The Game Changers Speakers bios
Brian Henderson is a Board member of The Women's Foundation (TWF) who, in 2015, also co-founded the Male Allies Initiative. In 2017, the American Chamber of Commerce recognised Mr Henderson as a Champion for the Advancement of Women, signalling the Male Allies Initiative's success in changing perceptions. He is also the Founder and Director of Whole Business Wellness, which he established in 2020 to help transform the wellness and performance of people and organisations.
Prior to that, Brian was Chief Operating Officer for Baker McKenzie, an international law firm headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. He led diversity initiatives for the firm across nine offices in Asia, as a member of the Management Committee, and supported Baker McKenzie's gender-diversity action plan, championing the "BakerWomen" committee and establishing a "BakerMen" team. His passion for encouraging men to see gender equity as a priority, opportunity and responsibility makes him a sought-after speaker on Male Allies topics.
Christine Yu is Co-Founder of Sophia, an education platform focused on transformational financial education for women in Asia and beyond.
Through Sophia, Ms Yu is on a mission to bring greater diversity and innovation to the startup and investment ecosystem. Her global career spans over two decades across impact finance, innovation, venture building and international capital markets.
Prior to her venture-building experience, the majority of Ms Yu's career was in institutional debt capital markets at HSBC, in both Hong Kong and New York. During her HSBC tenure, she contributed to the rise of Asia's debt markets, including the first private-sector green bond in Asia-Pacific, which prompted her move into impact investing.
Passionate about investing, financial inclusion, financial literacy and the gender-lens space, Ms Yu co-founded a non-profit organization focused on closing the gender investing gap called Girls Just Wanna Have Fund$ (www.gjwhf.org).
She was also a mentor on The Women's Foundation Mentoring Programme and served on its Advisory Committee as Co-Chair of Curriculum.
A self-taught investor, Ms Yu leads the Hong Kong chapter of AngelVest, a regional angel investing group. She holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Chicago and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
In 1986, Dave McCaughan joined the global advertising agency McCann in his native Sydney, where he built its Strategic Planning function and designed new techniques for a better understanding of what matters to people and the application of that knowledge to marketing strategies.
Continuing to work with the agency, Mr McCaughan has been based in cities all across Asia, beginning in 1995. He has been based in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Tokyo, where he led regional strategy and communication campaign development for clients including Coca-Cola, MasterCard, Nestle, Cathay Pacific, Hitachi, Johnson&Johnson, American Airlines and many others.
After a decade in Tokyo Mr McCaughan again moved to Hong Kong in early 2014, acting as Managing Director across McCann’s seven companies based in the city, while also continuing to lead regional research and insights projects.
In mid-2015, Mr McCaughan established his own consultancy, BIBLIOSEXUAL, that brings together his long-term passion for understanding the interaction of people, media and brands and the stories they build. In 2016, he co-founded Ai.agency, a collective of researchers using AI platforms to better understand the narratives behind business stories. Since 2021, he has helped organisations such as TATA Consulting Services, Havaianas, Nissan, Toyota, and Kokuyo to develop brand and corporate stories.
He has an extensive history of working on the implications of media changes – how society is influenced by them and then in turn influences further change. He also advises organizations on rethinking their understanding of the ageing population across Asia and its possibilities. He has worked with companies like Disney, Cathay Pacific, J&J, TATA, and Shiseido on new approaches to what he calls the 'New Life Builders' (people over 60).
Mr McCaughan has presented at over 600 conferences globally and has been a regular columnist for journals like Advertising Age, Japan Close-Up, Mumbrella, Campaign-Asia. He also spent ten years as a Board member and contributor for ESOMAR's Research World.
Dr Kanwaljit Soin turned 80 this year and has just retired from a career spanning half a century as a respected orthopaedic and hand surgeon in Singapore. She was Singapore's first female Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) from 1992-1996. She is an outspoken campaigner dedicated to improving women’s lives and is actively involved in welfare and advocacy organizations.
Dr Soin was inducted into the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame in 2014. She was a founding member of the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) in 1985 and its president between 1991-1993. AWARE is the leading gender equality advocacy organisation in Singapore. She was also the founding chair of the Singapore chapter of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the founding president of Women's Initiative for Ageing Successfully (WINGS). Dr Soin has been president of the Singapore chapter of the International Women's Forum (IWF), an invitation-only network of the most accomplished women across cultures, careers and continents, and a jury member of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise.
She has also served as president of the Singapore Hand Society and the Singapore Orthopaedic Association.
Dr Soin has received many accolades such as the Singapore Medical Association Merit Award, Singapore's Her World Woman of the Year Award, Women Who Make a Difference Award by International Women’s Forum, Washington D.C., and a UNIFEM Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the author of "Silver Shades of Grey – Memos for Successful Ageing in the 21st Century" and the co-editor of the book "Our Lives to Live – Putting A Woman’s Face to Change in Singapore".
Jennifer Yu Cheng is passionate about education and has been committed to promoting educational development for more than a decade. Jennifer is Group President and Deputy Vice Chairwoman of CTF Education Group (CTFEG) and is responsible for the group's strategy.
Jennifer is also Founder of the Jennifer Yu Cheng Girls Impact Foundation (JYCGIF), a charitable initiative focused on educating, inspiring and ultimately empowering teenage girls to become "future ready leaders" – proactive, digitally savvy decision makers who leave a major local and global footprint. JYCGIF is on a unique mission to uplift the status of women in society and in the workplace and providing greater opportunities for social mobility by building the strongest pipeline of teenage girls who are both inspired and equipped with the future ready resources, skills and mindset to become tomorrow's leaders.
Jennifer is currently Supervisor of Victoria Educational Organisation, School Manager of DSC International School, School Manager of Delia Memorial Schools and Board Member of Wycombe Abbey Hong Kong. Jennifer also serves on the Board of Visitors of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science of Columbia University; is a member of the Courts of The University of Hong Kong and a member of the Election Complaint Committee of The University of Hong Kong; member of the Courts of Lingnan University; a member of the Council of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST); Standing Committee and Finance Committee of HKUST; and Vice Chairman of HKUST Institutional Advancement and Outreach Committee.
Jennifer is also the Honorary Advisor of UNESCO "Futures of Education Hong Kong & GBA Forum 2022", Honorary Advisor of School Careers and Consulting Educations of the Hong Kong Youth Woman's Christian Association, Co-Chair of the Hong Kong Choate Club, Member of Victoria Shanghai Academy's Academic Planning and Development Committee, Asia Pacific Leadership Council Member of The Nature Conservancy, Member of the Steering Committee of The Hong Kong Volunteer Recognition Scheme, and Honorary Patron and Youth Affairs Development Advisor of Love Foundation.
As Supervisor and member of School Management Committee of Victoria Educational Organisation (VEO), Jennifer has been actively promoting the development of VEO by introducing world-class early childhood educational resources and partnerships with global institutions. Jennifer led VEO's collaboration with Project Zero research team from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education on a pilot study on early childhood maker-centered learning, and organised the Education Leaders event, connecting hundreds of educators from top local and international schools in Hong Kong.
Jennifer is also the co-founder of ARCH Education, an expert education institute based in Hong Kong. ARCH's mission is to bridge the education gap through delivering transformational programmes and providing expert education and admissions counselling to equip students for their future goals. As the Director of US University and Boarding School Admissions Consultation, Jennifer has worked with thousands of students over the past decade, guiding them towards identifying, pursuing, and eventually realising their educational dreams through US education, including at institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, other Ivy League and top universities, as well as top US boarding schools such as Andover, Choate, Deerfield, Exeter, Groton, Hotchkiss, Lawrenceville, Milton, St. Paul’s School, Taft and many others.
In 2011, Jennifer co-founded ARCH Community Outreach (ACO), a non-profit organisation dedicated to widen Hong Kong students' exposure and access to international education opportunities, with a particular outreach focus on supporting and sponsoring under-resourced high achievers in Hong Kong on their application to global top universities. ACO has assisted under-resourced students from Hong Kong to gain admissions and scholarships to top universities including University of Chicago, University of California, Los Angeles, Wesleyan University, University of Cambridge, London School of Economics, and University College London. Additionally, thousands of students attend ACO's annual events which aim to broaden students' international exposure through the Hong Kong Inter-school Mock Trial Championship, Global Aspiring Medic Conference and Careers Programme.
Jennifer received her Master of Education in School Leadership from Harvard University and graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University with a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering Operations Research and a minor in Economics. Prior to her career in education, Jennifer was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs in the Fixed Income Currency and Commodities division.
In 2019, Jennifer was awarded the Women of Hope Award in the Children's Advocate category by the Hong Kong Adventist Hospital Foundation, a recognition of her contributions and achievement in the field of education and child development. In 2021, Jennifer was named one of Prestige magazine's "40 Under 40" and was acknowledged by Tatler on "Asia's Most Influential List".
Shalini Mahtani is one of Hong Kong's most authoritative and respected voices on social issues, particularly diversity and inclusion, women on boards, racial inclusion and the "social" part of sustainability . In addition to founding The Zubin Foundation, among the city's most accomplished think tanks on issues related to ethnic minorities, Shalini is the founder of Community Business, the first organization in Asia that brings together companies and their management around women, LGBT and disability at work. She is also one of the founding directors of The Women's Foundation. Shalini is a member of the Children's Commission of Hong Kong and is Convenor for its working group on children with specific needs. Shalini has also been a member of other Hong Kong government advisory and statutory bodies and has served as a board member to other charities.
In 2009, Shalini was honoured by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader, and a year prior she was awarded an MBE from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her services in corporate social responsibility in Hong Kong. She was also recognized by the HKSAR Government for her contribution to issues related to ethnic minorities in Hong Kong.
Shalini has authored research and opinion pieces on diversity and inclusion and is a frequent speaker on the topic. She has also been a co-host on both BBC World Service and RTHK Radio 3.
Shalini was born in Hong Kong and is a graduate of The London School of Economics. She is married and has three children.
Christine Amour-Levar is the Head of Impact Partnerships at Force for Good, the world's first Social Impact Network, connecting people, companies and charities to drive change. As a passionate champion of female empowerment and environmental conservation, Christine co-founded and founded award-winning nonprofit organizations Women on a Mission (WOAM) and HER Planet Earth respectively, to take all-female teams on pioneering expeditions to support worthy causes.
She is an Author and Contributing Writer to international publications such as Forbes, The HuffPost, the Manila Bulletin Newspaper of the Philippines, etc., with speaking engagements with INSEAD, Nike, TEDx, and more.
Being included on Tatler Asia's Most Influential Impact List 2020, Christine has won multiple awards including the United Women Singapore Gender Equality Impact Changemaker Award, a Women of the Future Kindness & Leadership Southeast Asia Leading Lights 2020, and the '100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World' Award™.
So-Young Kang is the Co-Founder and CEO of Gnowbe, a mobile-first content publishing platform to drive behavioral change for business impact. She is a serial entrepreneur having also founded Awaken Group, a multi-disciplinary Transformation Design (TD) firm that integrates strategy, leadership and innovation to design experiences that catalyze change. She has nearly 20 years of experience advising and training leaders globally and is a speaker on various topics across leadership, innovation, education and transformation at TEDx and the WEF and World Bank.
So-Young has committed her life to humanizing the world to maximize human creative potential having founded The Young Professionals' Group (YPG) in 2000, a nonprofit dedicated to helping students achieve their professional dreams. In 2014, she was selected by the World Economic Forum to be a Young Global Leader.
Cherrie Atilnao is the Founding Farmer, CEO and President of AGREA Agricultural System International, Inc., a for-purpose and inclusive business, that is creating the first replicable one-island economy of zero hunger, zero waste, and zero insufficiency through the 'Ecology of Dignity' approach. She is a High-Level Ambassador of the United Nations Scaling Up Nutrition, an Advisory Board member of the World Bank Solutions for Youth Employment, 2020 class of the Young Global Leaders (YGL), a Board Member of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) based in Geneva Switzerland.
Cherrie is a recipient of multiple national and global awards including The Outstanding Women in Nation's Service Award, Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneur, Women of the Future Social Entrepreneur in Southeast Asia, etc. The expert also led AGREA in winning the UN Global Compact, the Global Responsible Business Award 2017 for Agriculture Excellence, and the 4th ASEAN Rural Poverty Eradication Leadership Awards in 2019.
Raya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the School of Humanity, a revolutionary online high school with a progressive model and skill-based curriculum. She works with governments, investors, EdTech companies, and education providers to ideate and execute revolutionary education models for the 21st-century world. Featured by the BBC as one of the most influential and inspiring women globally, Raya is a global thought leader on the future of work and education. Raya also serves as an advisory board member to multiple EdTech companies and is a member of the Bett Future Education Council.
Grace Park is the Co-Founder and President of DocDoc, the world’s first patient intelligence company. She brings with her more than 20 years of leadership experience, nearly 13 of which were spent in international healthcare in Fortune 500 companies. Prior to DocDoc, Grace held leadership positions at Medtronic, most recently as the Managing Director for its ASEAN operations, leading the company to expand its footprint for medical technology in these markets. Over the years, she has also worked in companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb where she managed local grants of +US$100M to support women and children with HIV/AIDS in 10 African countries. She began her career as an Army officer after graduating from the US Military Academy at West Point and served for five years, leaving as a Captain. Grace holds degrees from Harvard Business School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Karin is an astropreneur, future astronaut and an internationally renowned advisor to the tech and space industry. As CEO of Spaceport Sweden, a pioneering initiative to establish Europe's gateway for space travel and cross-industry innovation, Karin is passionate about advancing humanity in space and using technology to empower communities on Earth. She co-founded "Hack Space for the Planet" together with Embassy of Sweden in Singapore and SGInnovate, applying space technology and data to solve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Karin serves on the board of the Swedish Space Industry Association, GEN Space, Warp Institute, and the UN Space4Women as expert and mentor and has founded Women in Space, Sweden.