Past Programmes


In April 2012 GIFT conducted a customised action-learning programme in Hong Kong and Vietnam for 18 senior executives from the United States, Hong Kong and India. After spending one week in Hong Kong discussing the challenge and opportunities facing the rapidly changing Asian region, participants travelled to Ho Chi Minh City in south Vietnam to work on a real-world business case.

In Vietnam the group’s task was to propose recommendations for the East Meets West Foundation and Australia-based company F Cubed to pilot and commercialize Carocell™ solar water purifying technology throughout the country. Hosted by East Meets West, participants attended meetings with public and private sector stakeholders including the Vietnam Women’s Union and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and visited Carocell™ test sites in Tien Giang and Quang Nam provinces.     

About our partners:

East Meets West is a non-profit foundation with a clear vision to serve the poor and disadvantaged in Southeast and South Asia. It creates sustainable and catalytic solutions to difficult development problems and aims to transform the health, education and communities of disadvantaged people in the region by building partnerships, developing opportunities and creating community-based, long-term and scalable solutions with a significant and measurable impact on the beneficiaries.

F Cubed is an Australian-based global company dedicated to the conservation, production and processing of the world’s most critical resource, water. The company believes its new Carocell™ solar desalinating / purification technology is the most efficient and cost effective product of its kind, producing pure, clean drinking water on any scale from any water source.              


GIFT ran its first YLP of 2012 in Hong Kong and Cambodia. 21 executives of 11 nationalities representing 13 organisations designed a business plan focused on the creation of a significant investment opportunity in water treatment and distribution in rural Cambodia. This diverse group was comprised of emerging leaders from countries including Japan, Australia, and Malaysia who were nominated by organisations such as BASF, NEC, ORIX, Origin Energy, SOMA group and others. The programme was conducted in close partnership with DEVENCO, one of Cambodia's first venture capital and investment firms who take a socially-oriented approach to investing.

This project highlighted alternative approaches to large infrastructure projects to serve many residing in developing markets in Asia and elsewhere. Participants delivered an output in the form of a business plan, which incorporates substantial social as well as financial impact to the local community and comprises of a new model of consolidating, standardising and improving management processes at existing small scale water operators. The business plan focuses on creating a new holding company and outlines the following: financing expansion into the more remote villages of Cambodia; implementation of a simplified billing and collection system; a comprehensive marketing plan, and more. Click here for a showcase of the business plan. For a summary of the programme check out the programme Round-Up and Photo Story.


In the agricultural sectors of emerging economies such as India, capital is king. It dictates power and ownership and therefore providers of capital capture the lion’s share of surpluses created in agribusiness value chains. Now a new investment model which employs Participative Capital is challenging the status quo. The concept was developed by community-led initiative Just Change, and is the first plan of its kind which links producers, consumers and investors to ensure more equitable and sustainable economic systems. This participatory model allows for investments to be made in a manner where ownership, benefit and risk are shared by all participants.

In November 2011, 25 executives from 12 countries representing 15 organisations spent a week in India to produce a viable plan for Just Change to operationalise Participative Capital. This diverse group was comprised of emerging leaders from countries including Japan, India, Nigeria, and Malaysia nominated by global companies such as FedEx, BASF, NEC, Orix and Infosys.

The business plan presented to JCI focussed on creating a new independent operating company with the governance structure that would allow the participation of producers, consumers and investors in the production and sales of tea and paddy - a model that was created with the means to be used for other commodity products. Click here for a showcase of the business plan. For a visual overview of the programme and a comprehensive review of the field-trip, please refer to the round-up.


One of the most important socio-economic issues for China is its growing rural migrant population. In July 2011GIFT facilitated the 3rd annual Global Leaders Module (GLM), a component of the annual Senior Management Programme at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy which worked directly on this issue.

Participants travelled to Beijing to work closely with Compassion for Migrant Children (CMC), an NGO that delivers social and educational programmes for migrant children and their families, to assist them in drafting a set of strategic recommendations on CMC’s five- year expansion plan. The research briefing note that accompanied this programme outlines China’s current socio-economic status, and also the rising disparity between local and migrant access to education, social support and employment within China’s cities.

The programme culminated in a social policy conference in Beijing where the participants presented their recommendations for the next phase of CMC’s development. For a visual overview of the programme and a comprehensive review of the field-trip please refer to the round-up.


The 19th YLP was a tailored programme for 31 managers from American International Assurance (AIA). The team came from a variety of business functions and eight different countries throughout Asia. Their task was to create a social business model to aid the income generation of smallholder farmers through a comprehensive agricultural supply chain. The lack of economies of scale and access to capital makes it difficult for small-scale organic farmers to make a healthy profit from their produce. 

Global Village of Beijing (GVB) has been working closely with the local government in Wuxi, Chongqing to create a new model of rural governance and community development. GVB is also one of the first NGOs in China to promote sustainable living across the country. The business plan proposed for GVB and the Wuxi government focussed on building a trustworthy brand of Wuxi food products which could command a higher price in the market and meet the growing demand for safe food in China.


In February 2011, as part of the 18th Global Young Leaders Programme (YLP) a team of 21 international executives spent 9 days in Jianshi county, Hubei province, working to provide the county government with strategic recommendations for the five-year development plan of an integrated farmers association. Coming from Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Ghana and Colombia the group worked in partnership with the Consulting Centre for Farmers’ Associations (CCFA) and the Integrated Farmers’ Association of Heshuiping Region (IFAH). The latter association was established under the Integrated Rural Development and Governance Pilot Programme Office of the county government. 

After three decades of unprecedented economic expansion, this next phase of China’s development is as much a concern for the rest of the world as it is for the country itself. The challenge for China is to promote sustained economic development among its rural population and accelerate the reduction of poverty to incentivise productive workers to remain or return to a newly vibrant countryside.  

The business model articulated by the group and the associated rural governance principles contain elements that can be applied in other parts of China. The hope is that the pilot programme in Heshuiping, which was written initially to cover the production of fragrant rice and pig rearing, will be able to guide farmers into other areas of agricultural production, but more importantly give them the confidence to leverage the rich diversity of resources in the Jianshi area. 

Click here for a showcase of the Business Plan, and download the Business Plan in English and Chinese.