Special Projects

June 23, 2021

From a City-scale Beauty Pageant to a Continent-wide Diversified Gallery

Ranita Ma Tsz Yu, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, uses shopping malls as a study to assess the aesthetic similarity of urban design across Asia. The essays details the remarkable progress that has been made in development thanks to exports and industrialization but cautions against adopting a one-size-fits-all model of urban development. Instead,

June 23, 2021

Reinventing the Asian Megacity: Absorbing Climate Change with Sponge Design

Rya Jetha, a student at Pomona College in the U.S., describes the importance of “sponge cities” as a climate resilience solution for Asia’s megacities. Asia is home to a disproportionate number of megacities, which are uniquely exposed to the effects of climate change. Sponge cities, which incorporate “blue” or “green” infrastructure like vegetative parks, permeable

June 23, 2021

Tackling Unrealistic Beauty Standards in Japan and Korea

Suzu Yokoyama, of Tsuda University in Japan, identifies unrealistic beauty and weight standards as a major public health problem facing young people, and particularly young women, in Japan and Korea today, leading to health problems such as anorexia and malnutrition. The essay analyzes the factors contributing to the excessive focus on weight, including the media

June 23, 2021

Meeting the Challenge of Plastic Waste Recycling in Japan and China

Yao Yuanchen, a student at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, advocates for a three-pronged solution to Japan’s plastic waste problem: banning the export of plastic waste, raising public awareness, and improving the quality of plastics used. Japan has exported a large portion of its waste products to China in recent years, but China announced

October 28, 2020

Leadership in a Time of Crisis: Asian Businesses Respond to COVID-19

By almost any measure, the response to COVID-19 in much of Asia, East Asia in particular, has been among the world’s most effective. Measured by the absolute number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, or cases and deaths per 100,000 people, Asia has been more successful than the United States and most countries in Europe in

September 22, 2020

Asia Business Council Annual Survey 2020

The Asia Business Council Annual Survey 2020 was conducted in August and September this year and yielded a response rate of 83 percent. Asia Business Council members are Chairmen and CEOs mainly in Asia but also in Europe, the United States, and Australia who lead companies with a combined valuation of nearly $3 trillion and

January 15, 2021

Ayala Corp. (Philippines) – Recommitting to a Broad Stakeholder Ecosystem During the Pandemic

Ayala Corp is one of the oldest conglomerates in the Philippines with a history of supporting the wider community in difficult times. The company realized many years ago that it could be more effective during crisis situations by engaging a network of companies to coordinate relief efforts. In 2009, it helped establish the Philippine Disaster

January 15, 2021

DatVietVAC Group Holdings (Vietnam) – Leveraging Entertainment as a Force for Good in Face of COVID-19 Challenges

Vietnamese entertainment giant DatVietVAC Group Holdings is an example of how a company can leverage media and content as a force for good during the pandemic. It played no small part in helping the Vietnamese government promote the official BlueZone app, which helped contain the virus. By mobilizing its network of celebrities, DatVietVAC encouraged the

January 15, 2021

Esquel Group (Hong Kong) – Launching a Sustainable Mask Amidst a Public Health Crisis

Hong Kong-based textile company Esquel Group reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability by developing a reusable mask even as it was hit hard by the unfolding pandemic and escalating U.S.-China tensions. While initially made for donations, especially in the communities where it had operations, the product soon became a business as well, demonstrating that social responsibility

January 15, 2021

Fubon Group (Taiwan) – Forming a Mobile Phone-Based Information System to Prevent Community Outbreaks

One of the main reasons Taiwan had so few COVID-19 cases at the start of the pandemic was the development of a mobile phone-based information tracking system called the Intelligent Electronic Fences System (IEFS). Taiwan Mobile, the telecoms arm of the Fubon Group, played a key role in this endeavor, as it joined hands with