Dentons Rodyk, Singapore’s Big Five law firm hosted its annual thought leadership event Dentons Rodyk Dialogue 2022 today, 31 October 2022. Organised in partnership with Singapore Management University (SMU), the event took place at SMU, with more than 200 guests attending in person, along with many more live viewers tuning in virtually from more than a dozen different countries.

Titled “Building a Safe and Inclusive Digital World Together: Vision and Transformation”, the event brought together a distinguished panel comprising:

  • Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information, Second Minister of Home Affairs, Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity Republic of Singapore
  • Mr Glenn Gore, Group CEO, LemmaTree and Affinidi
  • Professor Locknie Hsu, Yong Pung How School of Law, Singapore Management University
  • Mr Hsu Li Chuan, Senior Partner, Dentons Rodyk
  • Mr Gilbert Leong, Senior Partner, Dentons Rodyk

The Guest-of-Honour for the event was Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information, Second Minister for Home Affairs, Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity Republic of Singapore. Minister Teo touched on Singapore’s 3’As’ approach towards building a safer digital world. She said:” The first approach is to be accretive. You stack one on top of the other in order to reach higher. We also have to agglomerate. Digital is like an octopus-on-steroids, growing new tentacles all the time. We don’t stand much of a chance unless we reach out and hear what people and businesses have to say, to enrich our understanding of the problems and possible ways of dealing with them. Third, and perhaps most importantly, we have to be agile. We will not assume what we have built is good enough. You build the base, then the next player removes a block, and the original tower becomes shaky again. You think the tower is strong, and then an emerging technology exploited by bad actors removes the stability and you have to quickly insert new blocks to re-stabilise it. “

Professor Timothy Clark, SMU Provost, spoke about the timeliness of the event’s topic, as Singapore sets its sights on becoming a world-class Smart Nation, through building the key pillars of Digital Society, Digital Economy and Digital Government. “In 2021, Singapore topped the IMD-SUTD Smart City Index for the third year running. In that year, Singapore also placed first for digital inclusiveness on Roland Berger’s Digital Inclusion Index; eclipsed London to clinch the top place on the Smart City Governments ranking; and took the top spot in KPMG’s global ranking of leading technology hubs. This nation-wide initiative to harness technology to transform work, business, and social life underscores the benefits and opportunities which digitalisation can bring. Fostering a trust-centric environment which encourages business innovation is not, and should not be, an oxymoronic statement of aspiration,” Professor Clark said in his welcome speech.

Dentons’ Global Vice Chair and ASEAN CEO Gerald Singham said in his opening remarks: “Digitalisation is redefining how we all interact, connect, work and conduct business. The need for a coherent plan to manage the impact of digitalisation on society and the environment is absolutely crucial in order for us to be a step ahead and avoid potential pitfalls. Today’s thought leadership event will discuss how innovation and collaboration based on a clear vision is paramount in helping Singapore and the wider region navigate the challenges, manage the risks and harness the full benefits of digitalisation.”

Professor Locknie Hsu from SMU’s Yong Pung How School of Law spoke about the growth of the digital economy in a post-pandemic world. “COVID-19 fuelled the urgent adoption of technology, which in turn resulted in a surge in e-commerce and new online commercial activities such as fintech, growth in NFT transactions and opportunities in the Metaverse,” Professor Hsu said.

The panel discussed how digitalisation during the pandemic brought about unprecedented growth, new commercial opportunities and profound societal benefits but at the same time, brought to the fore risks and gaps in the digital world such as cyberattacks, privacy concerns and unequal access to technology.

Dentons Rodyk Senior Partner and Co-Head of the Fintech/Blockchain practice Hsu Li Chuan expects the march towards increased digitalisation to continue. “There will be a growing emphasis by the Singapore government to leverage the growth in the digital economy and attract foreign investments, create new jobs and opportunities in Singapore. In order for us to continue to remain relevant and stay ahead of the curve, Singaporeans have to continue growing in terms of constant upgrading, digitalising businesses and processes, and prioritising resources to these areas,” Li Chuan mentioned.

Professor Lee Pey Woan, Dean, SMU Yong Pung How School of Law thanked all the speakers for sharing their insights generously and providing a tremendous overview of the pressing issues arising from digitalisation. She said: “Minister Teo spoke on the importance of building a trusted environment and ensuring safety for online users, which was complemented by a regional perspective on digital economy, trade and inclusiveness from Professor Locknie; and an industry perspective on the phenomenon of a dencentralised world and the transformation of digital systems in the future by Mr Glenn Gore. The panel discussion brilliantly moderated by Mr Gilbert Leong was robust and thought-provoking. It was delightful to hear from Mr Hsu Li Chuan, one of our distinguished panellists, who provided the vital legal perspective on technology and its impact.”

Find out more about the Dentons Rodyk Dialogue 2022.

Find out more about Dentons Rodyk’s Intellectual Property and Technology and Blockchain, Digital Assets & Cryptocurrency practices.

For further enquiries, please contact:

Jackson Thia

Manager, Marketing Communications

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP

+65 6885 3792

Athene Chiew

Executive, Marketing Communications

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP

+65 6885 3639

About Dentons Rodyk Dialogue

The Dentons Rodyk Dialogue is a partnership between Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP and the Singapore Management University (SMU) to create a major forum for thought leaders to share ideas and views affecting Asia’s legal, business, cultural and economic landscape. Ultimately, it is hoped that these conversations will influence attitudes and policies resulting in a better world for all. The Dentons Rodyk Dialogue aims to be the essential event for legal, business and academic leaders to converge in order to discuss pressing issues and world trends. The Dialogue is an event organised under the auspices of the SMU Yong Pung How School of Law’s Centre for Commercial Law in Asia.

Previous editions of the Dentons Rodyk Dialogue have featured luminaries in the government, academic and business sectors such as Singapore Cabinet Ministers Ms Grace Fu, Mr S. Iswaran and Mr Desmond Lee, former Canadian Prime Minister Mr Stephen Harper, Professor Tania Voon (University of Melbourne), Professor Anne Cheung (University of Hong Kong), Mr Max Bittner (former CEO of Lazada) and more. The events were covered by the national and international press.

For coverage of the 2021 Dentons Rodyk Dialogue, see here.

About Dentons Rodyk

Dentons Rodyk is one of Singapore’s Big Five law firms, with a team of around 200 lawyers offering clients a full suite of legal services necessary to do business locally and globally. With over 160 years of establishment, consistently ranked highly in leading publications, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality advice to our clients while maintaining strong working relationships with key public sector agencies and leading organisations in the private sector. Our combination with global law firm Dentons, makes us part of the world’s largest law firm with 20,000 professionals in over 200 locations in more than 80 countries.

Designed to be different, Dentons Rodyk can help yougrow, protect, operateandfinanceyour business. Our polycentric and purpose-driven approach, together with our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and ESG, ensures we challenge the status quo to stay focused on what matters most to you.

The first global pan-ASEAN law firm, Dentons ASEAN has an established history in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Singapore and will continue to grow our presence through combinations with exceptional local firms across the ASEAN region and help clients navigate change wherever they are located.

In the new dynamic decade, clients continue to be confronted with complex scenarios and want to work with a purpose-driven law firm that has the experience and confidence to help them thrive at wherever they are located. Through our combinations with firms that are leaders in their respective communities and local markets, along with the partner firms in Dentons’ Nextlaw Referral Network, Dentons is ideally positioned to support our clients everywhere in ASEAN and around the globe.

Singapore, 31 October 2022

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