About The Symposium

The annual Singapore Management University (SMU) Leadership Symposium is a university-wide event organised by the Office of Student Life. First launched in 2014, it is a two-day event targeted at tertiary students who serve, or desire to serve, in a leadership position. The symposium serves to provide a platform for participants to gain insights into the multifaceted approach to leadership and be empowered with tools, knowledge and ideas to take on student leadership positions.

Each year, the symposium is centered on a core aspect of leadership or an element that is relevant to tertiary students. In 2014 – 2018, the themes were Cornerstones in Leadership, Illuminating Leaders, Setting Your Compass, Crossroads and Beyond Boundaries.


Enhance participants’ understanding of the various theories and aspects of leadership.

Inspire the participants through the sharing of speakers’ authentic personal leadership experiences.

Encourage participants to reflect and apply the leadership lessons acquired during the symposium in their own settings.

Sow, Sprout, Soar

Themed Sow, Sprout, Soar, this year’s symposium challenges students to identify their personal strengths and weaknesses, honing their leadership skills to make a meaningful impact to the community. By looking at leadership from a variant perspective, we hope to lay fundamental skills and knowledge that will prepare students for the VUCA world.

Past Years’ Themes


Cornerstones in Leadership


Illuminating Leaders


Setting Your Compass



Some of our past keynote and plenary speakers:

  • Mr Tong Yee, Founder and Director of The Thought Collective
  • Ms Tan Kheng Hua, Actor and Producer
  • Mr Stefen Chow, Photographer / Artist
  • Mr Gaurav Keerthi, Founder of dialect.sg and confirm.sg
  • Mr Mark Ting, Board Member of CEO Global
  • Ms Sarah Pang, Pro Tennis Player
  • Ms Kuik Shiao-Yin, Co-founder and Director of The Thought Collective
  • Mr Jason Wong, Board Chairman of Focus on the Family
  • Ms Denise Phua, Member of Parliament for Jalan Besar and Mayor of Central Singapore District
  • Mr Goh Theng Kiat, Chief Marketing Officer, Global Consumer Financial Services of OCBC Bank
  • Mr Benjamin Twoon, Co-founder and COO of Fundnel
  • Ms Yip Pin Xiu, Undergraduate in SMU and Paralympian
  • Ms Eunice Olsen, CEO and Executive Producer of Womentalk
  • Mr Sukhmohinder Singh, Consultant of Listen to Serve Pte Ltd
  • Mr Chris Robb, CEO of Spectrum Worldwide
  • Mr Joseph Ong, Managing Director of One Rochester Group


“The symposium provides a new perspective to leadership and really helps to reshape how we think about leadership.”

– Tan Wei Yang, SMU student

“It’s very informative and the keynote speakers and workshop speakers are very intriguing with their speeches and stories.”

– Denry Teo, SMU student

“I have learnt a lot through this symposium and it was extremely insightful and meaningful.”

– Christina Tio, Raffles Institution student

“This symposium has definitely gave us many insightful and showed us various dimensions of how to be a good leader.”

– Goh Jia Yang, Pioneer Junior College student

“Apart from factual knowledge and information, the strength lies in 2 days of reflective journey with like-minded people.”

– Kelvin Fan, SMU student

“Yes i benefitted alot and it made me ponder about my leadership abilities.”

– Jerilyn Tan, SMU student

Photo Gallery