By Professor Tikki Pangestu

Programme Co-Chairman, Raffles Dialogue Singapore 2017 

Visiting Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

Former Director, Research Policy & Cooperation Department, World Health Organization

In an increasingly uncertain and unstable world, the Second Raffles Dialogue on Human Well-being and Security aims to be a unique, trans-disciplinary platform for dialogue and discussion on various dimensions of human well-being. These include health, technology, information, financing and the role of global institutions. Health problems continue to haunt us, including epidemics of infectious diseases, ageing populations and the health impacts of climate change. Technology remains a double-edged sword, with benefits often not accruing to those in greatest need. In the information sphere, arguments on the benefits and risks of ‘big data’ continue. Development aid to developing countries is at great risk due to radical political changes in the developed world, and more will be demanded from global institutions to provide the good governance needed to ensure equity and social justice for all.

The Dialogue is the second iteration of the Raffles Dialogue on Human Well-being and Security, the first of which was held in Singapore in 2015. The Dialogue has two overarching themes. First, that we need to be aware of the key megatrends of globalisation that will affect future human well-being: ageing populations, environmental degradation, increasing role of technology, growing inequality, urbanisation, and the gap that exists between the knowledge that we have and our ability to use it effectively. Second, we need a new paradigm and philosophy for living and for health which places people’s well-being and social justice, rather than diseases and survival, at the centre of the value chain. This places a strong emphasis on the interdependence and interconnectedness of the risks we face, and, in turn, requires strong collective action from every level of society to mitigate the risks.

The second Dialogue adds value to the first by focusing on the importance of innovation in mitigating and overcoming the risks that were identified in the first Dialogue. Accordingly, its overall theme of ‘Human Well-being and Security in 2030: The Critical Role of Innovation’ emphasises the central need for innovations and new ideas to deal with the diverse and numerous global challenges in the years leading up to 2030.

Global and Asian scholars and thought leaders will participate in a series of interactive discussions and dialogue with over 100 participants from many countries in the region (representing academia, policy makers, international organisations, civil society, young leaders and the private sector) to discuss the needed innovations and collectively identify a way forward for the future. Representing the diverse and varied dimensions of the Dialogue, confirmed speakers include Lord Nigel Crisp, Member of the House of Lords, UK, and Dame Sally Davies, the UK’s Chief Medical Officer. They will be joined by key thought leaders from the Asian region for a frank exchange of views from different disciplinary and regional perspectives.

The Second Raffles Dialogue will be held on September 4 to 6, 2017, at the University Hall at NUS.

For more information, please go to