Past Programmes


Agriculture is the mainstay of the Indian economy and 80% of all Indian farmers are considered smallholder or marginal farmers. Many are dependent on the monsoon for rain-fed irrigation and have limited access to resources such as credit, technology and market information, which perpetuate a cycle of poverty and deprivation. Water is often present just a few feet below ground but accessing it cheaply for year-round irrigation constitutes one of the biggest challenges to rural communities. Award-winning NGO,  International Development Enterprises India (IDEI), is dedicated to providing long-term solutions to poverty, hunger and deprivation by promoting the marketing and distribution of low cost, appropriate irrigation technology solutions to farming communities throughout India.

For its 31st YLP, GIFT has partnered with IDEI and engaged 23 executives from 13 countries representing 15 companies and organisations to visit local stakeholders and produce a business plan to attract investment and further promote the sales growth of affordable irrigation solutions across India. The group also made strategic recommendations to IDEI on ways to leverage its existing resources and review its organisational structure to provide greater efficiencies through the organisation. This proposal would give IDEI the opportunity to significantly impact the socio-economic livelihoods of rural communities.

The diverse group came from countries including India, Bhutan, Qatar, UK, Germany, Japan and Indonesia and were nominated by global companies such as BASF, ORIX, NEC, Standard Chartered Bank, Mastercard and CLP.

For a visual overview of the programme and a comprehensive review of the field-trip, please refer to the round-up and photostory.


Participants on the 30th Global Young Leaders Programme (YLP) responded to International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)’s invitation to make business and strategic recommendations on ways to commercialise its research technology and used IRRI’s Nutrient Manager for Rice as a basis for a business model. Through a combination of classroom-based discussions and onsite visits to local communities, this YLP proposed the establishment of a new company to drive an integrated ICT platform to improve rice crop management and provide farmers with access to credit, farming-related information and services. This platform would give IRRI the opportunity to reach out and significantly impact the socio-economic livelihoods of smallholder farmers, whilst contributing to more environmentally sustainable farming methods. Click here for a showcase of the business plan.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is a non-profit independent research and training organisation dedicated to developing new rice varieties and crop management techniques to improve rice yield and production in a sustainable manner. IRRI is one of 15 agricultural research centres worldwide that constitute the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).


The 2012 Integrated Leadership Programme (ILP3) was a continuation of the series of executive learning programmes developed in partnership with IMC Industrial Group, East West Learning Centre (EWLC), and the Global Institute For Tomorrow (GIFT). EWLC and GIFT have previously conducted two successful ILPs together in 2010 and 2011. Participants on the inaugural programme in 2010 developed an Integrated Community Development Plan for the NIKP Sangatta oil palm plantation in East Kalimantan, while the 2011 programme saw participants return to East Kalimantan to create the Active Citizenship Together (ACT) Framework for community engagement.

ILP3 provided the same unique learning experience designed to enhance participants’ own development as current and future leaders of the company’s various business units while also advancing IMC Group’s mission to “serve human well-being and create wealth at the same time.

Through an interactive group learning process and exposure to eye-opening ideas about globalisation, the role of business in society, leadership and corporate culture change participants proposed to senior management their recommendations to instill a culture of “HSSE Stewardship” throughout the company. “HSSE Stewardship” describes IMC’s approach to Health, Safety, Security & Environment that reflects the company’s holistic approach to business.

This year a group of 22 executives from 12 Business Units, and representing five nationalities, travelled to eastern Thailand to visit the country’s largest shipyard which is owned and operated by The Unithai Group – the Thailand arm of IMC industrial Group.  To facilitate the production of a robust output for senior management meetings and focus groups were conducted with internal and external stakeholders including Unithai employees, local communities, suppliers, clients and neighbors.

On the final day of the programme the team presented to group-level senior management and business unit heads who travelled to Thailand for a forum and discussion centred on the topic of HSSE Stewardship.




Sustainability Drives Future Business

Mongolia, 29 October - 9 November 2012

In October 2012 GIFT conducted the inaugural Sustainability Drives Future Business programme for the world’s largest chemical company BASF.

22 global executives from across BASF’s various businesses first spent one week in Hong Kong examining the drivers of change in the market and the role of their business in society.

During the second week the group traveled to Mongolia to work on a real-world business challenge in the country’s underperforming agricultural sector. Participants channeled their business acumen and wide range of experience towards the creation of a tangible output with measurable economic and social impact.


Promoting low-carbon development in Shanxi

Youyu, China, 27 August - 7 September 2012

GIFT’s 29th leadership programme tailored for ORIX Corporation marked its most diverse participant group to date. 24 of the group’s senior executives from 16 different countries and regions joined forces in Hong Kong and Shanxi Province, China for the ORIX Global Leaders Programme (GLP). The participants looked at a relatively young industry in China – energy management services, and its potential implementation on the county level. From their field visits and studies conducted in Youyu County, a mining region nationally famous for its dramatic accomplishment in government-led reforestation initiatives: from 0.3% of forest coverage 60 years ago to 53% today;  the task for the team was to draft a roadmap for establishing an Energy Service Company, or ESCO, in Youyu.

With the project partner Global Environmental Institute (GEI), a Beijing based NGO dedicated to using market-oriented approaches to solve environmental issues, the GLP team visited the local coal mine and power plant, in addition to factories, corporates, small businesses, financial institutions and other organisations. Based on their findings, the participants proposed a detailed business plan. The plan mapped out the potential opportunities for developing the energy management industry in Youyu, and proposed a county-level ESCO to be established, adapting the Energy Management Contracting (EMC) model. The proposal highlighted key resources that the ESCO would need, and provided some key strategic recommendations. The project team also saw strong potential that this model could be replicated in other parts of China.

For a summary of the programme check out the programme Round-Up.


Orix Corporation Logo      GEI Logo     


In GIFT's 28th YLP, 30 executives from 11 countries spent two weeks in Hong Kong and Mongolia, and crafted an initial blueprint for the first ever impact investment fund to be set up in Mongolia. Of the 30 participants, six came from Mongolia, holding senior level positions in organisations such as Oyu Tolgoi LLC, the Ministry of Finance, XacBank, Monet Capital and Inter Group. Other companies represented included Orix, NEC, DuPont, Bosch, DBS Bank, and BASF. The diversity in participant cultures, backgrounds, and work experience added dynamism and fresh perspectives in achieving project goals. The programme was conducted in close partnership with TenGer Financial Group, a regional family of companies leading the way in providing fair access to broad and inclusive financial services in Mongolia.

By the end of the programme, the partcipants produced a detailed report, complete with analysis and recommendations on the fund concept as applied to the current developmental state of Mongolia. The report also presented original ideas on how the fund can be managed, with the importance of creating social value. Some of these ideas include: using a budget-based management fee structure, delivery of technical expertise and support alongside investment, and an emphasis on patient capital rather than aggressive exits. All of these features stand in contrast to the conventional private equity fund approach and will be used to attract the new breed of global investors who do not focus solely on maximising their returns. Click here for an introduction to the report.

For a summary of the programme check out the programme Round-Up and Photo Story.