Looking Forward: The U.S., Asia and the Next Big Idea


An Asia Society Symposium

orville at 2016 symposium

Program Format
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM     Registration and lunch (lunch will be provided)
12:00 - 12:45 PM           Panel 1: Fireside Chat – The Asia Society and the Asia Pacific
12:50 - 2:00 PM             Panel 2: The Next Big Idea from the Asia Pacific

Panel 1: Fireside Chat – The Asia Society and the Asia Pacific
Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society, in conversation with:
Vishakha Desai, President Emerita, Asia Society
Robert Oxnam, President Emeritus, Asia Society
Josette Sheeran, Asia Society President and CEO

Panel 2: The Next Big Idea from the Asia Pacific
Moderated by Eric Best
Peter Calthorpe, Principal, Calthorpe Associates
Jules Korthenhorst, CEO, Rocky Mountain Institute
Thierry Porte, Managing Director, JC Flowers

Eric Best

Eric Best is an author, speaker, strategic scenario consultant and executive advisor.  After a 20-year journalism career and a 5,000-mile solo sail from San Francisco to Hawaii and back, he came to Wall Street in 1995 as a scenario strategist to help Morgan Stanley determine what the internet would mean to financial services. He spent the next decade applying scenario thinking for Morgan Stanley to uncertainty in world markets and since 2006 has headed his own boutique consulting firm, Best Partners SC. 


Peter Calthorpe is a San Francisco-based architect, urban designer and urban planner. He is Co-Founder of Calthorpe Analytics, Inc. and serves as its Principal. Mr Calthorpe has been named one of 25 "innovators on the cutting edge" by Newsweek Magazine for his work redefining the models of urban and suburban growth in America. His current work throughout China is focused on developing standards and examples of Low Carbon Cities in Beijing, Chongqing, Kunming and other major cities.

cropped Desai

Dr. Vishakha N. Desai is Senior Advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University, Senior Research Scholar at its School of International and Public Affairs, and Vice-Chair of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. From 1990 through 2012, Dr. Desai served in various capacities at the Asia Society, ranging from being Director if its museum, to being the President and CEO of the organization from 2004. As President of the Asia Society, she expanded the Society’s reach in Asia through innovative programs such as Asia 21 Young Leaders programs and through establishments of centers and new buildings. She is widely credited with introducing contemporary Asian arts through major exhibitions and publications.

Jules Kortenhorst

Jules Kortenhorst is the Chief Executive Officer of Rocky Mountain Institute. He is a recognized leader on global energy issues and climate change. His background spans business, government, entrepreneurial, and nonprofit leadership. Prior to RMI, Jules was the founding CEO of the European Climate Foundation (ECF), the largest philanthropic organization dedicated to policy development and advocacy on climate change in Europe. Before launching ECF, he served as a member of the Dutch parliament for the Christian Democratic Party.

Robert Oxnam

Robert Oxnam is the former president of the Asia Society (1981-92), America’s leading public education institution on all aspects of the Asia/Pacific region.  He has been an advisor the Bessemer Group, a traveling China lecturer for various individuals (Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, President George H.W. Bush) and institutions (Society of International Business Fellows and Robinson College of Business).  In the early 1990s, he served as Special Correspondent for the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour  where he hosted a nine-part PBS special on China.  

Thierry Porte

Thierry Porté is a Managing Director at J.C. Flowers. Prior to joining the firm in 2009, Mr. Porté was with Shinsei Bank, Limited for approximately five years, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer and in various other executive roles. Before joining Shinsei’s Management team, Mr. Porté spent 22 years at Morgan Stanley & Co., where he served in various capacities in capital markets, corporate finance and management in New York, London and Tokyo, ultimately becoming a Managing Director and the President, Representative Director and Branch Manager of Morgan Stanley Japan.

schell square

Orville Schell is the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York. He is a former professor and Dean at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Schell is the author of fifteen books, ten of them about China, and a contributor to numerous edited volumes. He is also a contributor to such magazines as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Granta, Wired, Newsweek, Mother Jones, The China Quarterly, and The New York Review of Books


Josette Sheeran is the seventh President and CEO of Asia Society. She is responsible for advancing the organization’s global work in the fields of arts and culture, policy and business, and education. Sheeran also serves as the UN Special Envoy to Haiti, representing the UN Secretary-General in advancing Haiti's 2030 vision and in helping secure an end to the transmission of cholera in Haiti. Sheeran is former vice chair of the World Economic Forum, known for its annual Davos convening and Davos in China. 

Event Details

Tue 03 Apr 2018
11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Bechtel Conference Center
500 Washington St
San Francisco, CA 94111

Buy Tickets
$10 members & students, $20 non-members
Add to Calendar 20180403T183000 20180403T210000 UTC Asia Society: Looking Forward: The U.S., Asia and the Next Big Idea Bechtel Conference Center 500 Washington St San Francisco, CA 94111