Alleviating Poverty in Asia: Separating Fact from Fiction

Alleviating Poverty in Asia: Separating Fact from Fiction

Slums in Manila
A slum in Manila during flooding in October 2009. (Sustainable sanitation/Flickr)

Evening discussion with:

Brett Rierson, World Food Programme, John Stefanac, Qualcomm Southeast Asia & Pacific, Christopher Tan, Grameen Foundation, Deborah Kan, Wall Street Journal

Drinks: 6:30 pm
Discussion: 7:00 pm
Close: 8:00 pm

Remarkable economic progress in Asia over the past few decades has pulled millions of people out of poverty. Many, however, have still been left behind. Asia is home to two-thirds of the world's poor, with about 700 million people in Asia Pacific living on less than US$1 a day — 400 million of them in urban areas. Eliminating poverty though requires the public and government sectors to work together with not-for-profit organizations and the private sector. How can these different sectors be brought together to eradicate poverty? How can the private sector be engaged, and encouraged to do more? With many households still lacking access to institutional finance, is microfinance an effective tool for promoting poverty reduction for households? Has it served as a tool for social transformation?

Brett Rierson, Director, China Liaison Office, World Food Programme
Brett Rierson is responsible for WFP's relations with the Chinese government, private sector and high net worth donors. He has also held a senior position at the Clinton Global Initiative. Rierson has a diverse background in the private sector, politics and humanitarian relief. Rierson has degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from INSEAD.

John Stefanac, President, Qualcomm Southeast Asia & Pacific
Based in Hong Kong, John Stefanac oversees the execution of Qualcomm's market strategies and manages the Company's business operations throughout the region. Stefanac has more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications and information technologies industries. He has an MBA from Henley School of Management, UK.

Christopher Tan, Chief Executive Officer, Asia Region, Grameen Foundation
Christopher Tan is responsible for defining and executing the Grameen Foundation's long-term strategy, and overseeing its various investments and technical assistance projects in the region. He has more than 15 years of experience in development finance, nonprofit management and public interest law. Tan holds a JD from the Ateneo de Manila University and an MPP from The University of Chicago.

Deborah Kan Executive Producer, Wall Street Journal (Moderator)
Deborah Kan is currently Executive Producer of The Wall Street Journal. During her career, she has worked for Reuters Television, Star News Asia and TVB. Kan convened a program of interviews Talk with Deborah Kan with business and world leaders on Star World Channel. She is the recipient of New York Festivals award for a series on plight of Vietnamese refugees living in China.

Event Details

5 December 2012
6:30pm - 8:00pm

9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong

HK$180 Asia Society members/ Full-time students; HK$230 non-members