What is the Global Leaders Programme?

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The Global Leaders Programme (GLP) is an internationally-recognised executive education programme, rooted in Asia and facilitated by the Global Institute For Tomorrow (GIFT), which combines intellectual rigor, a beyond-classroom methodology and an output-driven approach to leadership development.

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Intense and engaging, the GLP is a platform for professionals to understand the forces of change in today's business landscape combining both in-classroom learning and direct experience in the field.


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The speed and scale of change have shaken traditional theories of economics and management to their core. Today's businesses need fresh ideas to face complex and global challenges.

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The GLP uses real-world field projects to heighten participants’ self-awareness, and help them hone the practical skills needed to manage diverse teams in unfamiliar situations. 


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By challenging conventional wisdom and demonstrating the value of soft skills through real-world situations, the GLP introduces participants to new paths to success in a complex world.


GLP Learning Methodology

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Participating Companies and Organisations

Leading global companies and organisations have benefited from GIFT’s approach to leadership development. 

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Grace Chan, MasterCard

"The GLP was so much more than just a leadership program. It challenged the way we perceive the world and encouraged participants to better connect what we do professionally and personally to drive impact on key aspects of our society."

(Gansu, China, 2014)

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Dibya Ojha, NEC Corporation

"The Global Leaders Programme was outstanding. I highly recommend this program to those interested in developing the skills needed to achieve business results in today’s and tomorrow's business climate."

(Kerala, India, 2016)

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Vivian Zhou, Shanghai Municipal Foreign Affairs Office

"I know what a good leader looks like, but it is another story when you are a leader in a real-life situation. I learned how to strike a balance between control and delegation and how to divide energy among all team members.”

(Hubei, China, 2011)

Who Should Go on the GLP?

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GIFT programmes are designed to strengthen your organization’s current and future leadership. Contact us to discuss potential nominations for the GLP!


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Participants are typically selected from high potential pools, from middle-management and above. They are dynamic individuals poised for fast-track career advancement.

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They are highly accomplished, but need a broader base of knowledge: one gained through action-learning and the experience of working on real-world business challenges within a multicultural, multidisciplinary team setting.


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They seek to complement their formal business training with experiential immersion learning.

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They demonstrate strong leadership abilities, but need more international exposure. They are at the stage in their careers where a more informed global outlook is vital for their success.

Module One—Challenging Business Orthodoxy

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Module One facilitates a greater awareness of the drivers of change in today's world, engaging participants in candid discussions, debates and role plays related to the role of business in society and the changing realities in different political and economic systems.


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Module One invites participants to think critically about pricing, externalities, the role of the state and ethical dilemmas in business, among other topics.

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The GLP is a non-threatening environment allowing participants to share openly and learn from their peers from different backgrounds.


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Participants are encouraged to question their own assumptions and challenge conventional notions of global business.


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GIFT's programmes are facilitated by a diverse, dedicated team, with expertise in business, civil society and project management. 

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Chandran Nair is GIFT’s founder and CEO, and a regular speaker at WEF, APEC and the OECD. He is the author of Consumptionomics and the creator of The Other Hundred.

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Professor Hideaki Takahashi is a Senior Mentor for the GLP. Professor Takahashi teaches Global Business Management at Keio University Graduate School. He sits on the board of ORIX Corporation and is the former Deputy President of FujiXerox.

Prominent Guest Speakers

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Here are a few of the many prominent guest speakers that have contributed to GIFT programmes:

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Zoher Abdoolcarim—Asia Editor, TIME International

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Anson Chan—Former Chief Secretary, Hong Kong SAR Government

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Ronnie Chan—Chairman, Hang Lung Group; Co-Chairman, Asia Society

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David Eldon—Former Chairman, HSBC Asia-Pacific; Non-Executive Chairman, HSBC Middle East

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Sanjeev Gandhi—Member of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF SE

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Christine Ip—CEO and Managing Director, United Overseas Bank Hong Kong

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Jean-Pierre Lehmann—Founding Director, Evian Group

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Rajeev Peshawaria—CEO and Executive Director, The Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre

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Mark Tucker—Group Chief Executive and President, AIA Group

Module Two—Creating New Business Models

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In Module Two, rigorous field-based learning alongside intensive business planning sessions encourage participants to stretch themselves and truly “think outside the box.” Over one week, participants collaborate to produce a robust business plan based on their analysis of the field project, including a full set of recommendations in business strategy, sales and marketing, governance, finance and social impact.


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Each GLP is designed around an original, carefully selected and developed field project, which is the platform for participants’ leadership learning. Project work allows participants to gain rare insights into the frontiers of economic development and think critically about new business models.

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Participants meet with government, community and business leaders to gain greater understanding of the social, political and economic landscape in-country. They learn the need to be flexible and pragmatic in their approach to problem-solving. 

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Participants gain direct exposure to issues shaping the future and are encouraged to “connect the dots” from the global level to the local and practical levels. Field-work builds empathy and an appreciation of the impacts their decisions have on others.


Innovative Business Models with Real Social Impact

At the core of each programme's business plan is an original business model which presents participants with a demanding conceptual challenge. 

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From Vietnam, 2016

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From Iran, 2015


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From Gansu, China, 2014

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From Hong Kong, 2015


The GLP culminates in a public forum, where participants present highlights of their analysis and business proposal to an audience of key project stakeholders often including business leaders, potential investors, community representatives and government officials. 

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Project Partners

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GIFT works closely with project partners to ensure that GLP field projects provide an illustrative and impactful learning experience for participants, while also providing practical value for partners through objective observations, analysis and business recommendations. Partners help in providing access to site visits, meetings with key stakeholders and the central socio-economic or business challenge that drives the experiential learning.


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Jagdish Khanna, HSBC

"The GLP’s unique format in content, setting and delivery made a lasting impact. The facilitated discussions and guest speakers proved to be incredibly rich in content and provided marvelous examples of the changes taking place in Asia."

(Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2015)

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Maggie Lee, NEC Corporation

"Participating in the GLP was an unforgettable experience. Although we all had different jobs and cultures, we worked intensively towards a single goal. This was a very different experience which I believe will turn into a lifelong friendship. I am looking forward to applying this experience to my work."

(Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 2016)

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Thomas Birk, BASF

"Changing one's point of view on the world and considering issues from different angles is definitely one of the major advantages of the GIFT program."

(Isfahan, Iran, 2015)

Upcoming GLP in Hong Kong and India: 20 February – 4 March 2017

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The experiential component of the February 2017 GLP will take place in India. India has experienced robust economic growth, rural communities – almost 68% of the population – continue to face key development challenges. One of these challenges is access to housing finance. With the rural housing shortage in India currently estimated at 40 million units and expected to increase by over 50% by 2022, housing finance is emerging as the next frontier for investors in the financial services spectrum.

In India, participants will work on a real-world business project in collaboration with India’s first housing microfinance institution, Swarna Pragati Housing Microfinance (SPHM), a for-profit organisationpioneering a unique approach to housing finance which overcomes obstacles to the flow of credit to the rural sector. Founded by Mr. Ramesh Kumar, former Chief General Manger of the State Bank of India, SPHM addresses the deeply entrenched socio-economic issues that remain largely unresolved and ignored in rural India.


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For more details about the upcoming GLP, please read the brochure and project brief, or contact Helena


Visit GIFT’s past programmes!

GIFT has conducted over 45 programmes all across Asia.  Explore samples below!