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Future of Asia Podcasts

Leaders from across the region discuss what Asia’s rise means for governments and businesses everywhere.

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Teaching AI to sail like a world-class sailor and what it means for business

– To help Emirates Team New Zealand defend their America’s Cup title, a new sailor was introduced: a McKinsey-built AI bot taught using reinforcement learning.

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Banking through the pandemic

May 2021 - Banking fortunes are linked to the fortunes of economies. When Asia entered the COVID-19 crisis, banks were well-prepared and far more resilient this time than they were during the crisis of 2008. The outlook still remains worrisome as trillions of dollars of GDP are still under threat, and the near-term recovery of the economy is patchy and uncertain in many Asian markets. In this episode, we discuss how the banking sector is dealing with this crisis, how they should think about recovery and growth, and what are some of the big discontinuities and shifts that can be seen in the financial sector today. Join the conversation with senior journalists Ira Dugal, executive editor at BloombergQuint; Jamie Lee, deputy news editor at The Business Times Singapore; and Chris Wright, Asia editor of Euromoney to explore how Asia's banking sector is faring through the pandemic.

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The evolution of healthtech in Asia

April 2021 - Asia’s healthcare ecosystems are digitizing. Amid enormous challenges in the face of COVID-19, healthcare companies have taken steps to mitigate the crisis and create positive change. In this episode, we discuss how Asia’s healthcare sector can capture opportunities in a post-pandemic world, especially on the back of recent technological shifts that have shaped its current ecosystem.

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Asia’s business news agenda in 202‪1‬‬

March 2021 – 2021 is being seen as a year of transition for businesses in Asia. As we begin to put the disruption of the pandemic behind, what are the trends that show we are transitioning to the next normal? In this episode, we discuss the changing ways of working, innovation in action, and the sustained sustainability imperative despite the pandemic. Join the conversation with media influencers Kevin Krolicki, Asia Regional Editor, Reuters; Ravi Velloor, Associate Editor, The Straits Times; and our host, Oliver Tonby, McKinsey’s Asia Chairman, to explore business news themes in the year ahead.

Listen to Asia’s business news agenda in 202‪1‬‬


The Asian Century Part 2

December 2020 – At the beginning of our discussion back in August 2019, the most important issues facing Asia were the ramping up of the US-China trade challenges, the North Korea-US nuclear deals, the Rohingya refugee crisis, and the many challenges ahead with the crisis in climate change. Today in 2020, a lot of these issues have shifted due to the influence of the global COVID-19 pandemic that has shut down countries, economies, businesses, and impacted tens of millions of lives and livelihoods. In this episode, which is part 2 of our conversation, we discuss how Asia will lead in the middle of global competition, the impact of COVID-19 on the future of trade and the efficacy of some of the big trading partnerships in place, politics of vaccine adoption and distribution, and the climate challenges in Asia.

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Listen to The Asian Century has arrived


Asia's technological opportunities to propel growt‪h

December 2020 – Asia has developed and deepened its technological capabilities and infrastructure rapidly, accounting for the largest share of global growth in many technology metrics. Over the past decade, Asia’s populations have embraced technology more quickly and enthusiastically than in any other region of the world. In this episode, we discuss the state-of-play of technological advances in Asia, significant leapfrogging opportunities for Asia, and the gaps in core capabilities that corporates need to address to achieve success.

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The shopping habits of the Australian consumer

July 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound economic impact upon families and markets across almost all sectors. Coupled with the recent bushfires and recession, Australian consumers’ habits are adapting to the changing circumstances. In this episode, we discuss the shifts in the Australian consumer’s behaviour. How can Australian businesses adapt and innovate to meet the post-COVID-19 consumer where they are?

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Asia’s response to the coronavirus

May 2020 – The coronavirus pandemic is reshaping the global economy. Asia, the first part of the world affected by the crisis, is leading the way out of it. The decisions leaders make today will not only influence how quickly their organizations and nations can emerge from the current crisis, but also define how they adapt to the ‘next normal’. In a post-pandemic world, can Asia play a major role in defining the ‘next normal’?

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Future of China and its relationship with the world

November 2019 – After four decades of opening up its economy, China is facing their first set of challenges with their relationship to the world. Could we be seeing the beginning of a new trend of less engagement between China and the world after years of deepening ties?

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Fighting gender bias in artificial intelligence

April 2021 – Artificial intelligence (AI) has played a huge part in accelerating key trends during the pandemic – it has fundamentally changed the way we work. However, what happens when human biases affect the way we use technology? In this podcast, we dive deep into how gender bias is reflected in AI, why we must consciously debias our machine-human interfaces, and how AI can be a positive force for gender parity.

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Looking ahead to 202‪1

January 2021 – 2020 has been a challenging year. With employees working from home, customers taking to digital channels at unprecedented rates, and news headlines signaling more unpredictability, many companies are finding their resilience tested like never before. As we reflect on our experiences and look to the new year, we discuss the growing gap between high and low performers, the opportunities for trade as nations shift supply chains, and which industries have observed impressive adaptations to new digital solutions in Asia.

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The Asian Century Part ‪1‬‬

December 2020 – At the beginning of our discussion back in August 2019, the most important issues facing Asia were the ramping up of the US-China trade challenges, the North Korea-US nuclear deals, the Rohingya refugee crisis, and the many challenges ahead with the crisis in climate change. Today in 2020, a lot of these issues have shifted due to the influence of the global COVID-19 pandemic that has shut down countries, economies, businesses, and impacted tens of millions of lives and livelihoods. In this episode, which is part 1 of our conversation, we discuss how Asia will lead in the middle of global competition, the impact of COVID-19 on the future of trade and the efficacy of some of the big trading partnerships in place, politics of vaccine adoption and distribution, and the climate challenges in Asia.

Listen to The Asian Century Part 1
Listen to The Asian Century has arrived


Countering the gender-regressive shock of COVID-19 in Asia

August 2020 – As COVID-19 continues to impact lives and livelihoods around the world, we can see that the pandemic and its economic fallout are having regressive effects on gender equality. What does progress on gender parity look like in light of COVID-19? What is the state of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and what workable steps can be taken to empower women in a post-pandemic world?

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Planning ahead of the coronavirus crisis

May 2020 – The coronavirus outbreak is shaping up to be the biggest economic crisis since World War II. The challenges associated with the virus are much larger than companies are used to dealing with, and firms need to have an adaptable operating model that can withstand an extraordinary level of uncertainty. How can companies adjust their business recovery responses according to the shifting time-frames?

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The future of banking in Asia

February 2020 – In Asia, banking is going through massive discontinuities, driven by the forces of a global slowdown, accompanied by discontinuities, driven by technology, and a benign regulatory environment. Could these challenges also bring with them waves of new opportunities?

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Asian networks and flows are defining the next phase of globalization

October 2019 – The Asian Century has begun. Asia is the world’s largest regional economy and it is poised to lead the world into the next phase of globalization. We discuss how global flows are shifting toward Asia, and what companies and governments can do to win in a world led by Asia.

Listen to Asian networks and flows are defining the next phase of globalization