Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat urges grads to stay adaptable and connected

At the recent commencement ceremony for the Singapore Management University (SMU) business school, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat advised graduates to stay adaptable and connected in today’s rapidly changing world.

He advised that the ability to stay connected “will be more important than ever” as Singapore positions itself as Asia’s global node of technology, innovation and enterprise. He encouraged graduates to “be daring, curious and to have the openness to know the region well and see the world” so as to “share experiences and knowledge”.

Mr Heng also shared how going forward “there will be a need to adapt not only to changes in location, but to changes in technology and the nature of work”. That means having to develop our own cultural sensitivity and fluency in the different political climates, business environments and social contexts of other countries. He emphasised that at the end of the day, “adaptability is about the active ability to find commonalities amid differences and a genuine readiness to collaborate, so that we can build connections and rally people round what we have in common, to solve problems and create new value together”.

The key word here is adaptability. Survival in today’s rapidly changing digital world would entail that one is adaptable to an economy and environment that is always in flux. While Artificial Intelligence and big data may be the current buzzwords now, we will never know what is the next big thing in the future. Thus, having a flexible mindset will ensure that one can thrive in an ever-changing world.

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