Sabrina Luk Ching Yuen, Assistant Professor, Public Policy and Global Affairs, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

By Nurfilzah Rohaidi

Women in GovTech Special Report 2019.

How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.

I am Assistant Professor in Public Policy and Global Affairs, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. I offer courses in e-government, healthcare policy and healthy ageing to undergraduates and exchange students at NTU. These courses expose students to the basics and hot topics (such as smart cities, digital health, and gerontechnology) in the field. They are designed to empower students to become critical thinkers and problem solvers who can thrive in times of uncertainty and change. I also give lectures on ageing policy and practice in Asia for Master of Science in Applied Gerontology at NTU.

Apart from teaching, I do research on smart cities, the gender digital divide, healthcare and healthy ageing. I have published several books on healthcare and several book chapters on e-government, digital health, cybersecurity, and gender digital divide.

A book on aging, long-term care insurance and healthcare finance in Asia as well as a book chapter on combating cyberbullying against females will be published in 2020. I hope that my research can address important issues facing governments and build knowledge to better inform future policy decisions.

Over the past two years, I have been invited by different organisations to give lectures, training sessions and presentations on smart cities, cybersecurity and digital health. I am happy to have productive and meaningful discussions with local and foreign students, experts and government officials.

What has been the most exciting thing that you worked on in 2019?

I think it was being a panel speaker at the 13th Asia-Pacific Programme for Senior National Security Officers in April. The programme was organised by the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU, Singapore.

It brought together national security experts from the Asia Pacific region to learn about developments related to homeland and national security matters. I was happy to be invited by CENS to give a speech on AI-powered governance and have syndicate discussions with national security experts.

What is the best thing you have experienced in your career?

I think it was having an opportunity to be a leading contributor to the UNESCAP report on Evolution of Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Sustainable Development: The Experiences of China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Singapore. When the report was officially launched in March 2019, I presented the report findings and gave a training session on ‘Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Sustainable Development in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ at UNESCAP, Incheon, Republic of Korea.

I am grateful to UNESCAP for giving me this opportunity to work with other experts and providing me with a platform to share my work with experts and policymakers around the world.

If you were to share one piece of advice that you learned in 2019, what would it be?

The pain I feel today is the strength I feel tomorrow.

I learnt that the pain I feel today is the strength I feel tomorrow. So, it is important to stay strong. Keep moving forward and only look back to see how far you have come.

What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2020?

I am interested in knowing more about the use of gerontechnologies for improving the physical, mental and social wellness of older adults in different countries. I believe that gerontechnologies can help older adults live independent lives for as long as possible and achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

What are your priorities for 2020?

My priorities for 2020 are to finish my research project on healthy ageing in Singapore and develop new courses in governance and crisis management.

What is one challenge you would like to take on in 2020?

I would take on any challenges that can make me a stronger person.

What has been your fondest memory from the past year?

My fondest memory from the past year has been receiving stone and seashell paintings made by my friend when we met in Hong Kong. These stone and seashell paintings give me positive energy and strength.