Featured Speakers

Our speakers have presented in major cities such as New York, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. From the unique perspective of integrating business and design they share stories gleaned from consulting in some of the most challenging industries.

Lawrence Chong

Lawrence Chong

CEO, Consulus

Columnist and Speaker on Asian Creativity and Innovation

Profile

As Director for Strategy Development, he has served governments in Singapore, Pakistan, Vietnam and Brunei and Global NGOs such as the World Conference of Religions for Peace (New York). He has worked with major corporations such as MTU Friedrichshafen (Asia Pacific), Tokio Marine (Asia-Pacific) and Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (Brunei). He has also worked on branding projects with IE Singapore (iadvisory), Singapore Business Federation and the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce. He was the youngest judge to serve on the Singapore Promising Brand Awards in 2004. Till date, Lawrence has consulted in Bangladesh, Brunei, India, Thailand, China, Australia, UAE, United States, Sri Lanka, Japan, Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore.

His insights and articles on branding have appeared in the Business Times (Singapore), Marketing Magazine (Southeast Asia), The Practice (Asia), iadvisory (Singapore), HRSingapore, Radio 938 (Singapore), Saigon Times (Vietnam), Vnexpress (Vietnam), Saigon Entrepreneurs – DNSG (Vietnam), Enterprise Bridge (Vietnam), VTC10 (Vietnam), Ceylon Today (Sri Lanka), Brunei Times (Brunei) and Borneo Bulletin (Brunei).

Lawrence is a regular speaker and has presented to 4000 persons in the US, India, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Japan and Singapore. He has given keynote addresses to prominent branding events such as World Marketing Summit, World Brand Congress, Asia Business Forum, Pacific Conferences and Asia Events. He has also spoken before the Singapore Institute of Management and The American Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking Topics
  • Asian Innovation – From our experience with different Asian organizations, many people talk innovation but few would dare to risk it all to pursue it to the end. That is why the challenge is not in the ideas but how to make innovation work.
  • Organisational Change – The preference for personality over institution means that family names matter and strong leaders tend to stay in power longer. In a fast-changing world with a more educated workforce, this limits Asian organizations from becoming truly powerful institutions. For all of Asia’s advantage in terms of heritage and size, the organizations that shape today’s world in terms of innovation, business thinking and cultural influence are still distinctively Western.
  • Asian Business – As Asia rises, our appetite for ambition and patience for failure lessens. While some Asian companies have begun to dominate in technology and innovation, many others are satisfied with keeping the status quo. They are making money, so shaping the future and taking control of their own growth destiny is not that important. Many are happy to be contractors and not invent to determine the future of the world. This is an alarming trend because we should be at a stage where ambition, risk taking and thirst for knowledge are rising. Asia is in a good place, but it can be better.
  • Design – At the end of the day, design is not about variety and constant change. It is about conditioning the user to recognize it, link it to the brand so that it can raise the perceived value of the product or service.
  • Organisational Development – Here in Asia, unity is a desired trait, as it is the most preferred core value whenever we ask management and staff to think about essential values for success. While unity is preferred, few have a strategy and structure to encourage collaboration to profit from it.
Testimonials

Lawrence Chong moved the energy level of the group to a high level with his presentation… He stated that the 1% who shape the world think deeply about meaning, are restless to change the status quo, and have a strong sense of obligation to their industry, their country or the world that supersedes everything else in their lives. Judging from the ovations and cheering by the end of his talk, there were a lot of students who want to be among those 1%ers.

– R. Craig Lefebvre, PhD, an architect and designer of public health and social change programs, in his personal website post about the WMS. He is the chief maven at socialShift, the social|design, marketing and media consultancy located in Sarasota, FL. Read his full comment on Chong’s presentation and other points from the WMS.

Previous Speaking Engagements
  • Building purpose-led Asian companies to meet the obligations of a changing world, World Marketing Summit
  • Designing organisations for innovation – World Brand Congress
  • Spark an Innovation Revolution to Shape the World
  • Why Designers need to be better entrepreneurs – Singaplural
  • What is Vietnam’s Brand of Leadership?
  • A Dragon for our time
  • Future of Asian Dynasties
  • What is Myanmar’s Brand of Leadership?
  • What is Asia’s Brand of Leadership?
  • How to create successful Asian brands by challenging the convention
  • Symbols, Icons and Brands: How Design Builds Longevity
  • Will Vietnam shape the world?
  • Time to build iconic product brands for Vietnam
  • Can Chinese brands shape the world?
  • Sustainable Branding
Helena Pham

Helena Pham

Partner (Vietnam), Consulus

Columnist and Speaker on Leadership Ascension, Innovative Culture

Profile

In Consulus, she has served regional Asian companies such as Fast Flow (Asia), Omega Integration (Asia) and Rotating Offshore Solutions (Singapore and Middle-East), Goodrich Global (Asia), Teo Garments (Asia), Systech Technology & Trading (Vietnam and Asia). Her work with these firms involved developing leadership ascension programmes for middle management, organisational redesign, measurement frameworks to assess brand practice, internal cultural development and B2B customer service plans. To date, she has consulted in Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar and Singapore.

Her insights and articles on organisational branding have appeared in Saigon Entrepreneurs – DNSG (Vietnam) and Business Forum – DĐDN (Vietnam).

She has also presented during the Shape the World Conference in Hanoi in 2011 and 2013, and the Shape the World Conference in Singapore in 2012 and Hanoi Association of Entrepreneur Woman (HNEW) seminar in 2016.

Speaking Topics
  • Building a Winning Team – Even a nimble business entity needs an organisation chart that tells you what kinds of professional skills and expertise you need for each position. Hard skills and knowledge can be acquired easily, but hiring a person solely on qualifications and job experience is insufficient. Personal traits should stand at the top of the list of requirements for any job advertisement for your company.
  • Leadership Ascension – For MNCs such as Google, Siemens, L’Oreal, Schneider Electric and Lafarge, it seems easier to put in place internal leadership development programmes that often include an overseas assignment to cultivate promising leaders in emerging markets. For SMEs or family-owned business, this may sound like a luxurious investment. However, the key success factor here is not about the budget. It is about knowing where you want the company to grow, sharing that vision with your talents and developing a succession plan to groom them in stages.
  • Asian Branding – A brand model designed to become a global representative of Vietnam will definitely help you benefit from the rise of Vietnam. It is also easier to secure trademarks globally if you were to use an Asian name. Therefore if you aspire to be a global brand, get it right and go Vietnamese, it will reap tremendous benefits going forward into the future.
Previous Speaking Engagements
  • World Company Day, Asia Connection
  • Nurturing Leaders within Our Organizations
  • A New World Order is Here. Are Vietnamese Brands Ready?
  • Will Vietnam shape the world?
  • Time to build iconic product brands for Vietnam
  • Business Ethics in Vietnam