Keynote Speakers

HE Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

H.E. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1981 to 2003. During this period, he opened the country to foreign investment, reformed taxation, reduced trade barriers, oversaw the privatization of numerous state-owned enterprises, and created a world-class physical infrastructure. He also sought to bridge Malaysia's ethnic divides by increasing general prosperity.

In 1991, he launched the New Development Policy, which emphasized industrial and commercial development and the elimination of poverty. Under Tun Dr. Mahathir's leadership, Malaysia developed into one of the most prosperous and dynamic economies in Southeast Asia, with a burgeoning industrial sector, an expanding middle class and enhanced quality of life.

In 1995, the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) initiative was introduced to make Malaysia a global player in the Information Technology (ICT) industry.

Malaysia also played a more active role in the international arena, acting as the voice for developing nations in Asia and Africa. Always with one eye on the future, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad unveiled Vision 2020 in 1991, a blueprint for Malaysia's journey to becoming a developed economy and a mature democracy by the year 2020.

Despite his retirement, Dr. Mahathir has been kept busy with the numerous invitations and speaking engagements locally and abroad.

Currently he serves as an Advisor to the national entities, namely the Langkawi Island Development Authority, the Tioman Island Development Authority and the highly successful National Petroleum Company, Petronas.

He is also the Honorary President of Perdana Leadership Foundation (PLF), a think tank set up to preserve, develop and disseminate the intellectual heritage of past leaders; the Chairman of Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War (KLFCW) and President of Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF).  Both these organisations aim at promoting global peace and criminalising war. He also serves as the Chancellors of the University of Petronas and Perdana University.

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is the current Chairman of car manufacturer Proton Holdings Bhd. He is also Chairman of Proton's wholly-owned subsidiary Lotus plc.

Tun Dr. Mahathir is married to a doctor, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, and they have seven children and sixteen grandchildren.

Professor Benoit Montreuil, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), Atlanta, USA
Director – Supply Chain & Logistics Institute

Benoit Montreuil is the Coca-Cola Material Handling & Distribution Chair in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech, where he is Director of the Physical Internet Center and a leader of the Supply Chain & Logistics Institute.

Dr. Montreuil is leading the International Physical Internet Initiative, engaging academic, industry and government leaders worldwide in research and innovation projects on smart, hyperconnected and sustainable logistics, supply chains, transportation, businesses and regions.

His main research interests generically lie in developing concepts, methodologies and technologies for creating, optimizing, transforming and enabling businesses, supply chains and value creation networks to thrive in a fast evolving, hyperconnected world.

He stands at the crossroads of industrial and systems engineering; operations research; computer sciences; operations, logistics, supply chain, strategic management; and sustainability science. His research builds mostly on a synthesis of optimization modeling and mathematical programming, discrete & agent-based simulation modeling, systems science & design theory.

Dr. Montreuil is a world-renowned scientist who has introduced, in collaboration with students and colleagues, an imposing set of paradigm-challenging, leading edge contributions through nearly four decades of research, shared through 250 scientific publications, 250 scientific communications and numerous keynote speeches at international scientific and professional conferences. He has extensive advisory, entrepreneurial and collaborative research experience with industry and government.

Though his career, he has received numerous awards, recently including DC Velocity’s Rainmaker of the Year and The Physical Internet Pioneer Award for his outstanding and inspiring vision.

From 2000 to 2014, Dr. Montreuil held the Canada Research Chair in Business Engineering. He is a founding member of the CIRRELT Interuniversity Research Centre on Enterprise Networks, Logistics and Transportation. He is also past president of the College-Industry Council on Material Handling Education and its Liaison to the Board of Governors of MHI, the North American industry association of material handling, logistics and supply chain solutions and technology providers.

Dr. Montreuil graduated in 1978 from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR). He earned a master’s and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1980 and 1982 respectively. After serving on the industrial engineering faculty of UQTR and Purdue University, from 1988 to 2014, he was a Professor of operations and decisions systems in the faculty of Business Administration at Université Laval in Quebec City, Canada.

Title: Paradigm-Shifting Innovation Towards Worldwide Sustainable Hyperconnected Logistics and Supply Chains

Abstract: This presentation addresses the worldwide grand challenge for order-of-magnitude improvements of the capabilities, efficiency and sustainability of the way we deal with physical objects: using, designing, supplying, realizing, deploying and moving them. This challenge is accentuated by the current period of fast evolution. Humanity with ever more education, digital connection, urbanization and sustainability consciousness.Technology, with landscaping innovations such as e-commerce, Internet-of-Things, 3D printing and autonomous vehicles. Economy with growing features such as global, digital, sharing and circular. Client expectations with smart connected products, shrinking prices, short precise delivery, personalization, omni-channel, and fast innovation flow. This fast holistic evolution puts pressure for innovation and transformation on businesses, leading to a struggle to keep up for their supply chains, the logistics systems and the technological and transportation infrastructures. The Physical Internet vision offers a paradigm-shifting hyperconnectivity-centric solution to the above expressed challenge. The presentation highlights the vision and how it tackled the grand challenge, as well as the enabling and enabled cultural, process, technological, business, regulatory and infrastructural innovations, sketching a strategic roadmap and a call for collaborative action.

Dr. Margaret Dalziel
Associate Professor, Conrad Center for Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology, University of WaterlooVice President Research, The Evidence Network

Margaret Dalziel is recognized as an international authority on the design and evaluation of business support programs. She is an Associate Professor with the Conrad Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology at the University of Waterloo, and VP Research, The Evidence Network. The Evidence Network, co-founded with Dr. Brian Barge, evaluates, explains, and benchmarks the impact of organizations that support business, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Its customers include leading business support organizations and government funders in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Margaret teaches technology entrepreneurship, and conducts research on innovation and entrepreneurship. Her research has been generously funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and she has produced over 100 articles. In 2014 she served as the chair of the expert panel that examined Ontario, Canada’s $4 billion portfolio of business support programs, and she has served on expert panels sponsored by the Council of Canadian Academies, the Canadian Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology, and Statistics Canada.

Previous experience includes 12 years with the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, and 15 years experience in technology development and research managementin the private sector, with the Canadian Space Agency, and with the Faculty of Engineering at McGill University.Margaret holds degrees in business (PhD, UQAM; MBA, McGill), computer science (BSc, McGill), and music (ARCT, Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto).

Title: Entrepreneurship Policy - Large and Small Bets and their Outcomes

Abstract: Governments everywhere are making large and small bets to promote and supportbusiness and entrepreneurship. Large bets are global in their implications and put the prospects of entire industries and regions at stake. Examples include the creation of Dubai’s independent judicial system in 1970, the early 20th century reliance of the US military on the future Silicon Valley, and the creation of the world’s largest cooperative education program at the University of Waterloo in 1957. The payoffs to large bets are uncertain, take decades to materialize, and depend upon emergent and evolving complementarities that are difficult to forecast. Small bets support specific companies and entrepreneurs. They are best made through intermediaries that provide knowledge-based services and financial support. Examples of intermediaries include Germany’s Fraunhofer, Silicon Valley’s Y-Combinator, and In5, a business incubator in Dubai. Here too, prospects are uncertain, but governments can get clear evidence of the effectiveness of their interventions. I will present a unique dataset that benchmarks the effectiveness of business support programs in terms of their impact on company capabilities and performance. In concluding, I observe that markets do not support business emergence. We need governments tomake occasional large bets and frequent small bets in support of the emergence of new industries, regions, companies, and ideas. And in the case of small bets, governments can get early feedback on outcomes.