The Singapore Miracle and Gov 2.0

Improving Government Effectiveness
Location: Independence Ballroom A Level:
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)

Peter Ho, the Singaporean Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Head of Public Service, is heading up a transformation that emphasizes networked government, empowerment of public service officials, greater experimentation and innovation, opening up the government to co-creation with the citizens, and seeing the government “as a platform” to enable problem solving through co-creation, instead of trying to solve every problem itself. Singapore has been described as a “startup nation” that has become a most successful first world economy. Its remarkable success is viewed through its constant reinvention. We will hear from Secretary Ho on how this miracle continues to unfold.

Peter Schwartz, renowned business consultant, futurist, and author of the now classic book, The Art of the Long View, recently said, “In my view, Singapore is the Apple Computer of nations…There is a sense that what is possible here (Singapore) is not yet fully realised. It isn’t that people are unhappy. Instead, there is the sense that not only are things good, but they have to be better. That is also true at Apple. They keep pushing the frontiers, like in Singapore…Part of the brilliance of your founders is the creation of the civil service, which embodies and keeps alive the values, dynamism and behaviour that make Singapore succeed. In that sense, the single most important institution in your future is the Civil Service College” Peter Schwartz will engage Secretary Ho in a conversation on the long view of Singapore2.0 and how that is taking place.

Photo of Peter Ho

Peter Ho


Peter Ho Hak Ean is the Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs) of Singapore. He also holds the posts of Head, Civil Service, and Secretary (National Security and Intelligence Coordination) in the Prime Minister’s Office. He began his career as a naval officer. After holding various command and staff appointments in the Singapore Armed Forces, he transferred to the Administrative Service and was appointed Deputy Secretary (Policy) in the Ministry of Defence, Singapore (MINDEF) in 1989. In 1990, he was posted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Deputy Secretary. In November 1995, he was appointed Permanent Secretary (Defence Development) in MINDEF, and in July 2000, he was appointed Permanent Secretary (Defence). He assumed the appointment of on 15 July 2004. Peter Ho has also held a variety of other concurrent appointments. He was Chairman of the Board of DSO National Laboratories from March 1997 to June 1998, Chairman of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore from February 1996 to January 2003, and Chairman of the Board of the Defence Science and Technology Agency from March 2000 to March 2002, and again from July 2002 to December 2003. He was also Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore from December 1999 to November 2003. He is currently a member of the boards of the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, the Institute of South Asian Studies, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the Institute of Policy Studies, Chairman of Value Innovation Tank Limited, and Chairman of Singapore Cooperation Enterprise. Peter Ho holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in the Engineering Tripos and a Master of Arts from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Photo of Peter Schwartz

Peter Schwartz

Global Business Network

Peter Schwartz is cofounder and chairman of Global Business Network, a Monitor Group company, and a partner of the Monitor Group, a family of professional services firms devoted to enhancing client competitiveness. An internationally renowned futurist and business strategist, Peter specializes in scenario planning, working with corporations, governments, and institutions to create alternative perspectives of the future and develop robust strategies for a changing and uncertain world. His current research and scenario work is particularly focused on climate change and national security issues, and also encompasses energy resources and the environment, technology, telecommunications and aerospace.

Peter is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council, the World Affairs Council and, in Singapore, the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council. He also sits on the boards of The Long Now Foundation, The Center for New American Security, and the Center for Strategic Studies.

From 1982 to 1986, Peter headed scenario planning for the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies in London. His team conducted comprehensive analyses of the global business and political environment and worked with senior management to create successful strategies. Before joining Royal Dutch/Shell, Peter directed the Strategic Environment Center at SRI International. The Center researched the business milieu, lifestyles, and consumer values, and conducted scenario planning for corporate and government clients.

Peter is the author of Inevitable Surprises (Gotham, 2003), a provocative look at the dynamic forces at play in the world today and their implications for business and society. His first book, The Art of the Long View (Doubleday Currency, 1991; audio tape, 1995; paperback, 1996), is considered a seminal publication on scenario planning and has been translated into multiple languages. He is also the co-author of The Long Boom (Perseus, 1999), a vision for the world characterized by global openness, prosperity, and discovery; When Good Companies Do Bad Things (Wiley, 1999), an examination of, and argument for, corporate social responsibility; and China’s Futures (Jossey-Bass, 2001), which describes very different scenarios for China and their international implications. He publishes and lectures widely and served as a script consultant on the films “The Minority Report,” “Deep Impact,” “Sneakers,” and “War Games.” Peter received a B.S. in aeronautical engineering and astronautics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

O'Reilly Media Logo
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Esri
  • Microsoft
  • IBM
  • Palantir Technologies
  • Alfresco
  • Google
  • govWin
  • IdeaScale
  • Intel
  • NIC
  • Omidyar Network
  • Telligent
  • Safari Books Online

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Rob Koziura at (415) 947-6111 or email

View a complete list of Gov 2.0 Summit contacts.

Gov 2.0 Events :  Gov 2.0 Expo  •  Gov 2.0 Summit