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Leading Mindful Digitalization lifts off!

After a relaxed but informative orientation and welcome party held the weekend prior, the 2021 virtual summer program “Leading Mindful Digitalization” kicked off on a Monday in the latter half of August.

Spanning four days of lectures, presentations, and experiences culminating in a final digital transformation group project on the fifth day, the program guides participants through industry and academic perspectives providing thought leadership on the effective implementation of digital transformation initiatives using design thinking innovation methods.

The seasonal programs, which invite both undergraduate and postgraduate students to collaborate in the learning process, are hosted by Kishore Kumar François of the NUCB Undergraduate School and John Kang of the NUCB Business School (our Graduate School of Management). Together, they develop meaningful courses of study and practice for NUCB students and those from partnering institutions that explore the most pressing issues in affecting businesses worldwide.

Day 1


Day 1 began with a presentation from Mr. Peter Faulkner, Head of Global Information Technology at Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation. His presentation, entitled “Is Artificial Intelligence Driving Digital Transformation?”, raised critical questions about the relationship between technological development and digital transformation by discussing how AI has been implemented in different fields.

Urging participants to consider the supposed beneficiaries of DX processes before creating a strategy, his human-centered approach cemented the theme of the program and set the tone for the content that followed.



The Day 1 lecture, “Digitalization: Leveraging Technology for Business Transformation” by Prof. Louie Wong of NUCB Business School, dove into how digital transformation should be defined and how processes should be developed in order to create radical, beneficial, and lasting change in organizations. Using TetraPak as an example, Prof. Wong demonstrated how the “future proofing” of business could more effectively be achieved by building a strategy using the SMACIT framework as a foundation.

Day 2

Day 2 began with a presentation from Mr. Norbert Gehrke, another industry leader with more than 25 years of experience in the financial industry, and the founder and representative director of FinTech. He spoke on the importance of removing friction from financial processes and emphasized that digitalization should only be implemented for this purpose.

By reviewing recent developments in digital payment systems and other financial services, Gehrke demonstrated how we now have the technology to replace platforms (which are centralized) with protocols (which are decentralized), which should lead to a revolution in the financial industry.



Closing out the Inspiration stage of the 3-stage program, Prof. Lim of NUCB Business School’s lecture “Designing Digital: Empathy, Ideation, Prototyping for Customers” invited participants to consider consumer behavior in the case of M-Kopa, an African financing platform that provides underbanked customers in Africa to essential products including solar lighting, televisions, fridges, smartphones, and financial services.

Empathy mapping techniques led to discussions on the motivating factors behind different spending habits and behaviors, such as cognitive overload. At the end of his session, Prof. Lim invited participants to begin thinking of how to implement digital transformation for their group projects by working through the “Groan Zone” phase of innovation.



As participants enter Day 3 and the Synthesis stage of the program, they will begin to consider what they have learned and how it can be applied toward a problem of their own choosing that can be solved by transforming processes. Click here to read about Day 3 and the Synthesis stage!