Learning Places: The GIFT Report, Vol. 2

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:

Revitalising rural villages in ultra-urban Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the world's most urbanised cities, but it has a surprisingly rich rural heritage. Hong Kong's villages are repositories of history, culture, and tradition. Yet several of these communities have been abandoned to the elements, as residents no longer can find a way to keep the village going.

Based on our 2016 Hong Kong Young Leaders Programme, this chapter proposes the creation of a new statutory organisation that would lay down a path to the sustainable revitalisation of village clusters, building off the successful efforts surrounding Lai Chi Wo.

Spreading access to incremental housing finance for rural families in Tamil Nadu

India faces a major housing shortage, despite government efforts to solve the problem. And while urban slums are often what make headlines, the problem is much larger in rural areas, where many Indian families are living in sub-standard, unsecure homes.

Based on the 2017 India Global Leaders Programme, this chapter describes Swarna Pragati Housing Microfinance, a social enterprise that provides incremental housing finance for rural households to improve their homes, using community titles as evidence of land ownership. This chapter provides a new model for Swarna Pragati to expand its work to serve one million loans by 2020.

Selling affordable health products to migrant factory workers in Vietnam

As Vietnam's housing sector has boomed, hundreds of thousands of migrants have travelled from the rural countryside to the city looking for work. However, these migrant workers have limited access to healthcare, often living and working in sub-standard conditions.

This chapter, based on the 2017 Vietnam Global Leaders Programme, tackles the issue through a partnership with iCare Benefits: an innovative provider of affordable lifestyle products, sold to factory workers through the mechanism of an employee benefits programme. The model developed in this chapter proposes a new business line for iCare, using their innovative model to sell healthcare services.

Developing community sports facilities in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia, and its capital of Kuala Lumpur, have many public sports facilities. Yet these facilities are under-used and under-maintained, contributing to a low rate of sports participation across the country.

Based on our 2017 Malaysia Young Leaders Programme, this chapter proposes a model to fund a network of community-based sports throughout Kuala Lumpur, delivered to the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The model is useful for cities that have over-invested in public infrastructure, yet under-invested in operations and maintenance.

Building better links between Chinese smallholder farmers and nearby communities

China has had one of the most successful development stories of the past fifty years. But several parts of China are being left behind due to the lopsided development outcomes between the city and the country.

Based on the 2017 China Global Leaders Programme, this chapter proposes the creation of an environment to encourage multiple agricultural cooperatives to work together. By serving a population of 18 million — bigger than many countries — the model can fend off regional and international competition and ensure that revenues are funnelled back to the local region.

Growing an entirely new coconut industry in Cambodia

Cambodia is well-placed to benefit from the sudden global increase in demand for coconuts, as supply from established producers has been dwindling. But most models for building a new industry focuses on industrial plantations, which both degrade the environment and evict smallholder farmers from their land.

Based on the 2017 Cambodia Global Leaders Programme, and created in partnership with Cambodia's SOMA Group, this chapter proposes an integrated model of contract farmers and local processing to develop a full coconut value chain.

These six 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.

Web Designer Malaysia