GIFT Publications

Understanding China Will Make a World of a Difference

The mission of the China Association for the Club of Rome (China CoR), amongst other things, is to promote international understanding and cooperation between China and the rest of the world. In its most distilled form, the mission is to reduce geopolitical tensions surrounding the rise of China and to contribute to creating the conditions for friendly and peaceful coexistence.

This book is an attempt to fill a void and contribute to reducing said tensions in the process. The void is the need for the rest of the world to better understand the China of today. Almost all the discussions about China and its role in the 21st century take place along deeply divided ideological lines and differences. Interventions and contributions are invariably viewed as either pro-China or negative of it.

The aim is to provide readers with insights into China based on available information which is objective and factual, relying on both Chinese and international sources. It also draws on the experience gained by China CoR founders, who have many years of experience working in China and reflects their views. Needless to say, there has been some level of interpretation during the writing of this book, but at all times the commitment has been to seek balance and to remain impartial.

Dismantling Global White Privilege:

Equity for a Post-Western World

White privilege damages and distorts societies around the world, not just in the United States. This book exposes its pervasive global reach and creates a new space for discourse on worldwide racial equality.

In mid-2020, during the protests in the United States after the murder of George Floyd, over one hundred other countries held solidarity protests. These demonstrations often decried racial injustice and structural discrimination in their own societies. But no books have been written for a general audience describing the insidious role of white supremacy around the world.

Chandran Nair argues that white privilege is the best way to understand how oppression and dominance by Western cultures operates. Touching on history, business, environment, entertainment, media fashion, education, and more, he analyzes how it has shaped, repressed, and destroyed local cultures to seek and preserve white economic power.

Nair identifies white privilege as the driving force behind globalization, being constantly upheld and reproduced by a global superstructure that perpetuates widespread white economic and military dominance. This book provides a middle ground between brief media mentions and the dense rhetoric of racial politics so readers can develop a new worldview around dismantling white privilege at the global scale.

 

The Sustainable State

When it comes to sustainability, the developing world (unlike mature economies) faces a dilemma. Both advanced and developing economies need to become much more sustainable given the challenges of the 21st Century (e.g. peak population, climate change, increasingly scarce resources, and so on). However, the developing world has yet to achieve a basic standard of living for all its people. The development models available to them (based off a Western experience) all rely on the overuse of resources and over-consumption, but these options will no longer be appropriate in a more resource constrained world. When it comes to sustainable development, developing countries need to achieve both sustainability and development. But under current models, developing countries can only achieve either sustainability or development.

It is strong state governance, with its legitimacy, accountability and authority, that is the foundation upon which strong global and local governance is built, and it is the only viable pathway to sustainability for the developing world. What is necessary is a “sustaining state”: one which preserves public and common goods to ensure that all citizens receive the basic “rights of life” through the equal and fair access of resources.

A strong state is the best vehicle for governance if the developing world is to achieve a universal basic standard of living without dooming the planet. This strong state will have an active and consistent government presence in the economy to resolve the system-wide market failure that encourages overconsumption, and will directly act to provide basic needs to a wide population.

Consumptionomics

In his book Consumptionomics, Chandran Nair advocates that the Western model of consumption-led economic growth cannot be replicated in Asia, that current and future leaders must find alternatives to safeguard our future. He argues that resource constraints will require a realignment of economic policy in order to avoid catastrophic outcomes arising from the relentless promotion of a consumption-led growth model in the world’s most populous regions. He calls for curbs on some forms of consumption and for resources to be re-priced to reflect the true costs to society. Mr. Nair offers a new paradigm for governments, business leaders and academics to consider.

 

The Other Hundred Series

The Other Hundred is a worldwide initiative by GIFT that provides a better understanding of the people who make up our world and the lives they lead.

Through a series of 100 photo-stories drawn from photographers across the world, each edition of The Other Hundred moves beyond stereotypes to challenge conventional wisdom and introduce readers to the vast majority of people, ideas, places and cultures that are overlooked by most major media.

Learning Places : The GIFT Report

Learning Places: The GIFT Report discusses prosperity, people and progress—free of mainstream trends, conventional wisdom and comforting themes. It goes beyond a mere collection of case studies by drawing upon our boots-on-the-ground knowledge of markets, new business models, untapped customers and environmental constraints.

Volume 1

  1. Community-based sports facilities on underutilised land in Hong Kong
  2. Branded agricultural products from smallholder farmers in Iran
  3. Growth prospects for small and medium-sized enterprises in Myanmar
  4. Tech-enabled emergency response services in India’s most literate state, Kerala
  5. Commercial solutions to driving increased hygiene and public health in Vietnam
Volume 2

  1. Revitalising rural villages in ultra-urban Hong Kong
  2. Spreading access to incremental housing finance for rural families in Tamil Nadu
  3. Selling affordable health products to migrant factory workers in Vietnam
  4. Developing community sports facilities in Kuala Lumpur
  5. Building better links between Chinese smallholder farmers and nearby communities
  6. Growing an entirely new coconut industry in Cambodia
SPEAK TO US

  • MURARI K.
    CHIEF INFORMATION SECURITY OFFICER, UOB SINGAPORE

    Murari is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for UOB Singapore. Prior to joining UOB, he worked in various leadership roles in several multinational corporations across the banking, consumer and consultancy industries.

    On top of his role at UOB, Murari has taken on international and regional industry leadership and advisory roles. He currently serves on the Advisory Panel for Cyber Youth Singapore (CYS), is a Senior Industry Advisor for CIO Academy Asia and is a member of the Singapore Institute of Directors (SID). He previously served on the International Board of Directors for the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (FS-ISAC) and was a member of the ISACA International Professional Standards Committee.


  • KELLY CHAO
    HEAD OF CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT & ANALYTICS, PRUDENTIAL CORPORATION ASIA

    Kelly is the Head of Customer Intelligence & Analytics of Prudential. She leads customer management across the region leveraging data insights and analytics to deepen engagement with customers, fill their protection gaps and enable seamless experience. Prior to joining Prudential, Kelly held numerous leadership roles for top financial institutions. She has over 20 years of delivering business results with analytic solutions in sales & marketing, operations, risk management and HR.


  • LEO CHAN
    DIRECTOR OF HR, MICROSOFT

    Leo is the director of human resources in Microsoft Hong Kong. He oversees the day-to-day operations of all people-related programs to support the growth of the Hong Kong subsidiary. Having worked at the technology and life insurance sectors in North America and Asia Pacific, he brings a diverse set of skillset specializing in talent management, people development, organizational learning and talent acquisition. Prior to Microsoft, Leo was most recently the Head of Talent Management & Development at AIA, in charge of developing customized career advancement and contemporary talent retention strategies. He also elevated the role of human capital management beyond conventional means to reverse mentoring programs, next-gen summit, innovative hacks, design thinking and career roadmap visualizations. Leo is a huge advocate in working with the businesses to drive bespoke, relevant and practical solutions for their people.


  • JUSTIN NG
    ASSOCIATE CONSULTANT

    Justin is an Associate Consultant at GIFT and is responsible for supporting advisory projects relating to sustainability, innovation and social impact.

    Justin worked in New York and Hong Kong, including notable companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and most recently at Deloitte Digital in a consulting role. At PwC Hong Kong, he was in the Government and Public Sector Consulting practice and was involved in local projects related to Smart City, IoT infrastructure and start-up innovation. Justin has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and a BSc in Media, Culture & Communication from New York University.


  • MYRA CHEUNG
    CONSULTANT

    Myra is a Consultant at GIFT and is responsible for managing advisory projects relating to sustainability and social impact and developing transformative leadership programmes.

    Myra’s background is in strategy and evaluation for public health policy and interventions and is experienced in project management, capacity building and stakeholder engagement (NGOs, government and industry). She has had experience working in cross-cultural environments in Zambia, Cambodia, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong. Myra has an MSc in Public Health specialising in Health Promotion, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London. She also holds a BSc with a major in Cell Biology and Genetics and a minor in Human Nutrition from the University of British Columbia, Canada.


  • KK LING

    STRATEGIC PLANNING ADVISOR

    HONG KONG/SHENZHEN CORPORATION

    Mr K. K. Ling is a professional town planner. He was the Director of Planning of HKSAR Government and President of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners. He is now the Director of Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He also serves the community as the Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Housing Society, Director of the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited and Chairman of its Entrepreneurship Committee, and the Chairman of the Country and Marine Parks Board. He is also the Adjunct Professor of the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Professor of Practice (Planning) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


  • VALERIE LIANG
    PROGRAMME MANAGER

    Valerie is Programme Manager at GIFT. Prior to joining GIFT, she spent several years in the Legal Industry, with a particular focus on corporate law, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Global Leadership and Development at the University of Hong Kong. She received her law degree from University College London and is a member of the New York Bar. She is fluent in Mandarin, English and Cantonese.


  • VINOBHA ANTHONY DOSS
    PROGRAMME ASSOCIATE-ASEAN

    Vinobha Anthony Doss is a Programme Associate at GIFT ASEAN. Prior to joining GIFT he was in the practice of civil litigation and dispute resolution. He has been involved in various public policy shaping cases lodged in the Malaysian courts. His creative approach coupled with the depth in legal knowledge has resulted in effective legal reasoning and client management. Vino graduated from the University of London and was called to the Malaysian Bar in 2017. He speaks fluent English, Malay, basic Cantonese and basic French.


  • VIJI NAIR
    OPERATIONS MANAGER-ASEAN

    Viji is the Operations Manager at GIFT Asean.  She oversees the operational management of the KL office.

    Prior to joining GIFT, Viji worked in various organisations and has spent the last 15 years on NGO work mainly focusing on performance arts and cancer respectively.  Viji holds a BA (Hons) in Psychology from the Dublin Business School.  She speaks English, Bahasa Malaysia, and Malayalam.


  • BRENDA CHEAH
    PROGRAMME MANAGER-ASEAN

    Brenda oversees the programme design and implementation, as well as content development at GIFT. Prior to GIFT, Brenda was a Senior Economist at the Central Bank of Malaysia for almost 8 years, leading macroeconomic assessments and growth projections for monetary policy deliberation. Passionate about public policy, she also sought to diversify her research interests and expertise over the years – ranging from trade competitiveness and investment incentives to social protection. When COVID-19 hit, Brenda had a hand in crafting various stimulus measures to support the vulnerable groups in Malaysia.

    She holds a degree in BSc. in Economics with honours from the University of Warwick, UK. She has also attended various professional courses by the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of Korea at Washington D.C., Singapore and South Korea. She is fluent in Malay, speaks several Chinese dialects and knows basic Korean.


  • VENUS DULANI
    PROGRAMME ASSOCIATE

    Venus joined GIFT in 2021 as a Programme Associate. She has extensive experience in programme management and supporting advisory projects related to sustainable development in Hong Kong and wider Asia. She was a key contributor to a feasibility study on establishing a global plastic recycling platform and circular plastic waste management. Venus’ other responsibilities include managing and creating content for GIFT’s PR.

    Prior to joining GIFT, she worked at the United Nations, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and a boutique sustainability consulting firm. She was involved in projects ranging from climate change and sustainability planning, public policy research and analysis, to stakeholder engagement, and community outreach. She graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Studies, with an additional concentration in Inequality Studies. She is fluent in English and Hindi.


  • KARIM RUSHDY
    FACILITATOR

    Since joining GIFT in 2010 Karim has served in several roles, including as Head of Programmes in Hong Kong, and as Managing Director of GIFT’s Southeast Asia business. He has designed and facilitated dozens of classroom, field-based and virtual development programmes for leaders at Fortune 500s, MNCs, Government Agencies and NGOs.

    After 22 years in Asia, Karim returned to Scotland in 2022 and now lives between Edinburgh and Kuala Lumpur. In addition to facilitating, he currently serves as strategic advisor to GIFT’s new EdTech venture GIFT.ed, and dedicates his spare time to studying, practising and teaching mindfulness-based approaches to living well with stress and chronic pain.

    Prior to GIFT, Karim was a partner in a Shanghai-based food and beverage company which opened 50 stores across a dozen Chinese cities. Karim has an MBA from the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, and is pursuing a Masters in Teaching Mindfulness Based Courses at Bangor University in the UK.


  • ERIC STRYSON
    MANAGING DIRECTOR – GLOBAL SERVICES

    In addition to leading GIFT’s dynamic team and business, since 2008, Eric has facilitated more than 50 experiential leadership programmes in fifteen countries. He is well versed in introducing new ideas on governance, business and sustainability and coaching participants to think critically about their role as leaders. Before joining GIFT, Eric spent several years managing multi-stakeholder partnerships between global brands and civil society groups in the United States and China. He writes and speaks regularly on topics related to leadership development and the changing role of business in society. Eric is an alumnus of Stanford University and holds a Masters from Hong Kong University.


  • CHANDRAN NAIR
    FOUNDER & CEO

    For more than three decades, Chandran has advised governments and MNCs on strategic management, leadership issues and sustainability, and is often invited to facilitate for top corporate education providers including Duke CE, INSEAD and NUS. He was previously Chairman of ERM in Asia Pacific, helping establish it as the world’s leading environmental consultancy. Chandran is on the Executive Committee of the Club of Rome and is a member of WEF’s Global Agenda Council on Governance for Sustainability and Experts Forum, where his thought leadership is sought for its fresh insights and intellectual honesty. He is the author of the best-seller – Consumptionomics: Asia’s Role in Reshaping Capitalism and Saving the Planet, and The Sustainable State: The Future of Government, Economy and Society.