International Experts Discussed Urban Transformation Through Art at SIAC in Shanghai
May 21, 2018

SHANGHAI, May 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The forum on "Urban Transformation Through Art", co-hosted by SAFA (Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University), Baowu Steel Group, TICCIH (The International Committee for Conservation of Industrial Heritage) and LIHC (League on Industrial Heritage in China), and organized by SIAC (Shanghai International Art City) Research Institute, is not a one-time idea platform to present a big project to transform Bao Steel's industrial heritage into an art city. The project is going to be an important test case in China where they have abundant industrial heritage resources today.

The two-day forum (May 11-12) continues to be heard after the event because of its size, the reputation of the speakers, and the importance of the theme. SIAC (Shanghai International Art City) attracted the attention of the public because of the importance of converting the industrial heritage of key industries such as Bao Steel into an art city.

Prof. Hang Jian, China Academy of Art, spoke about 100,000 ambitious heritage conservation plans currently under way by Chinese government, which includes regenerating the industrial heritage as well as conservation plans for traditional Chinese rural areas and their way of life. China has more than 5,000 years of history but the experience of industrialization is only 160 years.

On the first day, participants visited the industrial heritage site of Bao Steel and felt the sweat that workers poured for the prosperity and industrialization of China. One of the participants suggested that Bao Steel's industrial heritage should be permanently preserved as a sacred work site through minimal restoration.

The forum was divided into four different research topics under the main title "Urban Transformation through Art", a subject suggestive redevelopment of industrial heritage. The forum also discussed rejuvenation plans that utilize arts and how to revitalize industrial heritage through architecture and urban planning.

Summary of the discussion

1. A museum is not just a place for exhibition and a temple of collections but a platform for the public to relate, participate and suggest their active opinions. The audience today are not passive visitors to be educated by professionals of institutions but an opinionated neighbor. Museums should transfer their ownership to the audience.

2. Relative success stories of industrial rejuvenation have been introduced in the west and in China. Orsay Museum in Paris from train station, Venice Biennale Arsenale Exhibition Space refurbished from shipbuilding and ship-fixing space, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum in Berlin from Berlin train-station, Wiels Contemporary art center in Belgium, etc. In China, Chin Pagoda and Hangzhou Pagoda were also introduced by Stephen Hughes, secretary general of TICCIH. But unagreeable industrial rejuvenation cases have not been introduced. Success stories vary and are debatable. Failure cases are all varied and debatable as well.

3. Why are most success stories of Industrial Heritages transformation focused on art museums, art centers or art-oriented facilities? Is art so important? Is art a victim? Is it simply because making art-related spaces is cheap? Is art casual, easy or at stake? Why not architecture?

4. Industrial Heritage Rejuvenation should be able to preserve not only memory of the process of conservation but also of the history of users. Industrial heritage regeneration is understood as a surgery or demolition of buildings. But it could be a nutritional injection and reconnection to the history.

5. SIAC (Shanghai International Art City) shouldn't be a city of tourism with art. Art city is not a tourist city that uses art, but the quality of the city is more important. Quality is a guarantee of life.

6. Rejuvenation is about reusing. It is like two sticks which are called chopsticks, not a single chopstick, which is almost useless. Art is like Chinese chopsticks. Baowu heritage site is 26 square kilometers but in reality, there are 230 square kilometer sites in Shanghai that need to be rejuvenated.

7. The relationship between art and rejuvenation of city is not inevitable and conclusive. Is it because art is cheaper than any other medium? Urban Transformation Through Art? Why not through architecture?

8. Community culture needs to be related to the SIAC context. Eva Franch i Gilabert said that she doesn't work with business models in her architectural practice but an idea model. It alludes to the future of SIAC.

9. The difference of value and capital are crucial matters that need to be reconsidered in the field of art given recent environments.

10. Why do we pay attention to the legacy of the past? What is the role of heritage? What about living heritage? Energy of creating space and energy of memory go together.

11. SIAC should also be a city for education for future generations.

12. Academic Director of the forum, Yongwoo Lee, said in a conclusive comment "we make a house but the house shapes us. We don't seem to think that the city we create shapes the framework of our actions, habits and values."

Source: Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution

Office Etiquette – Don’t Be The Office Pain!
JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute Pte. Ltd.
May 11, 2018

While working in an office, it is essential that you follow the Basic Office Etiquette. It is important for employees to maintain a professional atmosphere at the office, after all, this does not only help in making the company/brand look more professional, something that always attracts clients, but may also cost or help your career. It’s your choice! The more professional the environment the more respectable the company will look. Hire professionals and they’ll dress and behave professionally!

Here are some of the basic office etiquette that everyone needs to be aware of!

Firstly, take care of your attire, remember it is Dress for Success!

While going to your workplace, you need to look your best. After all, it’s about displaying professionalism in everything you do and business is not a casual affair. You need to understand that office attire is completely different from what you might wear at home or while you hangout with your friends. Although some companies may not “force” their employees to follow a particular dress code, however, it is common knowledge that you dress to portray a professional look. If you don’t only want to rely on your mirror and may need a GPS to steer you in a fashionable direction, my Style Workshop can help you to get on the right track to dress for success!

Remember to make a lasting impression and you’ll gain trust!

Try not to goof around. You need to look as professional as you can. Don’t be loud, keep your head in your work, you don’t want to cause inconvenience for your co-workers (civility in the workplace). Make sure to meet and greet everyone you are introduced to and try to remember their names. Also, make sure that you are always polite and courteous. Just use the general phrases that we are all familiar with such as ‘excuse me’ when you want to grab someone’s attention or when you sneeze. Saying ‘please’ when asking for a favor and ‘sorry’ when you need to show that you didn’t mean for something to happen just makes others feel comfortable and respected. Thank the person when they help you out.

Try not to borrow people’s things, even if it’s just a stapler, without their permission. Make sure you don’t interrupt people when they’re talking, whether it is during a meeting or a casual conversation. Also, you need to understand that you must respect others privacy. You should not walk into their cubicle without knocking. Remember, the more courteous you are the more people will like you and the more trust you can build.

Be organized and well groomed!

Another thing that you must take care of is cleanliness. Make sure your desk or your cubicle is not messed up. This will not only show how professional you are but will make it easier to keep things organized.

Remember to wash your personal tea cup after you’re done with it and not just leave it in the pantry or on your desk. Remember to keep yourself groomed because the better you look the better you’ll feel and you’ll project a positive “well-put” image.

Never be late, after all being late is not only unprofessional but also show how disrespectful you are and your credibility is at display. Lastly, do not do things that portray you feel bored or sleepy so watch out for your body language. We are constantly communicating without being verbal. Keep your head up high, don’t yawn or rest your head on the desk. Show your boss you are engaged in your work and the rest comes from alone referring your career ladder (Business Etiquette).

Company JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute Pte. Ltd.
Contact Juliana Mamoni
Telephone +65 833 279 23
24 Michelin Stars Bestowed to 20 Restaurants in Taiwan
Mar 18, 2018

After the 36 Bib Gourmand honorees unveiled last week on March 6th, 20 dining establishments became Michelin-starred today, among the 110 listed in the inaugural MICHELIN Guide Taipei 2018.

The highly-anticipated list, announced in Taipei today, revealed a total of 20 Michelin-starred restaurants in Taiwan. As the only restaurant bestowed with three Michelin stars, Le Palais (頤宮) in Palais de Chine Hotel, was recognized for its “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”

Two Michelin stars, which meant “Excellent cooking, worth a detour,” were given to two restaurants. One of them was Ryu Gin (祥雲龍吟), whose Japanese culinary leader Ryohei Hieda had spent nine months prior to the opening of the restaurant, combing the island to look for the right ingredients. Currently, all ingredients used are local, save for some exotic seasonings.

The other went to The Guest House (請客樓) in Sheraton Grande Taipei Hotel, a classy restaurant renowned for its Hunan and Sichuan dishes. Culinary writer Liang-Yi Han, who once sojourned in the Netherlands, described the restaurant as "borderless-cuisined." Every time a foreign friend comes to Taipei, she would bring him to The Guest House.

17 One-Starred Restaurants in Taiwan

A total of 17 restaurants were initially disclosed at the press conference as one-starred, recognized for its “High quality, worth a stop.”

The first to be announced was Da-Wan (大腕燒肉), selected for its refined dishes and attentive services. Then followed Danny's Steakhouse (教父牛排), opened by Danny Teng, “The Godfather of Steak.”

Listed restaurants of local Taiwanese cuisine include Golden Formosa (金蓬萊遵古台菜餐廳) and Ming Fu Seafood (金蓬萊遵古台菜餐廳). Cantonese cuisine selections include Three Coins (大三元酒樓). Tien Hsiang Lo (天香樓) in The Landis Taipei Hotel for Hang Zhou cuisine; Ken An Ho (謙安和), Kitcho (吉兆割烹壽司), Sushi Nomura (鮨野村), and Sushi Ryu (鮨隆) for Japanese cuisine.

For contemporary French cuisine, L'Atelier De Joel Robuchon, led by the most Michelin-starred "Chef of the Century," was featured in the one-star selection, along with La Cocotte by Fabien Vergé, MUME, Taïrroir, RAW, and Longtail the Bistro.

As for the freshly-minted 36 Bib Gourmand eateries unveiled last week, 10 are street food vendors in night markets that are a common sight across Taiwan. Hong Kong food show host, Michael Lam, also known as “The God of Cookery Junior,” observed that many iconic Taiwanese dishes have stood out this year, such as beef noodles, which brought eight restaurants to the Bib Gourmand list. The selection revealed that street markets and iconic local dishes are integral to the daily livelihoods of Taiwanese people who do not see the place merely as a sightseeing spot, but one with lots of stalls that offer good snacks and filling meals.

By Yuchie Wu

Translated by Sharon Tseng.

A Day In The Life Of A Woman Institute Director
JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute Pte. Ltd.
Mar 13, 2018

This “mompreneur” lives a very full life, managing her business on youth and social etiquette while at the same time being hands-on with her teenage sons. She shares how she got her groove by having a solid routine, discipline, and priorities. What’s a day like for an institute director?

Our International Women’s Day series, “A Day In The Life Of A Woman”, celebrates the women in our lives. From the everyday to inspirational, the series aims to highlight women from various fields and share a bit of the diversity we experience every day.

Juliana Sliwka says that as a mother of two boys, she began building her business while traveling around the globe with family. Her lifestyle was hindering her full presence at work as an employee.

She became serious about small business when life took another turn and hit her hard through a traumatic experience that changed her life perspective and felt she had to make a choice on how to live their everyday lives.

In three years, Juliana established and developed a lifestyle brand covering etiquette, styling, and healthy living. The business was then launched as an institute in 2016, focusing on three core areas: business, youth, and social etiquette. Juliana’s mission for her enterprise is , “looking good, acting good, and feeling good” that touches people and their entire relationships around the world.

For Juliana, she emphasizes she is a “mompreneur,” and says there’s a reason why “mom” goes first in the word. She says motherhood is still her first priority, starting and ending her day as one which is why Juliana juggles her responsibilities of being a mom with those of being an entrepreneur.

She offers insight on what a typical day looks like in her life:

6 AM: My alarm goes off. I express in prayer how thankful I am to have woken up this day because someone went to sleep that night and didn’t wake up with their “little big problems.”

I mentally walk through my priorities for the day (family priorities, then work priorities). I write down the priorities for the day if not the night before. I must get all the mental notes that have been piling up in my mind since I woke up on paper before I forget it. It gets me mentally organized.

I stretch and try to focus on my breathing. I do my morning salutation and then have my morning washing routine done quickly.

6:30 AM: I wake up my boys (mostly five minutes earlier to prepare them slowly to wake up), talking to them, asking about how they slept, just being totally present for them. I never want them to feel the rush in the morning or that I’m too busy to care about even the little things they have going on.

7:15 AM: For breakfast I mostly join the boys with a jug of hot water and fresh squeezed lemon and manuka honey. This morning though, I have a bowl of quinoa or oat cereal with some chia seeds and pomegranates. Afterwards, we leave the house together to catch the school bus and once they are off, I go for a 40 minute jog or walk depending on how my night’s sleep was.

I’ve made exercise a critical part of my morning routine whether I want to or not. If I don’t get it done first, it won’t happen at all and then I lack the energy and clarity to be productive during the day.

I shower and dress up for the “office.” I rarely plan a meeting or workshops before 10am, except the holiday workshop camps.

8:30 AM: I spend most of my day in my home office handling business matters, social media, and the family schedule such as menu and shopping plans. I also see if there are any school activities or early after-school activities planned for the boys during the day.

9:30 AM: I’m in the office or institute in the heart of downtown. I change from wife and mama mode to business woman and professional, spending a lot of time in front of my computer typing away, responding to emails and inquiries, researching, reading, writing, checking all my social media platforms. I do this while promoting the business with design ideas, content and networking, and if it’s a workshop day, I’ll be in the boardroom for coaching sessions with clients until 2 PM, sometimes later, depending on the Q & A’s after each workshop.

I usually meditate for a few minutes before the workshop sessions and just make sure I am really present, so I can help my clients as much as possible over the next hours.

11:30 AM: I take a break to grab a quick lunch, a sandwich or salad. Then back to my day of management, website control, marketing strategies, how to make cost reductions and raise sales.

I own an educational institute. I like working early hours. I have learnt that if I do not put in the time, my business will not only begin to go stagnant, but if I’m not careful, the competition will swallow me up. I want to constantly grow my business, expand, and stay ahead. This is what keeps me at the office as much as I can afford, otherwise I’m only at my home office if the day schedule requires it.

One of the things I love about my business is that it is global and is a people business and I can serve all women, men, and children all over the world, no matter which socio-economic background!

3 PM: It’s like the Flintstones whistle and I’m out there, into the car and back to my other role as “mama-taxi,” schlepping kids from activity to activity, snacking while chatting about the day, where it’s mostly a monologue.

My boys are teens now so it’s me who wants to be around them after they are at home or at any of their afternoon sports activities. I treasure every single moment with them and the satisfying feeling of simply being together and being part of their lives. I also inform and include them in my business adventures. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies with two teen boys but most of the time they enjoy that quality time too.

5 -7 PM: If there are no evening sports activities and once the boys are doing homework or whatever activity to calm down from their activity-packed days, it’s back to the computer for me to tie up loose ends in the evening before dinner time.

I publish a blog post that I have already written about on my upcoming workshops. I delete and respond to a few emails because I like to go to sleep with zero emails in my inbox as I think I sleep better. J

8 PM: I’ve almost reached the top of that daily mountain all parents climb. Mostly, it’s downtime with the entire family watching a Netflix TV series or documentary film, or just spending some quality time together.

I only go back to the computer after dinner around 7:30 – 9 PM when there are upcoming workshops for the next days or any articles needed to be done before publication deadlines.

10 PM: Recently, both my husband and I have always made it a family routine to bring the boys to their rooms, take turns in chatting briefly about their day with each of them, and say good night. This is also the time where they calm down and mostly open up to us about things going on in their lives, a precious time for both kids and parents.

10:30 PM: I go to bed and briefly talk with my husband about our day and plans. I sometimes read one of the three books I’m currently reading and then pray to God for how grateful I am for my family. Finally, my day ends and lights out! It’s been an exhausting but great day!

Juliana says that this example of a day in her life isn’t exhaustive as it doesn’t list down her mom duties much. It also doesn’t detail her other work duties, like pre-booked activities or publication deadlines for contributions for example. She also has what she calls a “Me Day” where she does yoga, massage, etc. She calls this her wellness day.

Still Close Family Bonds Through It All

As Juliana previously said, she believes in finding your own groove with discipline, routine and priorities. And as the kids grow, you also adjust your daily routine and life continues to change. “In a nutshell, despite being both working parents, our morning time and most evenings are family time,” she explains.

“It’s our top priority and it truly belongs to the boys and our family life which we cherish so much. This is the reason why we still have a strong bond with our teens despite being entrepreneurs and my husband who mostly works much longer hours, having conference calls through different time zones, being in a restaurant or meetings or traveling the globe. The stable routine at home continues.”

“Every parent’s life is a balancing act and as a mompreneur you must make the most of your free time to keep your business growing, your family happy, and yourself sane otherwise you’ll go crazy,” Juliana shares.

“There seems to be a method to the madness; knowing your routine and sticking to it whenever possible, allowing few distractions. Of course, life doesn’t always go as planned so there’s always tomorrow — a fresh slate to wake up with that ‘fire in the belly.’ But it’s also important to be there 100% in every situation. My boys want me to be Mom, my business needs me to be the tough boss, and my husband married me, not my small business. I try to think of what my primary role is at different times throughout the day and keep myself from getting pulled in too many directions at once.”

“Having children who are completely dependent on your every move, organizing a household, and trying to run and manage a fully functional (and hopefully profitable) business isn’t an easy task. So, while mompreneurs look for a daily balance between chaos and symmetry, we are most happy when the biggest ROI comes in the form of a well-adjusted family.”

“Ironically, I always advise my clients to be cautious with taking on too much because it can leave them overwhelmed or overworked which will eventually affect their families and the work that they produce,” she continues. “You don’t want to under-deliver in your career.”

Real Dirty Work Behind The Scenes

Juliana explains, “We’re living a life we love and chasing a dream that we believe will change lives. Having purpose like that is invigorating. But when you take a step back behind the scenes, you’ll quickly find that those living the mompreneur life are not necessarily living a life of glitz and glam and unparalleled success. And if you’re a mompreneur yourself, you’ll know what I mean.”

“In terms of posting on social media, if I’m speaking for the things I post, what you’re seeing is real, but what you’re seeing is only a piece of the story. I mean check out these pictures of people drinking wine on Facebook, standing on a rooftop in NYC or wherever on Instagram, winning pitch competitions in Silicon Valley, and prepping for a spot on the news. Nothing says glitz, glam and a damn good time like these pictures.”

“What you’re not seeing is the meltdown, discussions about pricing, knocking at doors about 100 times to get a business deal, endless negotiation with no outcome, tight shoulders from hours of working at computer, etc. The list is long.”

Happiness Is Key To Work-Life Balance

“I am a firm believer that the happier you are in your career, the more successful you become. Happiness is the key to work-life balance and my day is mostly a great balance of all the things that make me happy.”

“Helping people launch their dream careers, helping people become the better version of themselves, promoting and instilling character education in youth, spending as much time with my boys and husband and feeling fulfilled by reading and being by myself so that I can be fully present,” these are what make Juliana happy she says. She also says that her kids encourage her and are her inspiration.

Juliana shares some final inspiring words. “What I’m sharing with you is that, whatever life you have, you can choose to use your position as a learning lesson for your children. And I hope that while my boys grow and grow, they’re able to describe me as a strong woman who took chances that required sacrifice, never feared to fail, stumbled but rose up again, and yet showed them love and made them always a priority in the process.”

Help celebrate the women in your life. Invite them to join our Connected Women Facebook group so they can introduce themselves, make friends, gain valuable input and share with like-minded ladies.

Juliana Mamoni, “Mompreuneur”, Founder and Director of the Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute of Singapore, is a globally recognised Lifestyle Expert, known by many as “The Life Guru.” The Economist with a further degree in Hotel Management (Berlin) and a diploma in Men’s Fashion Design (Milan) was coached by an assistant to the acclaimed late designer Gianni Versace.

She holds workshops and instructional meetings addressing Contemporary Etiquette in Business, Social, and Youth. Her life experiences, professional exposure, and ongoing studies led to the birth of JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute. Her aim is simple: to help people make healthier, more socially appropriate choices, resulting in happier, more rewarding lives. She focuses on the etiquette element of her three-pronged lifestyle manifesto: healthy lifestyle, personal style, and contemporary etiquette (mastering soft skills and emotional intelligence).

Juliana is frequently quoted in the media. Articles about her work have appeared both in print and online. She’s a member of the International School of Protocol and Diplomacy Brussels, acts as a Mentor for the students of NUS and is Author of “Help Your Child Shine” – Etiquette and Character Education For Kids Ages Five to Seventeen – available on amazon, and also of two booklets for Soft Skills at Workplace (Contemporary Business Etiquette, 10 Power Soft Skills for Success at Work)

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Company JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute Pte. Ltd.
Contact Juliana Mamoni
Telephone +65 833 279 23
Indonesia Needs $20 Billion For Tourism Development
Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Mar 02, 2018

Indonesia’s initiative to create and promote ten “new Balis” – ten new tourists destinations that could become as popular as the crowded holiday island – would require about $20 billion in investment, the government calculated, hoping for developers from China, Singapore, Thailand and other countries to foot half of the bill.

Plans are to invest in tourism infrastructure in Lake Toba, Tanjung Kelayang, Tanjung Lesung, Kepulauan Seribu & Kota Tua Jakarta, Borobudur, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru, Mandalika, Labuan Bajo, Wakatobi and Morotai.

Indonesia’s ministry of tourism projects that, by 2019, these places will draw ten million additional tourists annually, which would boost the country’s tourism industry of currently four per cent of gross domestic product to 20 per cent by 2019.

According to tourism minister Arief Yahya, around 120,000 hotel rooms, 15,000 restaurants, 100 recreational parks and 100 diving operators will be added to the destinations, said. Other infrastructure will also be built, such as solar facilities as green power sources.

China is projected to be one of its biggest backers, thanks to Indonesia’s participation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. China also would be among the most important source countries for additional tourists to Indonesia, and special promotion campaigns are planned there.

In 2017, Indonesia welcomed around 14 million foreign visitor arrivals, a new record high and up 21.9 per cent year-on-year from 11.52 million foreign visitor arrivals in the preceding year. However, the country failed to achieve its 2017 target of attracting 15 million foreign tourists, with the main reason being heavy volcanic activity at Bali’s Mount Agung.

This year, Indonesia expects the number of foreign tourist arrivals to increase to 17 million, with a projected revenue of around $16 billion, up from $15 billion last year.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Company Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Contact Imran Saddique
Grab and IFRC call for solidarity with people in need through Southeast Asia's largest loyalty programme
Feb 07, 2018

• Partnership with Grab is IFRC’s first fundraising initiative globally using a smart phone app
• Grab customers can convert GrabRewards points to a donation to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
• Following earlier 2016 partnership, the organisations continue to find innovative ways to respond to emergencies and disasters

Singapore, 6 February 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- Grab and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today announced a partnership to raise additional funds for supporting vulnerable communities, including those affected by disasters. The collaboration between the world’s largest humanitarian network and Southeast Asia’s leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform will enable Grab users to convert their points into donations to the IFRC. Allowing donations via smartphone app is a first globally for the IFRC. This is the the next chapter of Grab and the IFRC working together to find innovative ways to support the disaster-prone Southeast Asian region, following an earlier partnership in 2016.

“Southeast Asia is one of the world’s most vulnerable regions for disasters while a wide number of people are still struggling to access food, safe water, health services or basic livelihoods. Working together with the Red Cross and Red Crescent to fund their programmes and help people in crisis or despair echoes our mission to drive Southeast Asia forward. Grab wants to stand together with IFRC in responding to disasters and making vulnerable people more resilient. Using GrabRewards as a platform makes donating as easy as a tap on your phone. The points our passengers earn from their rides will now give them not just access to a wide range of retail and lifestyle products, but also create a deeper sense of purpose with every ride that they take with Grab,” said Jason Thompson, Managing Director, GrabPay Southeast Asia.

From 31 January onwards, Grab users in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam can visit their GrabRewards catalogue and convert their points into donations, with just a tap on their everyday app. Grab customers in Singapore can do a donation starting at 5 SGD in exchange for 2,200 GrabRewards points.

Pierre Kremer, IFRC Head of Partnerships for Asia Pacific said, “Grab’s history as a homegrown tech company and its extensive reach across Southeast Asia make it a natural partner for the IFRC. This is the first time we’ve partnered with a smartphone app to raise funds. We have in common a commitment to expand people-to-people connections and solidarity and contribute to build resilient communities, cities and countries. This is the commitment of the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and hundreds of thousands of volunteers working within communities in need. We are excited to work with Grab to explore new ways to tackle suffering and demonstrate the power of humanity in Southeast Asia.”

The IFRC will redistribute each country’s donation to the local Red Cross or Red Crescent Society, for use on that country’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Programmes include disaster risk reduction, improving safe water supplies, responding to volcanic eruptions, floods, cyclones or typhoons or epidemics, encouraging voluntary blood donations, and enhancing the protection of marginalised or vulnerable groups such as children or migrants.

The organisations have previously explored innovative ways of working together. In 2016, Grab and the IFRC engaged in a one-year partnership to promote road safety, provide emergency assistance and equip Grab’s fleet of drivers with life-saving skills and road safety knowledge across the region. The partnership upskilled Grab drivers with first aid and road safety techniques and drew on Grab’s driver fleets and call centres as a first-responder network during disaster and emergency situations.


About Grab
Grab is Southeast Asia’s leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform. Grab solves critical transportation challenges to make transport freedom a reality for 620 million people in Southeast Asia. Grab’s core product platform includes transport solutions for drivers and passengers with an emphasis on convenience, safety and reliability, as well as its proprietary mobile payments platform, GrabPay, which is increasing access to mobile payment solutions for millions of Grab riders and drivers across Southeast Asia and deepening financial inclusion in the region. Grab currently offers services in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. For more information, please visit:

About International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world's largest humanitarian network working with 190 National Societies and guided by seven Fundamental Principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, universality and unity. The IFRC’s areas of focus are disaster risk reduction; shelter; livelihoods; health; water, sanitation and hygiene promotion; protection, gender and inclusion; and migration. For more information, please visit:

For media enquiries, please contact:

Yvette Lim
Vice President
Teneo Strategy for Grab
+65 9451 8478

Rosemarie North
Asia Pacific Communications Manager
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
+60 12 230 8451

Alina Tee
Singapore Red Cross Corporate Communications
+65 6664 0578

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution

Sodexo Unveils Global Survey of University Students: Decoding the Purpose-Driven Gen Z
Jan 31, 2018

Singapore, 29 January 2018 – Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life services, has released its first-ever International Student Lifestyle Survey. Students from China and India were among 4000 students from 6 countries across 3 continents - including Italy, Spain, U.K., and U.S. - to provide insights about ways to improve quality of life along students’ academic journeys in this inaugural global edition.

The report drives an understanding of university students around the world and helps universities provide new offerings, living arrangements and studying spaces that alleviate students’ stress about studies, finances and careers after graduation. As students become increasingly diverse and cosmopolitan, these findings provide relatable insights into university life regionally and globally.

The survey of undergraduates took students’ pulse on everything from what most influences their decision about where to attend university, to who is paying for their accommodations, to how much they’re exercising and sleeping, to their career plans (or lack thereof).The responses about the four stages of a student’s lifecycle—pre-arrival, arrival, living and departure—provide insight into universal student experiences and into those experiences where culture and expectations make an enormous difference.

Colm O'MAHONY, CEO, Schools & Universities, Sodexo Asia Pacific, said:
“The college and university industry is changing rapidly, in part because the expectations of Generation Z are much more fluid, varying quite a bit among student populations and from country to country. Our survey affirmed Sodexo’s understanding of this generation as more worldly and interested in campus services and opportunities that help them live a fast-paced, stress-free lifestyle. Meanwhile, it’s very important to today’s university students to be able to voice their concerns or opinions to their academic institutions. Universities have an opportunity and a responsibility to cultivate a profound understanding of what contributes to their students’ quality of life, from the design of student accommodations and traditional gathering spaces—libraries, study halls and courtyards—to the way they welcome international students who have very specific needs. Universities that reconfigure their operational model to suit these expectations will be much more effective at alleviating some of the mental, sociological and economic pressures that students around the world say they are under.”

Key findings include:
• Overall quality of life of global students? Just OK. Across the six countries surveyed, most students report medium stress levels, medium levels of wellbeing and medium to high-quality living arrangements. Overall, students report being especially stressed out in their first month by the newness of university and adjusting to the differences between high school and university studies. Yet, Chinese and Indian students’ satisfaction with lives tops the list, at 82% and 76% respectively.

• Students consider both immediate priorities and long-term implications when selecting a university: When deciding which college to attend, a friendly atmosphere is the most important factor, mentioned by 78% of students. Reputation and ranking is almost as important, cited by three-quarters of respondents. Further, students value internet research about colleges (72%) more than advice from parents (62%), teachers (57%) and friends (49%).

• There’s a global appetite to learn stress management and money management skills: Dealing with stress is the skill students most want to learn (50%), with money management a close second (48%). Globally, 30% of students have considered dropping out of university, with half blaming study-related problems, approximately one third citing their health or mental health, and one third saying the reasons are financial. However, only 5% of Chinese undergraduates have considered dropping out of university, which may correlate with the difficulty of getting into college.

• Students are more motivated by passion than money in their careers: Just over half of the students surveyed know what they want to do after graduation, and most students are more concerned about finding a job quickly (37%) or in a field they’re interested in (36 %) than with earning a high salary (24%). Though Chinese students are generally satisfied with university life, two thirds of them worried about their ability to get a job, well above the global average.

• Professional experience is valuable: 67% of Chinese students and 54% of Indian students have done an internship during the course of their studies, well above the global average of 37%, showing eagerness in gaining early exposure to working life.

• Academics matter more for Indian and Chinese students: the ranking of the university was significantly more important to them than the students from US. They are also the keenest to improve their knowledge.
• Health is wealth: Indian students are the fittest among students from across the world. They get at least 30 minutes of exercise 4.7 times a week, compared with the average of 3.4 times globally.

• Gen Z students are less “traditionally” social and more serious (and money is a contributing factor): Students are socializing less than might be expected. They look for cheap social activities and generally prioritise accommodations with facilities that focus on day-to-day living rather than recreational or social facilities. Their social life is one of the first things to be sacrificed to save money; 56% have saved money by not going out with friends.

The inaugural International Universities Lifestyle Survey builds on the success of Sodexo’s industry-leading, biennial University Lifestyle Survey of students in the U.K., which has been released since 2004. This is the first year Sodexo, which serves 8 million students a day at 1,000 universities in 32 countries, has conducted the survey globally. The research was carried out in spring 2017 by YouthSight, which surveyed 4,027 students from six countries who completed questionnaires online. The sample included 1,008 U.S. students, 1,005 from the U.K., 507 from Italy, 500 from Spain, 505 from India, and 502 from China, in all years of study.


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Yin Kuan Chek

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Decoding the ‘Private Message’ Culture
Jan 29, 2018

E-commerce vendors expanding into Southeast Asia need a unique sales model for each country. Increasingly, Southeast Asians living in Taiwan and Southeast Asian online celebrities are emerging as the key to social media-based e-commerce.

E-commerce is still in the fledgling stage in Southeast Asia. Most consumers still habitually shop in brick-and-mortar stores where they can see and touch the products. Many harbor doubts about the security and trustworthiness of online shopping platforms.

Aside from trust issues, internet infrastructure is still relatively undeveloped in some Southeast Asian countries. Little bandwidth and slow internet speeds make browsing on mobile devices a tedious affair as images downloads are slow or full of errors, hampering local e-commerce development.

A survey by international consulting firm PwC indicated that consumers in Southeast Asia favor shopping via mobile phone and social media apps more than consumers in other countries.

If consumers don’t trust e-commerce platforms, finding the right product online is as difficult as looking for a needle in a haystack. However, since mobile phone use is widespread, Southeast Asian consumers are much more open to shopping in the social media world through apps such as Instagram, Facebook or Line.

“The biggest obstacle to online shopping for Southeast Asian consumers is [the lack of] trust,” observes Tai Fan-chen, deputy head of the Commerce Technology Application Research Division of the Commerce Development Research Institute (CDRI).

Although each country has a distinct culture and background, Tai says, Southeast Asian nations have one point in common - they all greatly value personal contact.

Therefore, social media platforms that provide such a “human touch” are very popular and an important channel for reaching out to potential customers. Comparable to direct selling, this type of e-commerce model exploits interpersonal relationships to generate profits or entice people into making a purchase.

When you ask Taiwanese and Malaysian e-commerce companies what is indispensable to know when one wants to be successful in the Southeast Asian market, they will inevitably tell you: Private message or chat room economy.

What is Meant by Private Message Culture?

Private message culture means that customers use social media platforms and messaging apps to ask all kinds of questions about a product before they decide to place an order.

They inquire about product features such as size, measurements and price, or want to know how to place an order: how to navigate the site, make a money transfer, accept a delivery, and so on. While online shoppers in Taiwan are used to these logistics processes from order to delivery, inexplicable problems can crop up anywhere along the way in Southeast Asia.

“What occurs most often is that people ask you how to place an order; people here are used to letting you help them order,” explains Zhi Qing Wong, a customer representative at the Malaysian subsidiary of Taiwanese cosmetics company All Young.

“Many people are lazy,” remarks Ng Shern Yau, co-founder and COO of Hong Kong-based Logistics Worldwide Express (LWE), which uses Malaysia as its logistics and customer service hub. Ng points out that some people get in touch not to ask the price, but rather to haggle about the price, which would not be possible if they order through a website. “Malaysians like to haggle,” notes Ng.

Consumers in different markets also differ. Shoppers in the Philippines tend to be impulse buyers, whereas Malaysian consumers tend to hesitate and think over purchase decisions for some time.

“They love chatting; I once spent an hour answering a customer's questions, but he waited a month before placing his order,” recalls Eng Sin Yee, customer representative at Taiwanese online cosmetics and body care retailer Shopping99.

Hsu Yi-chih, general manager of Vacanza Accessory, a jewelry vendor who is also active in Malaysia and Vietnam, points out that communication with new customers is time-consuming and therefore costly. Consumers expect an exchange of several private messages, and even after all their questions have been answered, they do not necessarily make a purchase. “They want to chat with you to confirm that you are a real person,” Hsu points out. (Read: Appealing to Southeast Asian Markets with Taiwanese Quality)

In Taiwan, online vendors often use endorsements by Internet stars or manage social media communities because this has proven the most effective approach for building reputation and trustworthiness in Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asian Graduates in Taiwan Manage Social Media Communities

Shopping99 counts among the Taiwanese online vendors who expanded into overseas markets at an early date. Last summer, the company made a second attempt to win the Malaysian market, relying on Malaysians living in Taiwan to manage social media communities in their home country from Taiwan.

Shopping99 co-founder and chief marketing manager Sharon Peng has hired Malaysians who graduated from universities in Taiwan and put them in charge of marketing, social media, customer service and promotional live broadcasts because they know best how to communicate with Malaysian consumers.

A mobile phone, two hosts, three products and four spotlights are all it takes to get rolling for a live broadcast on the latest must-have beauty products sold on Shopping99.

“You definitely won’t find this in Malaysia…,” the two Malaysian hosts, Fang Wan-yi and Huang Hsin-yi, tell their live audience. The pair, who speak Mandarin, English and Cantonese aside from their mother tongue Malay, smoothly switch from one language to another when introducing products. During the broadcast, they occasionally respond to online messages from viewers.

The live broadcasts take place two to three times per week lasting 20 minutes to half an hour. During the program, Fang and Huang not only advertise the products but also present life in Taiwan. They once did a live broadcast from an Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodles outlet, and also filmed an episode comparing different bubble milk teas.

“We don’t do live broadcasts only to sell stuff; sometimes it is to build brand recognition and intimacy,” notes Peng. The broadcasts help convince customers that Shopping99 is a legitimate shopping website and enlivens the fan community so that people ask questions when they consider a purchase.

Aside from managing their own social media communities, the fastest way for companies to boost their brands is to directly partner with online influencers who take advantage of their popularity and their fans’ trust to feature products in their videos.

Teaming Up with Internet Celebrities

“Online celebrities and online models are not the same. Online celebrities must have their own ideals. What we are doing now is steering online celebrities’ focus away from simply viewer numbers to gaining their viewers’ trust,” explains Kokee Lau, general manager Greater China for Malaysian online artist management agency Red People. Taiwanese online cosmetics retailer 86shop collaborates with Red People to boost the site’s popularity in Malaysia through online influencers.

Shopping99 also once invited Philippine online celebrity Sachzna Laparan, who has more than a million followers, to Taiwan. During the four-days, three-night trip she not only promoted products in live broadcasts but also food and fun activities in Taiwan, which greatly boosted interaction with her fans.

Marketing by Compatriots Engenders More Trust

Another trend that has recently emerged is Taiwanese companies collaborating with Southeast Asian social media influencers who live in Taiwan to promote their products among migrant workers and immigrants from Southeast Asia.

Indonesian national Anny Ting has lived in Taiwan for 16 years. She is well-known among Taiwan’s Indonesian community as the host of an award-winning radio program. Ting also works as a translator, voice-over artist and, most recently, in a new capacity as live broadcast celebrity.

As a Muslim, Ting often wears a headscarf. She is known for her acute fashion sense and ability to pick the right colors, and is often asked where she buys her headscarves.

“Sister, I want to buy the same scarf as yours,” is a request Ting often hears from migrant workers.

Last October, a Taiwanese headscarf maker asked Ting to present their products. So she launched live broadcasts on social media such as Facebook and Line promoting cosmetics, health and body care, make-up brushes and wireless karaoke microphones, eliciting an overwhelming response from her audience.

Ting reveals that of all the products she has endorsed, the headscarves have so far proven most popular, while clothing and body care are also selling well. On average, customers spend between NT$1,000 and NT$2,000 per purchase. Clearly, this is a previously overlooked market segment.

Ting is convinced that “trust” is the key reason why her live broadcasts became a success. “Because I used to be a migrant worker, the Indonesians in Taiwan feel that I am one of them,” she notes.

Evidently, understanding the market, localizing marketing and building trust among consumers are the keys to e-commerce success in Southeast Asia.

Translated from the Chinese article by Susanne Ganz

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New Beach Bin Could Help Tackle Waste on Beaches
Jan 22, 2018

Popular beaches in West Sussex, and perhaps more widely across the UK, could become cleaner, thanks to an innovative waste bin designed by a student at the University of East London (UEL).

The BinForGreenSeas project, organised by the GreenSeas Trust ( and supported by Arun District Council and its waste contractor Biffa, saw 9 students create designs for an iconic beach waste bin that could help reduce seaside waste by reminding visitors to dispose of their litter carefully. Judging to select a winning design took place at the university.

Winning Design

The students, all in their first year of their product design course, showcased innovate and forward thinking designs using 3D models, accompanied by their presentations.

The winning design, produced by 19 year old, Laura Monica Carusato, takes its inspiration from the ventilation shafts of the majestic passenger liners of a bygone era. “It’s designed so people don’t just place or drop plastic waste in the bin, they throw it in, so it becomes fun, something children and adults can enjoy, like playing basketball.”

The judging panel comprised of Fazilette Khan, founding trustee of the GreenSeas Trust, who presented the winner’s trophy; Edina Seiben, GreenSeas Trust project coordinator; Biffa business development manager Karen Sherwood; and Darren Wingrove, project manager at Logoplaste Innovation Lab.

They assessed the designs for originality in the design, form and use of materials; effectiveness in attracting attention; potential to carry educational messages; practicality (function and ease of use); serviceability (ease of emptying); and manufacture (production cost, sustainability and durability).

"We are very excited to have reached this milestone and chosen the winning bin design, said Fazilette Khan. "Changing behaviour to stop people leaving their litter on beaches or discarding it into waterways is challenging. We are optimistic this bin design will help do just that,"

Dispose Of Litter Properly

Karen Sherwood commented: “All of the designs submitted showed that a lot of thought had gone into them. Laura’s prototype won for its originality of design, ease of use, and because it would be practical to clean and empty. Every year, Biffa’s cleaning staff collects and disposes of many tonnes of waste that are so thoughtlessly left on Arun’s beaches.”

A spokesperson Arun Council said, "It’s vital that our beaches and seas are kept as clean as possible. The winning design is eye-catching and we hope to see the design in production and in use. We are hopeful that Laura's design will help influence beach-goers to put their rubbish into nearby bins so that it can be recycled or disposed of properly."

According to Andrew Wright, UEL senior lecturer in product design, the project aimed to encourage thoughtfulness through design. “Our enthusiastic students used design thinking to combat the ecological plight of the sea, aiming to change human behaviour using their creative skills."

Beach Study

Last October, 20 students from the UEL’s design faculty, and accompanied by representatives of the GreenSeas Trust, Arun District Council and Biffa, collected and analysed litter from the shore line of Littlehampton Beach.

Their study, which included waste composition analysis and use of high tech GPS equipment, helped identify waste materials found at different areas of the beach. This data informed the potential design of a new waste bin, as well as the best locations for bins.


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Innovative projects exhibition inspires greater youth empathy
Jan 17, 2018

The first exhibition of the “Jockey Club Enhancing Youth Empathy Project through Immersive Visualisation” (the Project) organised by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust will showcase students’ innovative solutions to help those in need and protect the environment.

The aim of the Project is to use CityU's leading immersive visualisation technology and expertise in computer science, engineering and creative media to empower young people to solve social problems and develop empathy among the youth in order to promote a more inclusive and sustainable society.

Officiating guests at the opening ceremony for the exhibition on 17 January included Mr Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiung, Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the Hong Kong SAR Government; Ms Winnie Ying, Head of Charities (Grant Making – Youth, Education & Training, Poverty) of The Hong Kong Jockey Club; Mr Lester Garson Huang, CityU Council Chairman; Professor Way Kuo, CityU President; Professor Matthew Lee Kwok-on, Leader of the Project and Vice-President (Development and External Relations); and the coordinators of the three programmes under the Project: Professor Horace Ip Ho-shing, Vice-President (Student Affairs); Professor Sophie St-Hilaire, Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health; and Dr Lam Miu-ling, Assistant Professor of the School of Creative Media.

In his welcoming remarks, Mr Huang thanked the Trust for sponsoring the Project and organising the exhibition. He said that CityU students could take this opportunity to express their creativity by using immersive visualisation technology to contribute to society.

“Nowadays, social innovation is an important process for developing effective and novel solutions to social and environmental issues in support of social progress. At CityU, we embrace a holistic perspective on social innovation, emphasising knowledge creation, skills development and values cultivation to enhance the social impact and enrich the lives of both innovators and beneficiaries,” he said.

“What we are witnessing today are truly impressive, i.e. collaboration and innovative solutions from NGOs, academics and students to empower our young people to develop passion for needy groups in society, and to develop a stronger sense of responsibility among them to address the related social challenges,” said Mr Yang.

“The potential benefits (of the Project) boil down to better understanding the social or environmental issues from different perspectives, reducing inter-group conflicts, enhancing empathy in the community and even providing remedies to social problems,” he added.

“Youth is one of the Trust’s strategic focus areas. We aim to support youth development and tertiary education to inspire the city’s young people through programmes with innovative approaches. Through funding this Project, we hope it can bring manifold benefits to the city’s youth and society. With greater empathy, our young people can uphold the spirit of helping others and grasp every chance to collaborate, learn advanced technology and be change-makers,” said Ms Ying.

Professor Kuo expressed his deep gratitude for the enormous support of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the concerted efforts of CityU’s professors, other faculty members and student innovators, as well as the participation of the NGO collaborators and the service targets.

“CityU is dedicated to promoting discovery and innovation through its professional education. I am glad to see students taking advantage of our innovative technologies to help those in need and support sustainability. We believe that this is best way to give back to society and improve people’s lives,” he stated.

More than 10 innovative works will be displayed at the exhibition from 17 to 23 January on the 5th floor of CityU’s Lau Ming Wai Academic Building.

These works have been developed from three programmes under the Project: Companions of Social Inclusion (COSI); Technologies for the Elderly and Disabled People by Youths (TEDY); and Walking with Omura’s Whale Project (WOW). The exhibits include:

  • Virtual reality (VR) experience of the cultures of minority groups: Through VR technology, viewers can step into a Sikh temple and learn about the religion of a minority group in Hong Kong. They can also go into the community and visit shops like a butcher’s and a grocery store, marts selling Nepalese DVDs and traditional clothing, as well as halal restaurants where they can learn about minority cultures and living environment;
  • Smart phone app and installation that aid visually impaired bowling athletes: Serving like a guide, the application can inform athletes about their performance, such as the number of pins knocked down and the position of those remaining;
  • VR simulation of using an electric wheelchair: This is a collaborative project between CityU students and the Community Rehabilitation Service Support Centre of the Hospital Authority. By using 3D VR technology, a new wheelchair user can feel what it is like to control an electronic wheelchair and practice the necessary operating skills;
  • 3D print of a model of a 6-metre Omura’s whale: The world’s first complete Omura’s whale model, in a scale of 1:2 created by 3D printing technology.

    “The Project will last for three years. In the first year, we focused on organising a series of workshops to train students’ skills in VR technology. In the coming two years, we will lead students on in-depth research and let them interact with primary and secondary school students as well as the general public. As we promote the Project to society, we hope that more people in need can benefit,” Professor Lee said.

    About “Jockey Club Enhancing Youth Empathy Project through Immersive Visualisation”

    The Project, which City University of Hong Kong launched in January 2017 with funding worth over HK$15 million from the Trust, comprises three related programmes aimed at enabling young people to develop compassion for ethnic minority groups, the elderly and disabled, as well as nature and the environment. Utilising the University’s strengths in immersive visualisation technology, the young participants will be encouraged to develop their skills through “perspective-taking” and “role-taking”, and to create innovative solutions that meet the challenges and problems that different groups face.

    SOURCE / City University of Hong Kong

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