Tag Archives: Technology

How technology and globalisation are redefining talent acquisition

Published by Singapore Business News, March 17, 2015

Multinational corporations are transforming the way they scout for talent, with technology offering new tools that enable both employers and prospective employees to reach wider and find the right fit.

So says Gonzalo Ruiz, Head of Global Talent Acquisition for Siemens.

“In the next five to 10 years, the old model of recruiting in a company by advertising a job opening and find the best candidates will be outdated,” says Ruiz. Ruiz sees four drivers that are changing the way HR professionals go about talent acquisition. Continue reading …

Tokyo Unplugged

Oct. 8, 2014

My first night in Tokyo offers a lesson for tourism planners as Japan seeks to vastly increase the number of its visitors leading up to the 2020 summer Olympics.

Wireless access and mobile connectivity are pretty much a given in the world’s leading cities. Plugging into that global connectivity shouldn’t feel like reinventing the wheel.

So why did I spend my first night in a Tokyo hotel room unplugged and out of reach of all of the things we take for granted today? The ability to check my email, read the news, Google stuff I want to know, and talk in real time with loved ones about my arrival in a new city – I couldn’t do any of that with my smartphone. Continue reading

Global education lessons: Singapore leads in STEM, now takes on the arts

Just as the US is abandoning funding of arts programs in schools to focus more on testing of core subjects, a leader in math and science education turns to the arts as a way of improving “entrepreneurial” thinking it admired in Americans. Will it beat the US at it’s own game?

Published by the Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 1, 2013

By Tom Benner

Chew Jun Ru knew he wanted to become a musician back in high school. But the eldest of four had parents who shared the traditional Singaporean view of the arts – they insisted he find a career with a solid future.

“It was crazy at the time. They could not believe what they were hearing,” says Mr. Chew, now 24. “It’s just music. I’m not doing drugs. It’s not something I should be ashamed of.”

In June, Chew – who plays the erhu, a traditional Chinese two-stringed bowed instrument – graduated from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, an undergraduate arts institution here. In August he left for Beijing on full scholarship to the China Conservatory of Music.

His ability to win over his parents – they couldn’t be prouder now – speaks to the growing acceptance of, and focus on, arts education.

Innovation and creativity are seen as increasingly important to core curricula in this traditionally buttoned-up financial center, at a time when American schools are cutting back on arts. Singapore‘s embrace of the arts isn’t just for art’s sake, but because of the growing recognition that arts education is crucial to Singapore’s growing innovation-driven economy.

Continue reading …

Singapore rules US death a suicide, but suspicions linger

Singapore has invited the US to audit a firm to ensure the case of Shane Todd didn’t involve secret technology transfer to China.

Published by The Christian Science Monitor, July 8, 2013

By Tom Benner, Contributor, Satish Cheney, Contributor

Singapore authorities on Monday ruled the hanging death of American scientist Shane Todd last year was a suicide. State coroner Chay Yuen Fatt found that there was no foul play and that the 31-year-old Mr. Todd died by asphyxia due to hanging.
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Todd’s family immediately criticized the ruling as predetermined, and vowed to continue a high-profile campaign that has put Singapore’s normally cordial relations with the United States under strain.

Todd was found hanged to death in his Singapore apartment in June 2012, days before he was to leave the country for good and return to the US. His parents in Montana have long rejected the possibility of suicide, instead believing their son died trying to stop a transfer of highly-sensitive military-grade technology from his employer, Singapore’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME), to Huawei Technologies, suspected by some countries of enabling Chinese espionage with their devices. Continue reading …

American’s death in Singapore ruled suicide

Coroner says scientist hanged himself but questions about China and high-tech secrets remain.

Published by Al Jazeera English, July 8, 2013

Tom Benner

Singapore – Authorities in Singapore have ruled that American electronics engineer Shane Todd, whose hanging death in June 2012 touched off accusations of espionage and murder, was a victim of suicide.

State coroner Chay Yuen Fatt on Monday told a packed courtroom in Singapore’s Subordinate Courts building that there was no foul play, and Todd died by asphyxia caused by hanging.

The finding was immediately rejected by family members who say Todd died an American hero, trying to stop the secret transfer of highly sensitive US military technology from his Singapore research agency employer to a Chinese telecommunications giant suspected by some countries of manufacturing devices that can be used for spying.

“We are disappointed, but not surprised, by the coroner’s verdict of suicide,” the Todd family said in a statement.

The coroner’s inquiry focused on the cause of death. Larger questions raised by the case remain: did a clandestine plot actually exist to transfer US export-controlled technology to the Chinese, and could its possible revelation have motivated a suicide or a murder? A separate and highly delicate investigation into whether Todd or his employer actually possessed technological information that may have compromised US national security is planned, but not yet under way. Continue reading …

Singapore Has Its First Gay Magazine Through This Digital Workaround

Published by The Atlantic, May 14, 2013

To get around restrictions on homosexual material, Element turned to app stores

A woman dances as she takes part in a Pink Dot Sg event at the Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park in Singapore June 30, 2012. About 15,000 people took part in the event to promote acceptance of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community in Singapore. (Tim Chong/Reuters)

A woman dances as she takes part in a Pink Dot Sg event at the Speakers’ Corner in Hong Lim Park in Singapore June 30, 2012. About 15,000 people took part in the event to promote acceptance of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community in Singapore. (Tim Chong/Reuters)

By Tom Benner

While Western countries debate the merits of gay marriage, countries in Southeast Asia remain far less accepting of homosexuality.

In socially conservative Singapore, where sexual contact between men is still punishable with up to two years’ jail time, an online-only magazine targeted to gay men in Asia launched last month, with a second issue due in June. It is something of a test case for media and cultural barriers.

For a population that both shows signs of slowly accepting of gay culture, and embraces the digital media formats that allow the publisher to bypass local media licensing requirements for print publications, the timing may be right for Element, a magazine that covers fashion, entertainment, fitness, and issues relevant to the Asian gay community.

“It’s an excellent moment,” said Hirokazu Mizuhara, the managing director and creative force behind the bi-monthly e-magazine. “A few years back a digital magazine probably wouldn’t be able to garner a lot of attention. In Singapore, given that it’s a very digital society, a purely e-magazine can have the same effect as a printed version.”

By limiting the publication to an electronic version — available on digital platforms such as the Apple App store and the Android Market — and using an Internet host server based in the United States, Element bypasses licensing requirements set by the Singapore government, which regulates locally produced content, and eliminates the need for a print distribution.

While the e-magazine’s publisher touts the lucrative market for the “pink dollar” in Asia, Singapore is surrounded by countries where homosexuality remains illegal (such as Malaysia) or meets with strong disapproval (such as Indonesia). That makes the online-only gambit seem necessary. Continue reading …