketels 
    • Chief Liaison Officer for Toyota Research Institute in Silicon Valley, Yasuyuki Kohaya
    • CEO, SGInnovate Steve Leonard
    • CEO of Smart Tunisia, Elyes Jeribi
    • Vice President of Innovation and Economic Development, KAUST, Saudi Arabia, Mark Crowell
  • Download the full agenda (PDF)

    Wednesday, October 4


    Plenary: World Bank Innovation Flagship Report Launch

    Panel discussion: Author highlights


    Client Dialogue


    Welcome Reception

    Thursday, October 5



    Influencer plenary: Exponential Technologies: Disrupting industries & transforming the lives of billions

    Plenary: Getting ahead with technology: innovation or adoption? Lessons on innovation policy from the Frontier and what does this mean for innovation around the world.

    Plenary: Trouble in the Making? The Future of Manufacturing-Led Development



    - Global Value Chains: The Impact of Technology, Reshoring, and Trade Facilitation for Advanced and Emerging Economies  

    - Jobs, Technology and Skills for Growth and Competitiveness: Promoting Demand-Driven Skills Development

    - The Future of Industrial Strategies: How can we increase industrial competitiveness?

    - Lessons from Acceleration of Tech Startups

    Site visits


    Friday, October 6


    Plenary: Reshaping Innovation Policy for Emerging Economies 

    Plenary: A Dialogue with Innovation Agency Leaders on iPolicy 2.0

    Interactive Session on iPolicy 2.0 with Policy Makers, Researchers and World Bank Staff


    Parallel Sessions

    B1: The Role of Cities in Fostering Innovation: Lessons from Competitive Cities 

    B2: GovTech: Promoting Innovation to Improve Public Services

    B3: Investor Viewpoints: How Is investing in Exponential Tech Any Different?                             

    Smackdown Debate: Who is going to be the hero of the bottom billion – the public or the private sector?

    Closing Remarks

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    Anabel Gonzalez

    Senior Director, Trade & Competitiveness, World Bank Group

    William Maloney

    Chief Economist, Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions, World Bank

    Mary Hallward-Driemeier

    Senior Economic Adviser, Trade & Competitiveness, World Bank

    Xavier Cirera

    Senior Economist, Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank

    Klaus Tilmes

    Director, Trade & Competitiveness, World Bank Group

    Denis Medvedev

    Lead Economist, Trade & Competitiveness, World Bank Group

    Jose Guilherme Reis

    Manager, Trade & Competition, World Bank

    Ernesto Lopez

    Manager, Competitive Sectors, World Bank Group

    Paramita Dasgupta

    Manager, World Bank Group

    Pravan Malhotra

    Principal Investment Officer, Venture Capital, IFC

    Poon Hong Yuen


    S. Iswaran

    Minister, Trade and Industry, Singapore

    Dame Wendy Hall

    Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, UK

    Thorsten Posselt

    Director, Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy, Germany

    Raj Thampuran

    Managing Director, A*STAR Singapore

    Fumikazu Sato

    Deputy Director-General, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau, METI, Japan

    Kiatchai Sophastienphong

    Vice Minister for Minister for Finance, Thailand

    Yasuyuki Kohaya

    Chief Liason Officer, Toyota Research Institute

    Christian Ketels

    President TCI and Member, Harvard Business School

    Rob Nail

    CEO, Singularity University

    Pierro Ghezzi

    Former Minister of Production, Peru

    Lily Chan

    CEO, NUS Enterprise

    Alex Glennie

    Principal Researcher, International Innovation Team, NESTA, UK

    Norhalim Bin Yunus

    CEO, Malaysia Technology Development Corporation

    Barlow Manilal

    CEO, Technology Innovation Agency, South Africa

    Ivan Rakonjac

    Managing Director, Innovation Fund of the Republic of Serbia

    Steve Leonard

    CEO, SGInnovate

    Shuki Gleitman

    Former Chief Scientist of Israel and Venture Capitalist


  • WHERE: Singapore
  • WHEN: October 4-6, 2017