Rethinking the Future of Work to Promote Inclusive Growth in Asia Pacific


One Step Ahead Series


The program is by invitation only. If you would like to register, please email Ms. Mayelle Rarugal at

The Asia Pacific region is home to nearly 60 percent of the world’s population, including seven of the world’s ten most populous countries and some of the world’s smallest island nations. It is also the global leader in employing robots for manufacturing, with an estimated 65 percent of the world’s total industrial robot usage. As a region known for its low-cost and low-skilled labor – “the factory to the world” –, Asia Pacific will likely be facing socio-economic challenges, as a growing number of displaced workers seek employment. However, the trend toward automation and digitization is also introducing significant opportunities in the region. It is imperative that employers, policymakers, educators and civil society work together to confront the new socio-economic realities that accompany the region’s digital transformation. The forum contextualizes the most recent developments shaping the future of work in Asia Pacific, and brings together key public, private and civil society leaders who are thinking and acting strategically and at scale to ensure that the workforce of the future is an inclusive one.


  • Doris Magsaysay Ho, Chair, Asia Society Philippines
  • Nicolás Aguzin, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific, J.P. Morgan


  • Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Ayala Corporation

9:20 AM - 9:50 AM SHARING SESSION I | Unleashing the Potential of Inclusive Growth in the Future of Work: Findings from Research and the Field

As automation advances demand for higher cognitive skills, such as creativity, critical thinking and decision making, work requiring basic data input, processing and cognitive skills, and general equipment operation is on the decline, impacting especially the disadvantaged. This session highlights developments proving to be effective in tackling the challenge of equipping a diverse labor force with skills they need to succeed.

  • Jordi Prat Tuca, Technical Officer, Enterprise Development & Skills, International Labour Organization
  • Boris Tanyu Van, Associate Partner, Manila, McKinsey & Company
  • Anthony Abad, Founding Partner, Abad Alcantara & Associates (Moderator)

9:50 AM - 10:45 AM PANEL I | The Future of Work Ecosystem: Aligning Supply and Demand for an Inclusive Labor Market

Employers across Asia Pacific continue to be concerned with talent shortages, despite relatively high youth unemployment rates. They cite lack of work experience and employability, soft, technical and critical thinking skills in current talent pools, while job seekers struggle to find meaningful employment with mobility prospects. It is increasingly clear that policies advocating for further expansion of higher academic education are not bearing fruit in the employment market. By contrast, vocational education and training, which support work-based learning models, are gaining traction. However, accelerating technological change is disrupting traditional skills training models, requiring employers and educators to innovate to remain relevant. This session explores innovative delivery models and platforms that promote cross-sector collaboration to close labor supply and demand gaps.

  • Charles Bodwell, Enterprises Development Specialist, Decent Work Technical Support Team, East and Southeast Asia and Pacific, International Labour Organization
  • Atul Harkisanka, Regional Sales Leader, Talent Solutions, LinkedIn
  • Monchito Ibrahim, Executive Adviser to Secretary, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Philippines 
  • Shekhar Shah, Director General, National Council of Applied Economic Research
  • Cathy Yang, Anchor - Managing Editor, ABS-CBN News Channel (Moderator)

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM COFFEE BREAK

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM SHOWCASE | School to Work::Work to School

Preparing for the future of work requires deeper and more agile engagement between the education sector and industry, and this integration must be bi-directional. In addition to building pathways that prepare youth in classrooms and workplace internships, we need models, tools and incentives to bring industry-led skills training, values and understanding of markets directly into classrooms. The Education Development Center presents a case study of one such reciprocal partnership, and explores its potential to create an agile, resilient talent pipeline and transcend cultural norms that can hinder equitable, inclusive employment opportunities.

  • Antolin "Lenlen" Oreta III, Mayor, Malabon City, Philippines
  • Thamonwan Poramathikun, Teacher, Chiang Mai Technical College, Thailand
  • Priska Sebayang, Country Manager, Indonesia, Education Development Center
  • Rebecca Jackson Stoeckle, Vice President, Education Development Center (Moderator) 

11:30 AM - 12:25 PM PANEL II | Reskilling and Upskilling: Reinventing Education and Training for the Workforce of the Future

The International Data Corporation forecasts that, by 2021, 60 percent of Asia Pacific’s GDP will stem from digital products or services driven by digital transformation, the speed and scale of which are changing the skills needed in the workforce. Those with in-demand skills enjoy a more beneficial bargaining position in the job market, while those from disadvantaged backgrounds without sought-after skills struggle to find their footing. Helping this group to upskill and reskill in a continuously changing environment is a defining labor challenge of our time, and requires significant initiative and action by educators, policymakers and employers. This session examines different approaches to skilling for the future, and models that are and are not working, especially when it comes to helping people from underserved backgrounds enter and thrive in high-growth industries.

  • Sabina Brady, Board Trustee, Bainian Vocational School
  • Michael Fung, Deputy Chief Executive, Industry, Chief Human Resources & Chief Data Officer, SkillsFuture Singapore
  • Mark Keese, Head, Skills and Employability Division, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Rosanna Urdaneta, Deputy Director General, Policies & Planning, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
  • Quintin Pastrana, Anchor, ABS-CBN News Channel (Moderator)


  • Jaime Enrique Y. Gonzalez, Trustee, Asia Society Philippines
  • Carlos Mendoza, Senior Country Officer & Head, Banking, Philippines, J.P. Morgan

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM LUNCH


Sponsored by

JP Morgan

Event Details

Tue 04 Jun 2019
9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

The Peninsula Manila, 1226 Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Add to Calendar 20190604T010000 20190604T053000 UTC Asia Society: Rethinking the Future of Work to Promote Inclusive Growth in Asia Pacific The Peninsula Manila, 1226 Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines