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SMU Presidential Distinguished Lecturer Series

About the Topic

Technological developments and digitalisation have revolutionised the way we live and have dramatically accelerated globalisation. The 21st century confronts us with tremendous challenges, as well as opportunities, that will define our future: some of the new technologies will be highly transformative and we need to constantly adapt to the dynamics of new developments and socio-economic realities.

Political leadership means setting the right framework of cooperative and sustainable policies so that digital technologies and applications will contribute to the economic strength, societal well-being, and effective governance of a nation.

We have to re-engineer relations and identify new strategic partnerships. Economic development thrives through interdependence and, if well-orchestrated, it is a virtuous cycle and a win-win situation. It also means an increased dialogue within societies, between governments and societies, and between governments. We need to constantly evaluate our current relations, to agree on new visions and to develop new innovative alliances.

Over the past decades, many countries have achieved unprecedented progress in economic development and have lifted millions of people out of poverty. More people have access to education and will contribute to further develop their country. Modern communication technology allows for an almost instant exchange of knowledge, information and opinion all over the globe.

Political leaders need to embrace these new opportunities at national, regional and international levels. Together with a wise management of our planet in the face of climate change, the depletion of natural resources and a rising population, this will guarantee prosperity, stability and peace for future generations.

Join us as His Excellency Mr. Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, shares his views on political leadership in the digital age.

About The Speaker

His Excellency Mr. Xavier Bettel has been Luxembourg’s Prime Minister since 2013. He is also the Minister of State, Minister for Communications and Media, Minister for Religious Affairs as well as Minister of Culture in the coalition government formed by the Democratic Party (DP), the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party and the Green Party.

A member of the DP since 1989, Mr. Bettel was elected to Parliament for the first time in 1999 at the age of 26 while standing for the DP in the central constituency. He was re-elected in 2004, 2009 and 2013. In Parliament, he as­sumed among others the roles of Vice-Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee from 2004 to 2013 and Vice-Chairman of the Committee of Enquiry into the State Intelligence Service from 2012 to 2013. From 2009 to 2011, he assumed the role of Chairman of the DP parliamentary group. From January 2013 to November 2015, Mr. Bettel was the Chairman of the DP.

At a local level, Mr. Bettel initially served as a municipal councillor of the City of Luxembourg from 2000 to 2005, then as an alderman from 2005 to 2011. Following the municipal elections of 2011, he assumed the role of mayor, an office he held until his appointment as Prime Minister and Minister of State in December 2013.

Professionally, Mr. Bettel worked as a barrister in Luxembourg from 2001 to 2013. Mr. Bettel has a master’s degree in public and European law, and a DEA (post-graduate diploma of advanced studies) in political sciences and public law, both from the University of Nancy, France.

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