On the morning of November 11, 2023, I found myself rushing to catch the bus on a Saturday morning. Now, I don’t know about you, but my Saturday mornings are usually spent lazing about. That morning, however, was the 19th Fusion Conference, a multi-disciplinary conference that merges science, business, and technology into a relevant theme that attendees get to discuss and hear presentations on. Furthermore, the main reason I was excited that morning was the Fusion case competition. Essentially, the competition consists of a team of 4-5 people who are given a case to analyze and provide a solution where needed. In my case, I was very nervous about the competition as I did not have much of a chance to practice which is why I attempted to get to Federation Hall, the venue where the conference took place, early so I could practice with my team members. As I entered the venue, I stopped to look around. With blue balloons and banners, the whole place looked fancier than I had expected. After a breakfast filled with croissants and muffins, the event started with a talk from Sheldon Fernandez, the CEO of DarwinAI. His talk touched on the ethics of AI which fit in nicely with the overarching conference theme of the ethical implications of emerging innovations in Biotechnology. After the talk, there was a panel discussion and then lunch after which competition delegates were given 30 minutes to practice. Learning that my group was the first one to present, my team and I were nervous, to say the least.  According to my smartwatch, my heartbeat had spiked to over 110 BPM at that moment right before we started practicing. Luckily, I was able to calm down before we went up on stage and with my team delivered a well-done presentation. Additionally, the Q&A with the judges went great too with the judges asking us surprisingly tricky questions, which was a good challenge. 

Darwin Ai
Fusion delegate

Though my group did not end up winning even one of the three prizes, it was a day to remember along with a networking session with representatives from companies such as KPMG and Sanofi. I not only made new friends but also became closer with a lot of my SCBUS classmates. Moreover, if everything goes to plan, I enjoyed the conference so much that I am set to be part of the effort to organize the 20th Fusion Conference!

Fusion Conference Judges