An Interview with Robert Yeo, Executive Director and CEO of STADA

The upcoming joint human resources development conference with ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) and STADA (Singapore Training & Development Association) is just slightly over 2 months away.  I had an opportunity to exchange email dialogue with STADA’s Executive Director and CEO, Robert Yeo.

Here is what he had to say about the HRD Asia Pacific conference:

Q.  The upcoming ASTD STADA Asia Pacific Conference is a hallmark event for both organizations.  What led up to organizing this conference in Singapore? How did ASTD and STADA initially conceived of the idea?
A.  We started in 2009 when STADA’s 

President Lim Khia Tat and I went to Washington DC to meet ASTD’s management and shared the importance of bringing the West and the East to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experience. We opened up to ASTD the idea of building a partnership with STADA and holding an inaugural conference in Singapore.


Q.  Do you anticipate that this will become an annual event?
A.  Yes, if the HR community embraces this Conference.

Q.  What does it take to organize such an international conference on a regional and global scale?  When did the initial planning take place?
A.  The initial planning process started as early as mid-2008.

Q.  How did you and the conference team determine what topics and speakers to select?
A.  The Program Subcommittee together with the Steering committee and ASTD discussed and decided on the relevant speakers to be invited in this inaugural Conference. It is meant to be a sharing of experience from practitioners who has been there and done it.

Q.  How many people are involved?
A.  We would like to embrace as many volunteers as we can within the professional community to be part of this Conference.

Q.  The STADA is a leadership organization in human resources development.  What are the 3 key HRD issues facing organizations in Singapore and in the Asia Pacific region?
A.  We have nine tracks in the ASAP Conference to cover a wide spectrum for workplace learning professionals. They are:

  1. Public and private sector training
  2. Innovation
  3. Productivity
  4. HCD Industry – Trends and Insights
  5. Multi-cultural, multi-generational training for employability
  6. Training for Small and Medium enterprises
  7. Blended Learning and learning technology
  8. Training techniques and processes for adult learning
  9. ix. Leadership development and talent management
  10. The tracks we planned are suitable for C-suite, senior management and practitioners.

Q.  What can HRD leaders and practitioners do to help organizations develop it human capital potential?
A.  HRD leaders and practitioners can help organizations develop their human capital potential by ensuring that they are current with their knowledge that is available in the field therefore ASAP Conference is one of the platform where they can come to hear and learn from the best practitioners in the field of HCD.

Q.  Why should HR and organizational leaders attend the 2011 ASTD STADA Asia Pacific Conference?
A.  HR and organizational leaders should attend the ASTD-STADA Asia Pacific Conference for the following reasons:

  • Thought-Leadership: experts from the West and the East to share their global insights and cutting-edge tools for human capital advancement in Asia Pacific
  • Conference Tracks: unique and compelling workshops on Innovation, Blended Learning & Technology and Multi-cultural Diversity
  • Exhibition: showcasing the latest local and regional new technologies and learning modules to help take learning and development in new directions
  • Network: meet and learn from the best minds in HCD to exchange key management solutions to evolving challenges. Also opens up business opportunities for the attendees and delegates.

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