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Technology and civil discourse for another golden age: Minister Balakrishnan

03 Nov Technology and civil discourse for another golden age: Minister Balakrishnan

Media Release

For Immediate Release

Technology and civil discourse for another golden age: Minister Balakrishnan

Singapore, Friday, 3 November 2023: The Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) concluded its 60th Anniversary events with its 2023 Annual Dinner at The Ritz-Carlton on Wednesday night. In an increasingly complex global landscape, the SIIA aims to step up its commitment in promoting better understanding of key global and regional issues through thoughtful analysis and by building channels of connectivity.

With more than 30 participants from a wide range of backgrounds and sectors, the dinner served as an outlet to express SIIA’s appreciation to its key benefactors, sponsors and special guests for their contributions. The dinner also provided an opportunity to share perspectives for continuous growth while navigating an ever-changing global order.

The event was graced by Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Singapore.  In his address, Dr. Balakrishnan touched on the uncertain external environment, the digital revolution, climate change and engagement with major powers. Dr. Balakrishnan highlighted that we have exited the post-World War II global order of free markets, free trade and global economic integration. He mentioned a need to disseminate the means of production, including digital, robotics and genetics, widely into our society.

Dr. Balakrishnan added, “If we can avoid war, get technology right, and have more civil discourse,  I think we can have another golden age.”

On looking ahead, Prof. Simon Tay mentioned that SIIA, “[will] contribute to greater social cohesion, as well as deeper and broader public understanding of key global and regional issues.”

He added, “In this, while independent, the SIIA is committed to assist our country for the next decade and beyond, in keeping Singapore cohesive, open and resilient.” He touched upon SIIA’s Emerging Generation of Leaders (EGL) Programme – part of SIIA’s new phase. The programme will focus on professionals in their 30s and into their 40s, who are emerging leaders within their organisations. The SIIA aims to engage them on key global and regional issues to share and receive analyses, perspectives from experts as well as build a network of young professionals.

The dinner ended on a positive note as attendees toasted to a brighter future and the creation of more circles of connection and inclusivity, rather than lines of division.


For further enquiries, please contact the SIIA: 


Ms. Siti Bazilah

Senior Executive, Media, Events & Marketing

Ms. Hazeera Bi W.

Senior Executive, Marketing & Outreach



About the Singapore Institute of International Affairs

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Established in 1962, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) is a non-profit and independent think tank committed to producing policy analysis, fostering in-depth dialogues and bridging gaps between policymakers, private sector decision-makers and experts to shape public policy and social responses. Centred around ASEAN focused themes, the institute aims to deliver policy analysis in international affairs and on issues driving environmental sustainability. The SIIA has been consistently ranked as one of the leading think tanks in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, in the Global Go To Think Tank Index by the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2017, the SIIA was ranked the No. 1 independent think tank in Asia. It was also recognised as one of the top 50 think tanks globally, excluding the United States of America. For two consecutive years since 2019, it was recognised as the No. 1 think tank in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific (excluding India). In 2020, it was also recognised as one of the think tanks with the best policy and institutional response to the COVID-19 pandemic.