Speakers | FutureMe



Ben Thum
Innovation Director, NParks CIB Ambassador 2014

Ben Thum is the Innovation Director of SIACAD Pte Ltd, the software development arm of the Singapore Institute of Architects. He graduated as an architect but after practising for 5 years decided to pursue his passion for software development. His company has developed software solutions that are used by many of the major architectural practices in Singapore and the region.

Concerned with food security and safety, Ben started his community garden with the guidance of NParks in late 2009. Since then, he has experimented with innovative ways for growing organic food, helped other community gardens to start up, given talks at schools, orphanages, community centres and corporations. Over the years he has won several Community-In-Bloom silver, gold and special awards. In November 2014, he received the coveted NParks CIB Ambassador Award from the PM. Ben spends his free time developing innovative solutions for growing more nutritionally-dense organic food using the least floor area, water, energy and time.

Helen Ng
Mother, Teacher, Wine Lover

Mdm Ng has spent her entire work life as a primary school teacher. Eldest daughter in a family of 12, she looked after all her siblings. She started her own family of 2 boys and is a proud grandparent to 2 grandchildren who love her dearly.

Her family meets regularly and holds a cooking contest called the Big Lup Cheong. She won it once, amid allegations of favoritism, bribery and questions about the judge's impartiality. In her spare time, she loves travelling and wants to live in Barcelona. Her current routine includes tai chi in the morning, followed by gardening, grandparenting, and conducting her cooking lessons with vegetables and herbs plucked from the garden. She's very proud of her cholesterol level and occasionally stays up till 2am if the party is rocking. She also likes the odd fancy dress party.

Thomas Lim
Urban Farmer, Edible Garden City

Thomas is now back home in Singapore after eight years of life in the US and Hong Kong. In his ‘previous life’, he was in the finance industry.

Urban farming for Thomas began in Hong Kong on a small rented plot, and he has since worked on organic farms across SE Asia. He is trained in permaculture by Sandot Sukkaew of Tacomepai Thailand.

Thomas’ interest in farming and permaculture stems from a belief that they can solve many global issues and crisis in humanity being witnessed today. He wants to farm in a way that creates abundance, without depleting natural resources like soil, water, fossil fuel, and biodiversity. He thinks that farming is one of the purest forms of interaction with nature and is excited to share the joy with his fellow Singaporeans.

Linus Lim
Founder & Creative Director, Highrise Habitat

After Linus completed NS, he was hired as a designer in Tokyo and quickly progressed to become a media startup’s Creative Director. However, over time he began to wonder what the purpose of his actions were, and if he was making the world a better place. So he enrolled into Waseda University in Tokyo, and took on a minor in strategic environment studies while learning about business, philosophy, religion, and urban planning, in the extremely broad-based liberal studies faculty.

He learnt that many of the problems we face today have a direct relation to food, from climate change to wars, health to education. Building a better world begins with food, and he believes that there is no better food than food we grow ourselves. Having experienced the unbelievable freshness of Japan’s top quality farm produce, he realised that in Singapore, there is so much more we can do about our food.

Muhammad Ibnur Rashad Bin Zainal Abidin
Kampung Scientist of Ground-Up Initiative (GUI) and Co-inventor of iBam

As a community-oriented innovator, Ibnur loves to connect seemingly opposing ideas to bring about innovation. With this spirit, he believes that for Singapore to build a more sustainable future, we need to co-create the 21st Century Kampung Culture, where heritage meets technology, where thinkers meet doers, where entrepreneurs meet farmers, where we reconnect with ourselves, the community and Nature.

Ibnur first published his scientific article on a laser-related invention at 15 years old and continued to experiment on nanochips, 'invisibility cloaks', rainwater harvesting, floating farms and solar panels. Having lived and worked in high-tech Silicon Valley, and doing fieldwork in low-tech Vietnam, India, Indonesia and Cambodia, he felt that technology with good governance can help solve the UN Development Goals.

He now serves at Ground-Up Initiative (GUI) whose mission is to build a more Gracious, Green, Giving, Grounded and Grateful (5G) world through its 26,000sqm low carbon footprint Kampung Kampus.

Pauliina Salmenhaara
Plant-based Chef and Founder, R.A.W. Inside Out

As a plant-based chef, Pauliina Salmenhaara crafts food and experiences to stimulate the 6 senses. She creates not just food, but positive thoughts, fitness and body care tips, mindfulness exercises, and soulful habits that nourish the 6 senses: smell, vision, taste, hearing, touch, and the 6th one, quite simply, is mindfulness.

Stephen Pimbley
Founder and Director, SPARK Architects

In 1990, Stephen joined Alsop and Lyall as Project Architect for the award-winning Hôtel du Département des Bouches du Rhône in Marseille. He was promoted to Director in 1994 and Partner in 2000.

Stephen set up SPARK Architects and designed the Clarke Quay Redevelopment, winner of Cityscape Asia Best Waterfront development in 2008. He was responsible for the design of Raffles City Beijing, winner of Best Future Mixed Use project at the Cityscape Asia Awards 2008; Raffles City Ningbo, Best developer Mixed Use award at the Cityscape China Review Awards 2008 and Shanghai International Cruise Terminal, Winner of MIPIM Asia’s Best Mixed Use Development Award 2011.

SPARK continually explores the potential in the creation of Architecture that grow spaces allowing communities to interact with living spaces. The synergy of a thriving design executed with readily applicable ideas and sustainable methodologies, should be the made a priority principle in design work.

Thorben Linneberg
Founder, Aerospring Gardens Pte Ltd

Thorben arrived in Singapore some 18 years ago and has worked in a variety of MNC sectors and championed startups - including his very own, award-winning social media aggregation app called OrSiSo in 2008. A desire to grow food on an apartment balcony compelled him to create a vertical system that was easy to use and maintain, efficient at growing and able to fit most urban apartment spaces.

Aerospring Gardens will launch its first vertical aeroponic gardening system, made in Singapore in January 2016 and plans to export regionally in coming months.


Grey Tan

Grey Tan was pursuing his degree in Social Sciences in NUS when he founded TinyMOS with classmates Ashprit Singh Arora and Chia Lih Wei. The idea originated from his cross faculty activities of Astronomy and New Product development.

His lifelong interest in photography and technologies helped him come up with ideas to improve astronomy imaging products; which were once niche products that required in-depth photography and astronomy knowledge to operate.

With Tiny1, TinyMOS’s first product, he hopes to put astronomy photography within reach of the everyday person - to inspire appreciation of nature and our lucky status of occupying the only habitable ball of dirt in the known universe, Earth.

Tiny1 has a social goal of mapping light pollution levels, to advocate for the preservation of dark skies for future generations to experience the cosmic landscape.

Gwen Guo
Co-Founder, IMBA Interactive

Gwen is one of 3 co-founders of IMBA Interactive, a small Singapore-based studio that provides end-to-end audio solutions for video games and other media. Of the many games she’s worked on, some have bagged audio awards in Indie Game Festival China 2013 and Casual Connect Asia 2013. IMBA also works with Night Owl Cinematics, one of Singapore’s top YouTube channels.

As a key member in the local games industry, Gwen strongly believes in the power of collaboration and diversity to bring the best out of teams and individuals in the industry. With communication and understanding play, we can create experiences that defy the conventional understanding of what video games are. 

Hyder Albar
CEO, Invasion Singapore

Hyder is a business developer and strategist. He loves to observe the world, absorb knowledge, bring commercial value to communities he is a part of, and experience new ideas. Hyder's strengths are in: Business (Development & Strategy), Social media (Research & Marketing Strategy), Consulting (Consultative Sales / Implementation of Marketing Intelligence Solutions), Strategic Partnerships and Project Management. 

With his team(s), Hyder serves the music community as CEO of Invasion Singapore, the fashion community as Strategy Director of Daniel Boey & The15thDistrict, and the wedding community as Strategy Director of www·theweddingscoop·com. The clients he has worked with include: DBS, OCBC, UOB, Coca-Cola, Abbott, Tiffany & Co., MEC., and *SCAPE.

Ian Gregory
Co-Founder and Creative Director, Witching Hour Studios

Co-founder and Creative Director of Witching Hour Studios. Ian's handiwork includes dreaming up the game mechanics and fantasy worlds of the Ravenmark strategy series (Scourge of Estellion and Mercenaries) and Romans in My Carpet!. The current game he is working on, Masquerada, recently won Best Indie Game at the Tokyo Game Show in Japan.

Apart from his focus at Witching Hour, he consults on game design for other companies and schools, such as the SUTD Game Lab. Prior to the game industry, Ian spent seven years working as an advertising copywriter. He spends most of his free time playing board games and making things out of Lego.

Inch Chua
COO, Invasion Singapore

Born and raised in a colourful family of pedigrees in Singapore, Inch was always destined for the arts. She identifies herself as a interdisciplinary artist, a fixer of problems and a storyteller.

With a deep passion to learn more about every aspect of the music and arts industry, Inch aspires to make a difference. She has played at numerous festivals like SXSW Music/Interactive (Austin, Texas, USA), The Canadian Music Festival (Toronto, Canada), CMJ Music Marathon (New York, USA), MIDI (Beijing, China), Mosaic (Singapore), Baybeats (Singapore) and Music Matters (Singapore).

Since graduating from Laselle College of the Arts with Arts Management, Inch has been sharpening her music business sense with a forward-thinking new media appraoch and spoken on many panels such as Creative Commons Licensing Meetings, TEDx Singapore, The Global TEDxWomen Conference, Library@Esplanade and Social Media Week.

Currently based in Singapore/Pulau Ubin, Inch is the co-founder and COO of Invasion Singapore.

Sara M. Watson
Technology Critic

Sara M. Watson is a technology critic and a Research Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. She is also an affiliate with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Her work explores how we are learning to live with, understand, and interpret our personal data and the algorithms that shape our experiences. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Wired, Gizmodo, Harvard Business Review, and Slate. She tweets @smwat.

Tushar Mohan
CEO & Co-Founder, SousChef

Tushar arrived in Singapore 6 years ago to study for a diploma in Temasek Polytechnic. Upon graduation, he was hired as a Software Engineer in JVC-Kenwood. However, Tushar took his first steps into the world of design and entrepreneurship when SUTD offered him a position in Engineering Product Development.

At present, he is the Co-founder and CEO of Souschef, hardware hacker at Cryowerx and Product Design teacher at The Keys Academy to young children.

The idea of Souschef came about in Tushar's early days at SUTD as he found it challenging to eat out almost every other day. He then gathered a team of like-minded people and began brainstorming for product ideas that would simplify cooking for individuals.

Souschef is scheduled to start shipping its first batch of pre-orders this June. It also plans to expand its business to China and USA towards the end of 2016.

Vitaliy Nechaev
Managing Director, VOSTOKVR (by Delphius Pte Ltd)

Vitaliy is a Virtual Reality evangelist and 360 film director.

During his journey in Singapore, he worked with OCBC, Ogilvy, Singapore Science Centre and many others. Apart from official business, he was also involved in non-commercial projects.

Towards the end of last year, VItaliy filmed the first 360 documentary in Asia - 'Happyland360' (will be shown at FutureME). His film received honorable mention in the 'Best Film/Interactive Story' category at the prestigious Vision VR/AR Summit in Hollywood. It was also shortlisted at Sheffield Doc/Fest and DOCVILLE international festivals in Europe.


Betty Lim
Everything Director a.k.a Chief Beggar, CrowdPowers Pte Ltd

Betty lived most of her adult years in HK. On a voyage of self-discovery since 2001, this systemic Singaporean social entrepreneur seeks to kickstart a 'For us' maximization movement.

Betty has had a hugely experiential career in advertising, marketing and communications. Initiating and fine-tuning business processes was often a large part of her mandate.

When she finally understood her innate desire to want people to be happy, Betty also became fascinated by how technology may transform our world.

In 2004, she left traditional employment to experience the future of work. A roller coaster ride ensued as she observed by doing - developing 7 portals, being interviewed by HK’s leading TV station and participating at an NGO meeting in Japan and at HK’s inaugural social enterprise summit.

Upon relocating back to Singapore, Betty spent most of 2013/2014 self-initiating a social experiment around our startup ecosystem. It tanked.

Because people’s mindset is the biggest block to co-tackling 21st century challenges, Betty recently launched a social experiment to see if strangers ANYWHERE can build trust with one another.

Dylan Soh
TEDx Singapore 2015 Speaker, Illustrator, Avid Questioner

At 10, Dylan gave his first TEDx on the future of urban farming. At 12, he gave his second to a standing ovation as the opening speaker. He also co-wrote and illustrated a heartfelt book, The Big Red Dot, about his hopes for his home Singapore and about the journey in life we all take as a child or as an adult.

For this forum, Dylan will remind us all about what our dreams and hopes were, and how we moved from a world of yes, to maybe, to no. Through The Big Red Dot, hopefully, we'll all rediscover our Future Mes again. But it is not all talk and no action. He will also unveil a new product that he helped develop that could make the world a better place.

How do you develop young Singaporeans to be incredibly confident, articulate, creative, resilient and to dream big? Dylan will reveal how simple it is so that every parent and child can work on it together.

Dr. Florence Jennings
Co-Founder & CEO, Detalytics

Dr. Jennings has over a decade of expertise regarding the effects of stress on physicians and healthcare personnel, having conducted research and interventions on physicians’ burnout in many hospitals around the world, focusing on sleep deprivation, physical activity and their impacts on stress hormones and long term health.

Most recently, Dr. Jennings designed and facilitated Health Enhancement Programmes for over 300 medical students and other healthcare personnel at the NUS YLL School of Medicine, to assess and remediate physiological impacts of stress on health and functioning, using wearable devices.

Dr. Jennings is the co-founder of Detalytics, an intelligent human capital management system designed to monitor and assess biometric parameters and their impacts in relation to fatigue and performance outcomes across individuals and teams in various professional business environments and expert industries such as aviation, the military and healthcare. 

Kaiwei Chen
CEO, hasBrain

Kai is a serial entrepreneur with deep experience in building teams and businesses in Asia. His latest venture – hasBrain – focuses on providing aspiring youths with an intensive, mentor-driven education programme to jumpstart their own first steps into the tech industry. Driven by a passion to empower the next generation, Kai created hasBrain with a longer-term vision that underprivileged promising youths will have equal opportunity to learn from the industry’s best and rise above their circumstances.

Before hasBrain, Kai started and grew 2359 Consulting from a 4-man engineering team to a hundred-man team. Together with the talented teams of engineers, designers and user experience gurus, they have helped Singapore’s most established brands to craft, design and build their mobile strategies.

In his free time, Kai enjoys having coffee chats with people looking to solve problems or geeking out with some buddies to hack out gadgets. 

Marcus Tan
Founder, Carousell

Marcus Tan, 32, leads Design & Community at Carousell. Prior to co-founding Carousell, he read Business Administration and Entrepreneurship at National University of Singapore and Stanford University (under the NUS Overseas College Program in Silicon Valley) and worked in Business Development at Oracle for one year. Marcus was also formerly a product manager at Wikinvest and held various marketing roles at DDB, Yahoo, and Coca-Cola. He is a self-taught designer who is passionate about simple user interfaces.

Siti Aishah Zahari
Co-Founder, The Orange Hive

Aishah loves bringing products to life at the centre of a company's vision. She has over 4 years of diverse working experience in the startup field and was previously part of the investment team in NUS Enterprise, working closely with her portfolio companies to propel them from idea to growth. Prior to gaining experience in deal sourcing and portfolio management, she worked alongside a startup CEO as a communication designer during her stint in Stockholm. Her recent failure having joined forces with Israeli partners for a new venture allowed her to stumble back into her passion for design, and pursue UX strategy for a living today.

Tim Kobe
Founder and President, Eight Inc.

Tim Kobe founded the globally recognized strategic design firm Eight Inc. in 1989. Today, Eight Inc. has 11 global studios and is a leader in innovation and branded experience working with companies such as Apple, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Nike, Coke, Knoll and Citibank. Eight Inc.'s projects have received international design awards and have been published across Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Tim's presentation titled 'Transforming the Innovation Model' will explore the transformation of a traditional consulting practice into a design incubation model and, discuss how the creative process focused on designing human outcomes will drive innovation in the future.

Varun Mittal
Group Head, Partnership & Marketing, helloPay SEA, Lazada Group

Varun is obsessed about the next generation of mobile payments, online commerce and digital marketing solutions. His hunger for learning these domains have led him to work with industry leaders such as Samsung, Microsoft, Singtel and Gemalto. An MBA by chance and engineer by destiny, he thrives in an environment powered by fast internet, good music, lot of challenges and abundant coffee.

Varun currently heads Partnerships and Marketing at helloPay fintech venture from Rocket Internet and Lazada Group. He is in-charge of merchant acquisition, cash-in-channel partnerships and marketing programs in the markets of Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Varun undertook his MBA at National University of Singapore and spent study abroad semesters at Duke University, USA and Indian School of Business

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