Cover Taiwan's Sky Yen encourages students to think like a scientist through his non-profit organisation LIS Education.

These visionaries are redefining how people teach and learn to improve education systems around the world

Recognising the importance of education as a tool that empowers individuals and leads to improvements in the world’s economy, environment and development, these visionaries on the Asia’s Most Influential 2022 list have focused their efforts on providing more access to quality learning and education training. Through organisations that emphasise critical thinking, wonder and curiosity in science and the arts, they are improving education systems, which in turn, nurtures future leaders. Sky Yen from Taiwan, Subra Suresh from Singapore, Pia D Bagasmabad from the Philippines, Melissa Gomes from Malaysia and Yan Du from Hong Kong are among the changemakers leading positive change across the region and beyond. Read more about their contributions to education below. 

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Yan Du, Hong Kong

The art advocate and collector founded the London-based Asymmetry Art Foundation to nurture future curators, as well as widen the knowledge about Asian contemporary art. Asymmetry not only provides fellowships for curators and scholarships for art students across Europe, but it also organises discussions on, for example, online curating or transnational identities.

The Asymmetry Art Foundation has announced an international open call for a curatorial research fellowship at the Chisenhale Gallery in London. The 18-month post will be granted “to an early career curator who identifies to any extent with Greater Chinese and Sinophone cultures and identities”. Applications for the Chisenhale fellowship are ongoing until 12 December 2022.

Read Yan Du’s full profile on Asia’s Most Influential


Sky Yen, Taiwan

To promote education equality in Taiwan, Sky Yen founded LIS (Learning Is Science) Education, a non-profit organisation that has developed teaching videos combining curriculum with animation to sustain the interest of children. Yen’s LIS emphasises science, training its students to think like scientists who apply both curiosity and logic to solve problems. For the institution, its methods underline the true purpose of education, which is to cultivate thinking and not just testing. 

Read Sky Yen’s full profile on Asia’s Most Influential


Melissa Gomes, Malaysia

Through Edvolution Enterprise, Melissa Gomes is creating transformative education leaders in Malaysia. Its Teacher Empowerment for School Transformation (TEST) programme is designed to raise the quality of leadership and teaching skills, all of which lead to an improvement in student learning and competency. In a feature written for the nonprofit organisation, Gomes, who has over a decade of experience in management consulting and education, also identifies how teachers should emphasise social and emotional learning, as well as adopt technology in their practice to succeed in the future.

Read Melissa Gomes’ full profile on Asia’s Most Influential

Subra Suresh, Singapore

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) soars to 30th place overall and 3rd in Asia in the US News & World Report’s Best Global University Rankings for 2022 to 2023. The research-intensive institution, which is home to over 30,000 students, has flourished under the leadership of its president, Subra Suresh, who says its ranking—which has risen 19 places in the last five years—“…highlights the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff in ensuring the world-class quality of the University’s research, teaching and international collaboration”. It has been reported that Suresh will step down as president of NTU in December 2022 to be closer to his family in the US. 

Read Subra Suresh’s full profile on Asia’s Most Influential

Pia D Bagamasbad, Philippines

In order to “address the great need for our country to build a critical mass of STEM professionals to usher social and economic development, we must mentor and retain Filipino talent in the country,” says Pia D Bagamasbad, director of the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of the Philippines Diliman, about the challenges of life science research. To nurture more STEM professionals, Bagamasbad developed the SARS-CoV-2 Testing Training Programme, which has been made available to more people through an online learning module. She also plans to mentor future scientists by developing research programmes.

Read Pia D Bagamasbad’s full profile on Asia’s Most Influential


Tatler Asia's Most Influential is the definitive list of people shaping our world today. Asia's Most Influential brings together the region's most innovative changemakers, industry titans and thought leaders who are driving positive impact in Asia and beyond. View the full list here.


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