Special Report: Launching the Asia Public-Private-Partnerships Incubation Hub

World Vision International reports on the launch of the Asia Public-Private-Partnerships Incubation Hub, a new cross-sector platform hosted by WVI with the support of Singapore’s Economic Development Board

Screenshot 2016-08-02 16.02.06We are proud to have formally launched the Asia Public-Private-Partnerships Incubation Hub (Asia P3 Hub) in Singapore, a co-located event with Singapore International Water Week! The Asia P3 Hub is a cross-sector incubator hosted by World Vision International (WVI) that facilitates conversation and collaboration across multi-national companies, startups and social enterprises, government, academia and non-profit organizations.

We launched at Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) as the initial focus area for this new operating model is water. New relationships will generate strategic, mutually- beneficial partnerships producing measurable solutions to address key challenges within the scope of water, sanitation and hygiene. Huge issues such as access to clean water, sanitation, hygiene behavior and management of waste water present opportunities for innovative partnership solutions across the Asia region.Screenshot 2016-08-02 16.02.11

The road to the launch has been a journey in co-creation. Our first phase of work has been in process for several months, bringing together some of the region’s leading thinkers across the three sectors (private, public & civil society) in a series of engagement workshops to explore operating and business model priorities for the Asia P3 Hub. This co-creation approach is creative and invigorating: perspectives and expertise from different vantage points spark a robust exchange of fresh ideas for ways of working. We are pursuing new ways to tackle old, but increasingly complex problems.

Our pursuit of nontraditional partnerships requires the Asia P3 Hub to provide a safe space for different types of stakeholders to come together to create and incubate shared value solutions to the water problems facing the Asia region. We will broker creative and unlikely partnerships to experiment, prototype, test, and iterate solutions.

The Launch atmosphere was engaging, friendly and interactive. It kicked off with a welcome and reflections from our Guest of Honour and guest speakers:

  • Rebekah Brown, Monash University 
  • Jamie Endaya, Procter and Gamble
  • Lee Eng Keat, Economic Development Board 
  • Prasanna de Silva, World Vision International

Screenshot 2016-08-02 15.59.39Guest of Honour (and SIWW Keynote Speaker) Professor Rebekah Brown, pictured left, spoke compellingly about “Incubating leapfrogging through entrepreneurship & novel partnerships,” and also illustrated why our Asia P3 Hub model is an excellent example in the latest in good governance thinking for the future – something which only confirmed we are on the right track with our approach.

The Launch Moment

The Asia P3 Hub was officially marked by what we affectionately called our “Ta-Da” moment – the three zones of our Hub working model illustrated by a puzzle of what cross-sector collaborations would look like when the puzzle pieces of government, business and civil society are interlocked.

Lee Eng Keat from the EDB placed the Trading Zone puzzle piece, Jamie Endaya from P&G placed the Business Development puzzle piece, and the Hatchery was represented by Prasanna de Silva from WVI: a visually compelling tri-sector approach that showcases the potential power of cross-sector collaboration. Professor Brown did the honour of pronouncing the Asia P3 Hub “launched!”

Attendees networked to a wonderful atmosphere of live music, serenaded by a jazz trio as they made new connections and also participated in the two open but facilitated activities which allowed us to gather more input on strategic co-created work completed to date: a session on legacy (what do we want to be known for?) and partnerships (adding to priority areas for collaboration and ways to be involved).

1. Legacy Session

Facilitated by Talent Leadership Crucible’s Ramesh Ramachandra and Poorani Thanusha

Guests were invited to answer this question:

It is the year 2022. What is the headline of an unprecedented accomplishment of this partnership?

Screenshot 2016-08-02 16.02.35Outputs could be categorized into these 5 areas:

  1. Water supply (access, quality, security, and affordability)
  2. Sanitation (access, sanitation management, and business models
  3. Environmental hygiene (drainage and solid waste management)
  4. Poverty
  5. Partnerships/business models of many kinds

This question was followed up with: “What were the key challenges we overcame to accomplish this?”

These answers were substantive and thoughtful:

  1. Politics and governance
    Answers varied from country specific answers – penetrating China’s bureaucracy and finding a champion and seeking more attention from the Indian government on post toilet services – to general ideas of focusing on water politics and generating more funding and a stronger political commitment.
  2. Investment and economics
    This category included talk around funds, costs (building and maintenance), profits (NGO models discovering financial models to remain relevant), having an acceptable return on interest, foreshadowing economic collapses and long term investment in high tech water cities, and the close loop economy.
  3. Infrastructure and capacity
    Included with this category was having secure and protected infrastructure, having the proper infrastructure in general (such as water purifying technology), the current waste treatment and condition of or lack of water recycling plants, having capable specialists, and having the appropriate access to tools needed, such as roads.
  4. Technology and innovation
    The two problems cited were technology access and the lack of cheap water infrastructure within grasps of such partnerships.
  5. Coordination and cooperation
    Managing stakeholder expectations – profit margins, aligning key objectives, strategy vs. economic feasibility, etc., facilitating effective coordination among players, particularly between multidisciplinary members, ensuring an effective stakeholder management team is in place, and soliciting buy-in from citizens and businesses individually, specifically in high tech water cities.
  6. Environment and resources
    This included the effects of climate change – droughts, floods, etc. – water conservation, and both natural and man-made water resources.
  7. Awareness and education
    Explored behavior change education, including the level of understanding parents have on what safe water is, enjoying a 100% achievement rate of hand washing before food preparation, providing the business case/social impact of sanitation and drinking water, and having a solid purpose – MNCs will need to discover a purpose for this category to have significant relevance for them.


II. Partnerships Session

Screenshot 2016-08-02 16.02.42Facilitated by Anne Lochoff, Asia P3 Hub Business Strategy Facilitator, and Loring Harness, Asia P3 Hub Mentor-in-Residence

Guests were asked to add information to the “8 Points of Collaboration” resource worksheet and our “Work in Progress” hand drawn illustrations.

The “8 Points of Collaboration” illustration was scaled from just “how to collaborate” to answer the question “What can each partner bring to the partnership?”

These will be discussed in detail at our next co-creation workshop on August 12.

Below is a picture of the original illustration with newly added thoughts in blue.

Screenshot 2016-08-02 16.26.42

“Work in Progress” is an illustration of our co-created progress to date:

Screenshot 2016-08-02 16.03.27

The Next Steps

We are excited to unveil the Asia P3 Hub’s first initiatives in the coming weeks and invite partners, champions and interested contributors to connect and join the conversations, so we can start making a difference together in the region’s future!

Our next co-creation workshop (and the final in the series of three which have produced recommended Ways of Working in addition to operating and business models) is August 12, and we will publish our strategic priorities and roadmap shortly thereafter.

To those of you who were able to attend the Launch on Monday, July 11, a very BIG thank you for making the afternoon so vibrant – an auspicious start indeed for a new venture.

To those of you who were unable to attend, the conversation around cross-sector partnerships for water solutions will gain momentum over the coming months. Stay tuned for more exciting events.

For more information contact Ruth Smith, Co-Ordinator of the Asia P3 Hub