Rethinking Harmony in Asia 2023

Organizers: Asian Network, with support from the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, Generation Equality, and Asian Development Bank
Date and time
28 September 2023
09:00 am - 04:00 pm Singapore Time

Rethinking Harmony in Asia 2023 event banner.

Decisions made in the next few years will determine whether our existence on Earth, as we know it, will continue or collapse because of human activity. The need to change the way societies interact with and impact the environment becomes more urgent, as the tangible impacts of a planetary crisis accumulate.

Understanding geopolitics and geodynamics will also help us. With the advancement of digital transformation and artificial intelligence, it is important to pause and support minorities to foster an inclusive and just society.

All of these topics will be discussed at Asian Network's high-level conference, Rethinking Harmony in Asia 2023, which will gather 17 leaders from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, and Sri Lanka on 28 September.

The forum is organized by the Asian Network, with support from the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, Generation Equality, and the Asian Development Bank.


Prioritizing Food Security Challenges and Climate Sustainability | 9:00 a.m.–9:45 a.m. 

The session will delve into the critical intersection of food security challenges and climate sustainability. It will emphasize the pressing need to prioritize and address these interconnected issues on a global scale. Experts will discuss the intricate relationship between climate change and its adverse impact on agricultural productivity, leading to potential food shortages. 

Opening remarks: Dith Tina, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cambodia

Moderator: Jenny Sari Winata, Program and Research Associate, Foreign Policy Community,  Indonesia


  • Rajendra Aryal, Country Director for Indonesia and Timor Leste and Liaison Official for ASEAN, Food and Agriculture Organization
  • Lilan Dayananda, Managing Director, Elzian Agro  
  • Priyanka Kishore, Economist 
Rethinking Globalization in a Polarized World | 10:00 a.m.–10:45 a.m.

The session will explore the evolving landscape of global interactions amidst increasing polarization. Experts will delve into how traditional notions of globalization are being reshaped by growing ideological and cultural divides. The webinar will examine the impacts of polarization on international trade, diplomacy, and cooperation, and discuss potential strategies to mitigate its negative effects. 

Opening remarks: Yukihisa Fujita, Former State Minister of Finance; Member, Constitutional Democratic Party, Japan

Moderator: Ravindra Ngo, Founder, Asian Network  


  • Ilango Karuppannan, Former Diplomat; Adjunct Professor, International Institute of Public Policy and Management, Malaysia
  • Ichitomo Taninai, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Cambodia
  • Dewi Fortuna Anwar, Research Professor, Research Center for Politics, National Research and Innovation Agency, Indonesia
  • Anil Trigunayat, Senior Adviser, Economic Council of India 
Fostering More Inclusive and Just Societies | 2:00 p.m.–2:45 p.m.

The webinar will explore strategies for creating societies that prioritize inclusivity and justice. Experts from various fields will delve into the challenges and opportunities associated with promoting diversity, equity, and fairness on both local and global scales. 

Opening remarks: Akiko Yamanaka, Former Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan

Moderator: Giulia Ajmone Marsan, Director of Strategy and Partnership, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia 


  • Veronica Mendizabal Joffre, Senior Gender and Social Development Specialist, Asian Development Bank
  • Neha Bansal, Policy Specialist, G20, United Nations Development Programme 
  • Mahmudul Hasan, Program Officer and Youth Coordinator, United Nations Development Programme Bangladesh
Ensuring a Safer and Ethical Digital World | 3:00 p.m.-3:45 p.m. 

The session will delve into the evolving landscape of cybersecurity, emphasizing strategies to safeguard sensitive information, prevent data breaches, and counter emerging digital threats. Ethical considerations in the digital realm will be discussed, addressing issues like user privacy, responsible AI deployment, and combating disinformation. Experts in cybersecurity, ethics, and technology will share their insights, best practices to empower individuals, businesses, and policymakers to navigate the digital landscape with confidence and integrity.

Opening remarks: Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, Co-Head of EU Delegation to G20 Women 20

Moderator:  Kadra J. Saeed, Digital Innovation Lead, Asian Development Bank 


  • Pei Chin Tay, Digital Government Lead, Tony Blair Institute
  • Siriwat Chhem, Director, Centre for Inclusive Digital Economy, Asian Vision Institute
  • Arvind Gupta, Co-Founder and Head, Digital India Foundation
  • Isvary Sivalingam, Regional Lead-Southeast Asia, Better than Cash Alliance