The New Human Development Paradigm: Regional Conference 11th May in Singapore

June 4, 2023

Human Development at Work

The year 2023 is a milestone for human development in ASEAN thanks to our partnership with HRM Asia. At the largest HR conference in the region in Singapore, AHDO has organised at whole day on 11th May to present and debate the new human development paradigm in ASEAN.

Why is human development replacing the traditional HR model? How can professionals define their role in balancing profit with people and purpose? You will find the answers in this new track organised in partnership with the ASEAN Human Development Organisation (AHDO).

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Here is a preview of the human development track: keynote speakers, panel discussions, first Human Development Award in ASEAN.

Click here to see the Human Development track agenda


Nadiah Tan Abdullah (AHDO Chair)

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Nadiah is the regional Chair of AHDO for 2023 and is one of the most respected and experienced people and organisational development leaders in Malaysia, having worked with leading multinationals as well as regional companies. She is a Council Member of the Malaysia Employers’ Federation and does volunteer work for education and women’s empowerment.  Nadiah will give a welcome to participants of the Human Development track at the beginning of today’s event. She will also moderate the afternoon panel discussion on Human Development career opportunities.

Gaston Carrion (Accenture)

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Gaston is our keynote speaker to provide an overview of the new paradigm. He leads Accenture’s global Employee Experience services and the Talent and Organisation practices in Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East and has deep experience in HR and Talent innovations. Gaston will discuss how companies have changed how they work with people, how the work experience can be managed and how companies can provide a Net Better Off experience of work. Gaston has led an international career, starting out in Argentina and recently adopting Australian nationality after being based in Asia Pacific since 2008.  

Fong Tuan Chen (Maybank)

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Fong Tuan - people call him FT - is one of ASEAN’s senior people strategists having worked in multinationals and now Senior Executive Vice-President of Maybank’s Group Human Capital division with operations in every ASEAN country. FT will share his own paradigm shift as a people strategist to embrace a human development vision of the function and why it is particularly well-suited to the priorities of ASEAN at this historical moment.

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Nissi Taruli Felicia Naibaho (FeminisThemis)

Companies in ASEAN have become aware of the need to accelerate workforce inclusion but Nissi has personal experience of that need as a Deaf person. At age 24 she is a Diversity and Inclusion consultant as well as co-founder of FeminisThemis, an advocacy group for Deaf women in ASEAN. She will share her vision of how companies can impact human development for people who have different developed non-standard capabilities and will share the results of a white paper she contributed to on the topic for AHDO.

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Thomas Bertels (Purpose Works) - from USA

Thomas Bertels has become one of the most visible advocates in the USA to make work more productive, valuable, meaningful, and impactful. With deep experience in HR at companies like AON and ABB as well as extensive consulting experience, Thomas started a podcast called Work Matters to host global thought leaders of the new paradigm shift. He will share the story behind his own philosophy, provide a who’s who of leading lights on new ways of working, and explain today’s American culture war over work.

As for me, I will talk about the new human development metrics used in companies and how professionals can expand their toolkit with Key Development Indicators (KDIs), ESG and and SDG measures.  

Discussion panel

We will also have 3 high level panel discussions during the day with 12 human development and business leaders.

Panel HR to HD: is HR ready to redefine the profession?

This panel brings together practitioners from different ASEAN countries to share their perspective on why HR is shifting to human development in the region. What are the drivers of change? Why is human development just as important in the advanced economies of ASEAN as in the developing nations? How can HR professionals thrive in the new paradigm?

Panel on the Leadership Shift: are business leaders ready?  

Are business leaders embracing the shift to human development? Is there an awareness gap between companies from Europe and the USA and companies made in ASEAN? Are business schools and leadership consultancies changing the way they educate business leaders? What human development gains and challenges can we expect from businesses in a post-Covid and highly unpredictable world?

Panel HD Career Opportunities: winners and losers

Technology, the experience of Covid and new priorities such as ESG and work-life balance have actually generated new jobs while making some roles redundant for people professionals. What are the growth areas in human development? What new knowledge and skills do you need to thrive? How will your career change in the future?

First Award in ASEAN for Best ASEAN Human Development in Organisations

An award for human development in organisations will be presented for the first time at the Conference.

It recognises fair and inclusive development of workers and stakeholders in at least two ASEAN countries. Particular attention is paid to how the company’s leadership defines its purpose, builds human development capability with HR and other functions and measures development outcomes. Measurement includes Key Development Indicators (KDIs) such as learning, wellness, inclusion and a voice in how work is done, as well Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as productivity and innovation. Other measures include Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) and contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Assessment criteria

  1. Definition of human development purpose and key initiatives in the company’s development strategy in ASEAN
  2. Examples in at least 2 ASEAN countries
  3. Investment and resources devoted to the human development of employees and stakeholders (partners and communities)
  4. Workforce productivity, technology and sustainability programmes, including stakeholders such as contingent workforce.
  5. Cooperation with government, education and community stakeholders in ASEAN countries
  6. Fair work, voice, rights, representation, diversity, inclusion policies and practices
  7. Human development and ethics for leaders
  8. Measurement, impact, sustainability of worker development

HRM Asia and the ASEAN Human Development Award want to create awareness and advance the overall human development agenda in Southeast Asia. The Award is intended to:

  1. To promote human development: The award seeks to raise awareness of the importance of human development and to encourage organizations to focus on improving the lives of people in the region.
  2. To acknowledge outstanding contributions: The award serves to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding contributions made by individuals and organizations towards human development in Southeast Asia.
  3. To inspire others: The award serves as a source of inspiration for others, encouraging them to take action towards human development in their own ways.
  4. To foster regional cooperation: The award promotes regional cooperation and collaboration in the field of human development, bringing together individuals and organizations from different countries in Southeast Asia.
  5. To demonstrate ASEAN's commitment to human development: The award is a symbol of ASEAN's commitment to improving the lives of people in the region and its dedication to promoting human development
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