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Session Type: Open Space Learning

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Noeleen Heyzer



Noeleen Heyzer, a social scientist, was an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (2007-2015). She was the first woman to serve as the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific since its founding in 1947. Under her leadership, the commission focused on regional co-operation for a more resilient Asia-Pacific, founded on shared prosperity, social equity, and sustainable development. She was at the forefront of many innovations including for regional disaster preparedness, inclusive socio-economic policies, sustainable agriculture and urbanization, energy security and regional connectivity. She was also the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste, working to support peace-building, state-building, and sustainable development in fragile states.

As the previous Executive Director of the UN Development Fund for Women, she was widely recognized for the formulation and implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security and undertook extensive missions to conflict-affected countries worldwide.

Dr. Heyzer served on numerous international boards, including the High-level Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding chaired by Nobel Laureate Prof. Amartya Sen. She is currently on the United
Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation; a member of the Kofi Annan Global
Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age; and an Eminent Person of the United Nations
Regional Commission for Asia Pacific. She has received major international awards for leadership, including the Dag Hammarskjold Medal in 2004, for her work on Women, Peace and Security. The Dag Hammarskjöld Medal is given to “a person who has promoted, in action and spirit, the values that inspired Dag Hammarskjöld as Secretary-General of the United Nations and generally in his life: compassion, humanism and commitment to international solidarity and cooperation”.

She holds a BA Upper Hons and MSc from Singapore University, a PhD from Cambridge University. Dr. Heyzer is a popular keynote speaker in high demand by the public and private sectors, think tanks and by civil society. Her leadership journey and insights received the highest rating and have been described as “extremely inspiring” by the 2012 and 2014 editions of the UN Leader’s Programme.

Avinash Chandarana



As a leading talent development business leader, Avinash has extensive experience working with a broad portfolio of clients and regularly consults global companies and international associations in areas of Leadership, Talent Development and Strategy. His global experience includes living and working in the United States, Europe and Asia with projects implemented in over 30 countries.

His track record as a strategist and pioneer in Learning and Development combined with his ability to design and implement modern day learning experiences within organisations has been recognised by the Learning and Performance Institute (LPI) who awarded Avinash a Fellowship in 2014. Avinash continues to play an active role in all aspects of the Learning field including his membership of the International Association of Facilitators as well as serving on the Chief Learning Officer Business Intelligence Committee.

Avinash’s depth and breadth of experience includes establishing an internal corporate L&D Institute for MCI Group, offering a broad portfolio of learning programmes, online and offline for 2,500 employees in 61 offices, 31 countries across 5 continents. Recent accomplishments include the digital transformation of learning strategy by integrating Artificial Intelligence and pioneering digital solutions to create a personalised Learner Experience (LX) centred ecosystem within the organisation.

Beyond strategy, Avinash is an acclaimed speaker, facilitator and moderator focusing on a portfolio of topics covering Talent Development, Future of Work and Workforce, Leadership Effectiveness, Cross-Cultural Awareness and Building High Performance Organisations. He is a qualified licensed practitioner with the Culture-Active System (Richard Lewis Communications) and Insights™ Personal, Team and Leadership Effectiveness Model.

November 7 @ 10:40
10:40 — 11:00 (20′)

The Parisian Macao Learning Hub

Avinash Chandarana, Noeleen Heyzer