STWS23 Speakers group photo

Key highlights from Shape the World Summit 2023: Future Resilience by Sustainability

Jul 14, 2023 | Events, News & Updates, Press Release

On 21 June, over 300 leaders from business, non-profit, and public sectors from around the world gathered at Pullman Kuching, Sarawak for the Shape the World Summit 2023.

This year, the summit included 16 speakers and panelists, who were regional business and non-profit leaders, and government leaders in Sarawak. Their discussion revolved around the theme “Future Resilience by Sustainability: Building Sustainable Movements while navigating a new world of AI and Data”, exploring the challenges facing individuals, communities, and businesses in their desire to shape sustainability in a more complex era of data and AI.

Kicking off the event, the keynote speaker, Mr. Lawrence Chong, Group CEO of Consulus, expressed the joy and respect for the vision and practical effort of the Sarawak government in promoting sustainability in the state. As the main message, Mr. Lawrence highlighted how humanity could lose its purpose and sense of being in the age of AI and data, and announced the shift in the business model of Consulus to help shape a purposeful humanity that is resilient in the age of AI. The shift, encapsulated by Consulus’s new brand identity and tagline Creative Change, will focus on shaping individuals of purpose, building organizations of purpose, and designing systems with purpose. 

Mr. Lawrence Chong

Also on this occasion, Mr. Freddy Nicolas – CEO & General Director of ProLingua and Mr. Eric Lim – CEO of Parendigm, both expressed great enthusiasm and looked forward to accomplishing the partnership goals with Consulus on this new journey. Together with Consulus, Mr. Eric hoped to “reach out to 1 million homes in the next 5 years through our programs, retreats, products, and technology”, while Mr. Freddy expected to promote the growth of individuals and development of inner talents with a purpose-driven approach.

PersonalCORE was introduced, it is a method used at Consulus and has been taught to others in Consulus’s work of designing creative change with leaders and organizations since 2004. It invites people to reflect on their ability, capacity to influence, and what makes them different. This methodology can be practiced with a newly launched tool called My Masterplan, a journal that invites people to embark on a thought-provoking exploration where purpose unfolds into an extraordinary master plan. 

A Summary of Track 1: CAUSE 

How to Rally Stakeholders to Come Together for Common Cause to Implement Sustainability

YBhg. Datu Muhammad Abdullah Haji Zaidel, Deputy State Secretary of Sarawak, in his speech on “Sarawak’s Strategy to Unite Stakeholders for Sustainability”, recalled the first time when the Premier of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, had the idea of leapfrogging the economy of Sarawak come to mind in 2017. The Premier, along with the state government officials, academia, businesses, and the community, aspired to see Sarawak achieving a 6-8% GDP growth and becoming a developed state by 2030. Sarawak’s ultimate goal was to achieve economic prosperity without neglecting social inclusion and environmental sustainability. YBhg. Datu Muhammad Abdullah Haji Zaidel emphasized how the vision of promoting statewide sustainability, together with the effort to create a conducive business environment, have been the factors that make Sarawak an attractive investment destination.

YBhg. Datu Muhammad Abdullah Haji Zaidel

Dato Chris Chung, Group CEO of TSG Group in his speech “Shaping the Future of Sarawak: The Purpose-driven Journey of TSG”, shared how over the years, the purpose and vision of TSG Group has remained unchanged – to showcase Sarawak as a destination for ideas, innovation, and impact, as well as a land of resources. TSG Group is now a team of 850 diverse professionals from Sarawak and the region who have been working on building transformative businesses namely Titanium, Saradise, Grand Olie, TSG Green, and DesignFutures. The business has been shaping the future of Sarawak and transforming the quality of life of Kuchingnites, and is projected to continue doing so in the years to come.

Dato Chris Chung

Ms. Clara Kwan, Consulus’s Global Head for Sustainability and Impact Investment, in her speech on “The Struggles to Build Movements for Sustainability”, addressed the questions: “How can we build a successful change movement for sustainability: how to start and sustain?”. Drawing from her personal experiences she shared about seeing train workers striking on the streets of London, and working on a project to build water filters for villagers in Cambodia and witnessing the ripple effect as the children there went on to make changes to their society themselves. Ms. Clara concluded that making movement is about seeing a gradual change rather than an immediate one. Ms. Clara ended her presentation with an impassioned call to action – to give RISE to the change, emphasizing four factors that should be present for a change movement to happen: Representation of all stakeholders, Identification of material issues, Shaping of action plans and policies, and Evaluation and measurement of impact.

Ms. Clara Kwan

A Summary of Track 2: CREATIVE VISION

What are the Different Visions for Sustainability in the Region?

Ar. Kuan Chee Yung, the Global Head for Place Innovation of Consulus, shared his perspective on how a good placemaking brief should also be based on relational ideals and not just transactional ideals. To enable that, designers and developers should be able to: ask the right questions, strategize the best plan, and commit to action for good. Going forward, Ar. Chee Yung concluded with the perspective that AI and Data should not be controllers but assisting tools for work and life of humans.

Ar. Kuan Chee Yung

Mr. Kisu Sung, former COO of DigiFinance and SDAX Digital Exchange, shared examples from a report on blockchain released by UNEP and Social Alpha Foundation, and emphasized the potential of blockchain in revolutionizing the approach to sustainable energy, especially for lower- and middle-income economies. Mr. Kisu recognized “Malaysia is well-positioned to be a leader in this space with its strong technology ecosystem, a firm commitment to sustainability, robust regulatory platform, young and tech-savvy workforce, and an emerging digital infrastructure”.

Mr. Kisu Sung

In the panel discussion moderated by Ms. Rebecca Teo, Consulus’s Head of Strategy, on the question of “What are the Different Visions for Sustainability in the Region?”, Datuk Philip Ting, Deputy President of Sarawak Business Federation, stressed that for sustainability movements to cascade into the citizens, it will take the involvement of community leaders in creating and encouraging the change and not just at policy level. Datuk Philip Ting also shared how Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has pledged to invest only in ESG-compliant companies from 2030 onwards. On how to fund sustainability movements, Mr. Kisu Sung suggested starting from individuals and at a smaller scale, that is to pique small investors’ interest before seeking to attract investors with larger fund sizes. To realize these visions, Ar. Chee Yung and Datuk Philip Ting both agreed that unity and all-level engagement are crucial.

A Summary of Track 3: CULTURE OF TRUST

How to Engage Community and Shape a Culture of Trust to Sustain Interests in Implementing Sustainability?

Dr. James Ong, Founder & Managing Director of Artificial Intelligence International Institute, advocated that we should consider sustainable AI and how AI can elevate humanity’s purposes, and not just AI as a technology. Despite numerous dilemmas associated with it, AI has the potential to promote sustainability movements. To build a sustainable AI for the future, Dr. James Ong suggested ensuring AI sustain as a progress, using AI to support sustainability objectives, and mitigating artificial general intelligence or singularity existential threat.

Dr. James Ong

Dr. Khalid Abdul Hamid, Head of Policy and Research Division at Institut Masa Depan Malaysia, emphasized on the concept of Economics of Integrity in his speech on “The Economic Significance of Trust on Shaping a Sustainable Economy”. Dr. Khalid reckoned how this concept advocated the idea and positive values of frugality and living in prudence, and how it offers a timely solution to address real-life challenges and solidify the core values of society.

Dr. Khalid Abdul Hamid

A Summary of Track 4: COMPETENT PIVOT

How to Evolve the Industry or Old Practices towards Sustainability?

In his speech on “Renewable Energy Certificates and NetZero Data Centres”, Mr. Kang Jen Wee, Founder & CEO of REDEX shared how “Renewable energy certificates are an important commodity and product that has the potential to drive new project development in renewable energy, and that leads to more possibilities in terms of scaling up renewable power all over the world”. He also laid stress on how using renewable energy is essentially the first step for companies to take before moving toward a net-zero strategy.

Mr. Kang Jen Wee

In his speech on “Data Centre Cooling System in Hot and Humid Countries”, Dr. Kong Kok Haw, Managing Director of Greatians Consulting, acknowledged the challenges of designing data cooling systems in hot and humid countries: hot and humid weather, and the future challenges may include global warming and heat island effect. Dr. Kong also presented different types of cooling system, air-cooled servers system, and innovative cooling system.

Dr. Kong Kok Haw

The second panel session titled “Green Data Centers in the Age of AI” was moderated by Mr. Melvin Tan, Group Managing Director of Cyclect Group. Mr. Ernest Ong, an Engineering Director and M&E Consulting Engineer with extensive experience, recognized that demand for data centers is rising in the wake of increasing demand and application of e-service in sectors namely commerce, banking, and government. 

Key improvements in building data centers were discussed including the evolution of data centers and applying AI in data centers. Summarizing his insights, Dr. Kong mentioned  “the future of data center design is lower PUE (Power usage effectiveness)”.

During the session, a question raised was how could we make the right people pay for the right cost of the electricity, Mr. Kang Jen Wee considered RECs as a way to “generalize and create a system to enable the buyers to be able to buy the certifications and the power separately according to who needs to buy what”. 

Agreeing with Mr. Kang Jen Wee on the potential Sarawak holds in building green data centers, Mr. Melvin added that Sarawak clearly has the opportunity to play a leading role in this space”.

A Summary of the Final Special Panel Segment 

For the final special panel segment, YB. Dr. Haji Hazland Bin Abang Hipni, Deputy Minister for Energy and Environmental Sustainability shared about some of the efforts that have been made in Sarawak to promote sustainability. One of which is Sarawak being the first government in the region to introduce proper regulation and licensing for activities on carbon trading, carbon credit, and carbon storage as they aim to prevent scammers.

Sharing one word as a wish for Sarawak’s pathway towards sustainability, Encik Ikmal Hisham Bin Maharon, Head of Energy Division, chose “Partnership”; Encik Tahir Bin Mohd Sharee, Head of Project Development and Collaboration Division, chose “Pioneer”, and “Global collaboration” as a wish of YB. Dr. Haji Hazland Bin Abang Hipni.

Shape the World Summit 2023 Gala Dinner

The Shape the World Summit was then followed by a Gala Dinner. Among those present were Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr. Sim Kui Hian, Deputy Minister of Energy and Environmental Sustainability Dr. Hazland Hipni, Deputy State Secretary Datu Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel, TSG Group CEO Dato Chris Chung, Cyclect Group Managing Director Mr. Melvin Tan, and Consulus Group CEO Mr. Lawrence Chong.

(from left to right) Datu Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel, Dr. Haji Hazland Bin Abang Hipni, Dato Chris Chung, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, Dato Sri Dr. Sim Kui Hian, Mr. Melvin Tan, and Mr. Lawrence Chong

Delivering the opening and welcome speech, Mr. Lawrence Chong stressed that “Consulus has served in Sarawak for 10 years […]. I believe Sarawak is the state for the future, with the Premier’s focus on transforming the economy towards sustainability and digital in order to make it inclusive”. Mr. Melvin Tan also mentioned how Premier’s vision inspired him, and believed that “Sarawak is a leader in sustainability and social change”. 

Dato Chris Chung announced the launch of FutureData Sdn Bhd, a consortium between TSG Group and Cyclect Group that plans to develop Borneo’s largest renewable energy park with a 200MW green data center in Kota Samarahan. The center will be built in a brand-new, fully-integrated green district called FutureGreen District, where healthcare, education, and high-end housing for visitors looking for a second home in Kuching, are all supported by green infrastructure.

Dato Chris Chung

Speaking at the Gala dinner, Abang Johari shared the state government’s aspiration to have entirely sustainable public transportation options here in Sarawak by 2030, powered by either hydrogen or electricity. This vision has been realized through the adoption of various renewable energy sources including hydroelectricity, and solar and wind power, via public-private collaboration. Abang Johari emphasized that the Sarawak government is committed to creating a sustainable future, balancing economic prosperity, social inclusivity, and environmental sustainability.

Premier of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg

In the News: Shape the World Summit 2023 Media Coverage

1. The Borneo Post

Borneo’s first major data centre to be set up in Kota Samarahan, will also be carbon neutral

Premier: S’wak aims to have fully sustainable public transport in Kuching by 2030

2. New Sarawak Tribune

Sarawak right choice for Shape the World Summit, says co-host TSG Group

Singapore firm inspired by Premier to build renewable energy data centre park in Sarawak

Kota Samarahan site of largest renewable energy data centre park

3. DayakDaily

Borneo’s largest renewable energy park to be established in Kota Samarahan

4. UKAS (Unit Komunikasi Awam Sarawak) portal

300 Pemimpin Global, Pemain Industri Hadiri ‘Shape The World Summit’ 2023

5. Astro AWANI

Sarawak sasar pengangkutan awam guna hidrogen sepenuhnya pada 2030

Watch highlights from the Shape the World Summit 2023 here.

About Shape the World Summit

The Shape the World Summit (STWS) is a global platform for thought leaders, innovators, and change-makers to come together and collaborate on shaping a better world. Through keynote speeches, panel discussions, and networking opportunities, the summit aims to inspire action toward a more sustainable and resilient future. Since 2005, more than 7,000 leaders have participated in STWS. The summit was first launched in Singapore and has been held in the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, and now Malaysia.

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