Learning Places: The GIFT Report, Vol. 1

Ideas For Tomorrow is the publishing imprint of the Global Institute For Tomorrow. Its purpose is to make available our organisation’s latest ideas, proprietary content, and original business outputs in an accessible format. Although directed foremost at readers from business, government, and civil society organisations, our material will also be appealing for academics and students with an interest in socio-economic development and a transforming Asia.


Learning Places: The GIFT Report discusses prosperity, people and progress—free of mainstream trends, conventional wisdom and comforting themes. It goes beyond a mere collection of case studies by drawing upon our boots-on-the-ground knowledge of markets, new business models, untapped customers and environmental constraints.

Included in this volume are fresh ideas and innovative models related to:

Community-based sports facilities on underutilised land in Hong Kong

Like most developed urban populations, Hong Kong has a low rate of physical activity and sports participation. Yet there are many sports organisations in Hong Kong that would love the opportunity to offer classes and programmes to Hong Kong people, yet cannot find the space to do so.

This chapter, based on the 2015 Hong Kong Young Leaders Programme, proposed a model that used vacant and non-commercial land to build community-based sports hubs throughout the city, to be operated by committed sports organisations.

Branded agricultural products from smallholder farmers in Iran

The Semirom plateau in central Iran hides a sweet secret: some of the world's tastiest apples. Despite the unique taste of their produce, Semirom's many smallholder farmers have not realised the economic benefits, as ther productivity remains far below the world standard.

This chapter, based off the 2015 Iran Global Leaders Programme, proposed the creation a new company to package and process apples for small farmers and improve their incomes. The model tackles the issues in farmer organisation, building trust between farmers by delivering immediate benefits through waste reduction.

Growth prospects for small and medium-sized enterprises in Myanmar

Most reporting on Myanmar's reforms have focused on two areas: political reform and foreign investment. But there has been relatively little discussion of what can be done to help the growth of Myanmar's small- and medium-sized enterprises, in spite of the fact that they make up most of Myanmar's economy.

This chapter is based on GIFT's work in the 2015 Myanmar Active Insights Programme, conducted in partnership with Temasek Management SErvices and TMS Academy. Through discussions with Yoma Bank, this chapter presents a report on the state of SME-financing, and what more could be done.

Tech-enabled emergency response services in India’s most literate state, Kerala

India faces a particular problem when it comes to providing health care. The country has an enviable levels of human capital, and thus able to provide world-class healthcare at far less cost than the developed world. Yet it has not been able to spread better healthcare to its massive and largely poor population, because its system does not apportion these resources equally.

This chapter, based on the 2016 India Global Leaders Programme, examines MUrgency, a healthcare startup that delivered emergency response and stabilisation through a mobile application, and helped them develop a sustainable model to fuel their expansion. The major innovation was the expansion to home care, which would use nurses and non-doctor professionals to provide monitoring and care for those suffering from non-communicable and lifestyle conditions.

Commercial solutions to driving increased hygiene and public health in Vietnam

With the rise of antimicrobial resistance, sanitaiton and hygeine, rather than treatment, is becoming a more important element of public health. There is a simple and straightfoward method to improve hygeine, which can be done in any setting and level of development: handwashing with soap. Yet there is a large gap between awareness and consistent behavior.

Based on the 2016 Vietnam Global Leaders Programme, this chapter provides a model for a new consumer-focused handwashing product, meant for homes without extensive plumbing. The model combines for-profit and non-profit arms — one focused on product sales, the other on awareness — in order to achieve both business and social objectives.

These five chapters — adapted from the outputs of GIFT's flagship executive education programmes — each give business and organsational models that hold relevance for other developing and developed economies, and provide lessons for any looking to start a new development-oriented business or organisation.

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