15-Jul-2020: Prof. Sivan participating in the Financial Times live-webinar: The Science of Self-Disruption: Innovating without Boundaries


When markets are shaken by unexpected events, organisations don’t just need to be strong, they need to be flexible. In the coronavirus crisis, many businesses have been left exposed because of an ingrained reluctance to disrupt themselves. But without embracing new ideas and technologies in a changing world, they may struggle to stay relevant. 

Self-disruption involves developing new skills, new offerings and entirely new cultures. While moving beyond established processes can be difficult to justify in the short term, especially if it involves cannibalising existing offerings, decision-makers and policymakers should think long-term and aim to build confidence in self-disruption as a strategic tool for growth.

It’s time to talk about the science of self-disruption. This FT Digital Dialogue, organised in partnership with Philip Morris International, will discuss how organisations can positively disrupt themselves by innovating in new areas, increasing operational agility, redefining relationships and reviewing regulatory environments.

To Financial Times event and registration click here.



What are some examples of self-disruption we have seen recently?
What is the role of scientific research in building a case for self-disruption?
How can businesses connect with consumers in the current environment?
What are some of the emerging technologies at the forefront of self-disruption?
How can organisations overcome resistance to self-disruption and the risks of cannibalising existing offerings?
How could regulatory environments be made more flexible to support self-disruption?


9:45am – Access to webinar opens
10:00am – Discussion begins
10:40am – Q&A
10:50am – Discussion closes


Digital Dialogues – the Financial Times’ virtual events offering – creates quality digital experiences for an international business community using authoritative and trusted FT content, delivered through high-level global platforms, data-rich webinars and other exclusive online event formats.live.ft.com/Digital-Dialogues

Philip Morris International (PMI) is leading a transformation in the tobacco industry to create a smoke-free future and ultimately replace cigarettes with smoke-free products to the benefit of adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, society, the company and its shareholders.https://www.pmi.com/


Moderator: Mercedes Ruehl

Asia Tech Correspondent Financial Times

Moderator: Mercedes Ruehl is the Financial Times’ Asia Tech Correspondent based in Singapore. She writes about technology and investment in Asia, from start-ups and entrepreneurs to the region’s biggest companies. She is also co-editor of #techAsia, a weekly newsletter by the FT and Nikkei delivering sharp analysis and breaking news on the dynamic world of technology in the region. Mercedes previously led the Financial Times’ newsletters and audience engagement team in Asia, and prior to that spent six years reporting in Australia on business, finance and politics for The Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Yesha Sivan

Founder and CEO of i8 ventures and Visiting Professor of Digital, Innovation and VentureChinese University of Hong Kong Business School

Yesha Sivan is the founder and CEO of i8 ventures – a business platform focusing on “Innovating innovating.” He is also a visiting professor of digital, innovation and venture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School. Sivan’s professional experience includes developing and deploying innovative solutions for corporate, hi-tech, government, and defense environments. He focuses on digital strategy (SVIT – Strategic Value of Innovation Technology), innovation and venture (employment black holes), mindful leadership (orange bike workshop), virtual worlds (3D3C platforms), and knowledge age standards (nine keys). After receiving his doctorate from Harvard University, he has taught executives, EMBA, MBA, engineering and design courses in his areas of expertise. His personal blog is https://dryesha.com.

Brett Cooper

General Manager Hong Kong & MacauPhilip Morris Asia Limited

Brett Cooper is responsible for the overall management of PMI’s marketing and sales functions as well as the day-to-day operations of the business in Hong Kong & Macau. Prior to his current role, Brett spent 20 years with various PMI affiliates, across a spectrum of functions. Born in Australia, Brett started his career in sales at PMI Australia before being transferred to PMI’s Operation Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he managed regulatory affairs for the European Union. In 2010, Brett was appointed Director, Corporate Affairs for the UK & Ireland. Brett then relocated to the Philippines, where he served as Commercial Approach Director for Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp, Inc., a lead role in the marketing and sales departments. Brett graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1999 with a Marketing & Management Major from University of Wollongong. He currently resides in Hong Kong with his wife and two kids.

Harriet Green OBE

Former CEO and ChairmanIBM Asia Pacific

Named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International in 2019, three passions have shaped Harriet Green’s journey as a business leader over the last three decades: solving complex business problems; creating environments of deep inclusion and building cultures that embrace lifelong learning and reinvention, including ensuring the new skills the world needs.

Not only has Harriet built new businesses within established global organizations, she has led significant business and digital transformations across a variety of sectors including technology, logistics, travel and consumer, driving profitable growth and increasing shareholder value. And over her career she has worked in four continents and run companies in hundreds of different countries and unique cultures.

As CEO of IBM Asia Pacific from 2018-2020, Harriet was at the forefront of positioning the company as a leader in Cloud and trusted partner for companies looking to unlock value from their data using cognitive computing such as AI, blockchain and security solutions.

Under her leadership, 55% of Country General Managers in AP were women, representation increasing significantly over her tenure. She was instrumental to launching a new education model,P-TECH, in seven AP markets to bring STEM education and experience to young people, with 25 P-TECH schools now open or committed the region. In addition, ‘STEM for Girls’ was launched in India in 2019 to improve the skills and careers of 1 million female students over a three year period. 

Previously, from 2015-2017, Harriet was IBM’s General Manager for Watson Internet of Things, Commerce and Education. Watson IoT was IBM’s first global start up and continues to thrive today.

Prior to this, from 2012-2014, as CEO of the Thomas Cook Group, Harriet led the successful global transformation and rebranding of the leisure travel company.

As a leader who believes that people should be able to bring their whole selves to work, for the last three consecutive years, Harriet has ranked Top 10 in the HERoes women role models lists. These recognize and celebrate company leaders who champion diversity and inclusion in business. Supported by the Financial Times in 2017/18 and Yahoo Finance in 2019, Harriet most recently ranked number 5 in the HERoes 100 Female Executives 2019 list for driving change to increase gender diversity in the workplace. 

In terms of non-executive Board positions, in February 2019, Harriet was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB); the government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry responsible for strategies that enhance Singapore’s position as a global centre for business, innovation, and talent. She is the First female ‘industry’ board member and Resourcing Committee member. For over nine years she sat on the board of FTSE 100 BAE Systems plc, a developer of defense and aerospace systems, before standing down at the end of 2019, and from 2008-2015 the Board of engineering company Emerson. Harriet is also a member of the King’s Business School Advisory Council. 

Harriet received her OBE for services to electronics in 2010.

Ronald Li

CEO and FounderNovoheart

Ronald Li is CEO and Founder of Novoheart, a biotech company dual listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and Frankfurt Stock Exchange with locations in Vancouver, B.C., Irvine, California and Hong Kong, and Professor and Director of Ming Wai Lau Centre for Reparative Medicine, Karolinksa Institutet (KI), Hong Kong. Concurrently, Prof Li has a professorial cross appointment at the Dr Li Dak-Sum Research Center, University of Hong Kong (HKU)-KI Collaboration in Regenerative Medicine of HKU. He graduated from the University of Waterloo and University of Toronto in Canada. In 1998, he joined the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) as a fellow in Cardiac Electrophysiology, and was subsequently promoted to Assistant Professor of Cardiology, and Cellular & Molecular Medicine. During his tenure at JHU, Prof Li was a 2-time recipient of the Top Young Faculty Award (2002, 2004), Top Prize for Young Investigator Basic Research (2001) and Top Postdoctoral Fellow Helen Tausig Award (2001) of JHU Medicine, 1st Prize Young Investigator Award from the Heart Rhythm Society (2002), and Career Development Award from the Cardiac Arrhythmias Research & Education Foundation (2001). In light of California’s US$3-billion stem cell initiative, Professor Li was recruited to become a tenured Associate Professor at the University of California, Davis where he founded and led the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Consortium. He later joined the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in Manhattan as Professor and Co-Director (with Kevin Costa) of the Section of Cardiovascular Cell & Tissue Engineering. During 2010-15, Prof. Li was the Founding Director of the Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Consortium at HKU. In 2015, he received the Spirit of HK Innovating for Good Award by the South China Morning Post.

With over 150 publications, Professor Li’s group focuses on human heart engineering, and was the first in the world to generate genetically engineered human heart cells and, more recently, the first human “mini-heart” with accolades such as the Best Study of 2005 and Ground-breaking Study of 2006 by the American Heart Association, Distinguished Visiting Professorship at University of Toronto Lewar Heart Center, Distinguished Alumnus of University of Waterloo, etc. In the past decade or so, his laboratory has received over US$40 million from the NIH, California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, Research Grants Council and Innovation & Technology Commission of Hong Kong, etc. On the translational end, his inventions have led to several spin-outs in the U.S. and H.K., including Novoheart and Xellera.

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