Special Projects

June 23, 2021

Private Money for the Public Good – Unlocking Private Equity for Asia’s Sustainable Finance

Chloris Jiaqi Kang, from the National University of Singapore, writes that addressing key challenges facing sustainable financing in private equity can help channel more private money for the public good in Asia. Given their unique combination of risk capital and operational expertise, private equity funds are well positioned to use equity to create the best

June 23, 2021

KomU as a Strategy to Improve Family Communications

Hanun Thalia, a student at Universitas Indonesia, writes about a novel technology-based approach for improving communication among family members, an approach that she argues can contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. KomU, an app, helps families learn to use the “I statement” and “sandwich feedback” methods of communication, two psychology-based approaches

June 23, 2021

Asian Central Bank Mandates: What about Equality?

Henry Michael Mayhew, of University College London, argues that Asian central banks should incorporate equality considerations into their mandates. The rise of unconventional monetary policy has had outsized distributive effects, and with a growing body of research showing that inequality impacts economic stability, targeting a more balanced distribution of wealth can be seen as a

June 23, 2021

The Three Pillar Multi-Stakeholder Approach to Responsible Financing: Addressing Asia’s Challenges in the “Decade of Action”

Krati Gupta, from the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law in India, makes the case for a greater role for Asia in global initiatives aimed at addressing responsible finance. The pandemic has brought the importance of environment, social, and governance (ESG) considerations to the fore, yet ESG investing in Asia trails behind other regions. The

June 23, 2021

Indigenous Cities: Reframing Modernity and Our Cities

Matthew Flores, from the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, makes the case for greater indigenous representation in urban design. The essay critiques the homogeneity of urban settings in the Philippines and around the world, the result of ideas of modernity and development that are rooted in colonial norms. If indigenous people are given

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