Much as some of us wish, the online media is here to stay, and grow in significance. Turning the clock back is wishful thinking. In his speech at this year’s National Day Rally, PM Lee talked about “disruption” as a seminal phenomenon that we need to learn how to manage. Avoiding it would mean missing out on fresh opportunities; ignoring it can be perilous. The greatest strength of the online space is its ability to democratise knowledge, and as a consequence, power. Forcing a new sensibility, the online media has altered the terms of engagement – putting greater pressure on those in power to be accountable. This has resulted in unprecedented levels of political and social upheavals. Thailand, Japan and “Arab Spring” are examples. To what extent can we justify scrutiny and exposes and the consequent disruptions to life, security and stability in the name of democracy and accountability? Are we seeing a “lose-lose” scenario or is it a necessary purgatorial step to a new, more balanced order? More specifically, how has this phenomenon played out socio-politically in Singapore – what is the trajectory? These are important questions that cannot remain on the back-burners.
MEET THE SPEAKER
Mr Viswa Sadasivan Founder & CEO, Strategic Moves Former Nominated Member of Parliament
VISWA SADASIVAN is regarded as one of Singapore’s influential thinkers, an opinion leader and advocate of its evolving sociopolitical space.
Viswa is CEO of Strategic Moves, a corporate strategy and crisis communication consulting practice with a keen interest in policy issues. Over the last two decades, Viswa has consulted for and trained thousands of corporate and public sector leaders in corporate strategy, innovation, strategic & design thinking, public engagement, strategic communication, and crisis leadership.
With over 30 years of media experience, both as practitioner and policy maker, as well as having moderated over 300 forums, Viswa has interviewed leaders such as the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia. In August 2011, Viswa gained accolades for his skilful moderation of a robust 2-hour forum and debate among the 4 candidates for the Singapore Presidential Election. For his independent thinking and incisive style, Viswa is today a highly respected discussion leader.
With 20 years of experience as a mediator, Viswa is an accredited Principal Mediator with the Singapore Mediation Centre and a Board Member of the Singapore International Mediation Centre. He served on several national committees including the Economic Review Committee and the Remaking Singapore Committee. He has also served on several public sector Boards, such as the Feedback Unit’s Supervisory Panel, Central Singapore Community Development Council, SPRING Singapore, Media Development Authority and the National Youth Achievement Award Council.
He is Vice President of the Executive Committee of the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA).
In his National Service (NS) capacity Viswa holds the rank of Colonel and in his National Service capacity serves as Deputy Director, Joint Operations Division, Singapore Armed Forces.
Viswa was also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of IQ (Inconvenient Questions), a sociopolitical site that aimed to be a conduit for honest engagement between stakeholders and the government in Singapore.
Viswa served a term as a Nominated Member of Parliament of Singapore.
He has a Master in Public Administration degree from the Kennedy School of Government and Administration, Harvard University, where he topped his class in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.
This event is presented by The HEAD Foundation, a Singapore-based think tank devoted to research and policy influence in education and leadership, for development in Asia. Admission is free.