Forum for the Future Asia Pacific Limited: Trustee role description


Forum for the Future is an international non-profit organisation with a purpose to accelerate the big shift towards a sustainable future by catalysing change in whole systems. We operate in four offices located in the UK, US, Singapore and India. 

Poverty, malnutrition, inequality, crashing biodiversity, civil unrest: the world today is facing complex challenges because our fundamental systems are broken. Climate change has emerged as the defining issue of our times, with climate breakdown and ecological crisis already underway. Tackling such intricate, complex and significant challenges cannot be achieved by any one party alone or by isolated and incremental changes that collectively, do not add up. While some progress has been made, people lack the capacity and/or incentives to respond, and many of the solutions that are being delivered lack the scale and pace required. That is why Forum for the Future’s mission is to address critical global challenges by catalysing change in key systems – from food to apparel, energy to shipping. 

For over 20 years, we have been working in partnership with business, governments and civil society to accelerate the shift towards a sustainable future. We do this by convening transformational collaborations to drive change, by partnering with organisations to help them lead by example, and by building a global community of pioneers and change makers.

About Forum for the Future Asia Pacific ('Forum APAC’) 

Forum APAC began operations in Singapore in 2013, established as a public company limited by guarantee. We are currently a team of eight staff members who deliver Forum’s mission through our work in key countries in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Recruitment of board members for Forum APAC 

We are currently recruiting new board members for the Forum for the Future APAC board. We are seeking individuals who have a commitment to Forum’s mission and who have one or more of the following attributes: a strong connection with business and/or philanthropic organisations that have an interest in addressing sustainability challenges in the APAC region, knowledge and experience  of one or more of APAC countries and markets, is familiar and/or experienced in the practice of systems change and experiential learning. 

Our board members act in a voluntary capacity and are expected to serve for a minimum of three years. We require our board members to be resident in Singapore. At present, three of Forum APAC’s board members hold executive positions in the parent charity, Forum for the Future. It is expected that Forum executives will form the majority of Forum APAC’s board for the foreseeable future. 

The roles of a board member

As a member of Forum APAC’s Board, you hold two roles simultaneously: that of a trustee with obligations to fulfil in relation to the Commissioner of Charities, and that of a director with responsibilities as defined under the Companies Act of Singapore. 

The position requires you to act as counsel on affairs of the organisation and to help ensure that it is solvent, well-run, and delivering the charitable outcomes for which it has been set up to fulfil. You will be obligated to act in the best interests of the organisation; take decisions about its future; ensure the organisation remains financially and strategically sustainable; and is prepared to face future challenges. Further, your responsibilities will include ensuring that Forum is working within the law, and exercising sufficient oversight to ensure it is meeting its purpose and objectives. You will support the Director of APAC and be collectively responsible for making sure that the board as a whole is working effectively and efficiently. 

Specific duties involve: 

  • Meeting as a board three times a year;
  • Advising on Forum’s strategies for growth and impact;
  • Keeping fully informed about Forum’s activities, and being aware of regulations, charity law, company law and best practice recommendations;
  • Reviewing the strategic plan, performance against this plan and Forum’s principal aims in relation to achieving the mission of the organisation;
  • Approving the budget, reviewing financial performance and approving the end of year accounts;
  • Monitoring accountability as required by law (to the Charity Commission; Inland Revenue; Register of Companies etc.) and review accountability processes as they relate to other key stakeholders
  • Being actively involved in the workings of the board including in terms of new appointments and rotation, and reviewing the performance of the board. 

Governing board members must: 

  • Ensure that they are not disqualified under the Charities Act from being board members;
  • Act in the best interest of the charity and be actively involved in the management and decision making process, and jointly make decisions as a Board on policy matters;
  • Establish good governance practices that increase transparency and accountability and exercise strict control over financial matters of the charity:
  • Ensure the charity remains solvent;
  • Ensure charitable funds and assets are used reasonably, and only for the furtherance of the charity’s objectives;
  • Avoid undertaking activities that will place charity funds, assets and reputation at undue risks, including the risk of being misused for terrorist financing, money laundering or illegal purpose;
  • Ensure proper management of the charity such that it is not opened to abuse and avoid conflict of interests;
  • Stay true to the charitable purposes and objects, be clear about the charity's ethical values and abide by the rules set out in the charity’s governing instrument;
  • Exercise appropriate due diligence on beneficiaries, partners and donors: 
  • Resource permitting, make best efforts to confirm their identity, credentials and good standing;
  • Have clear written agreements with partners on the scope of work/activities, monitoring measures and use of the charity's name/resources;
  • Know what the donor's specific business is with the charity - be mindful that donations with conditions attached do not compromise the charity's purposes, priorities and activities;
  • Watch out for 'red flag' concerns that serve as a warning of suspicious situations and possible issues;
  • Have a clear and documented dispute resolution process;
  • Ensure that the charity complies with the Charities Act and Regulations, and with the requirements of the Office of the Commissioner of Charities or Sector Administrators;

Comply with the other legislations which govern the charity’s activities such as the CDSA1, TSOFA2, Trustees Act, Companies Act and Societies Act, if applicable.​

Further detail and how to apply

Forum has four offices in London, New York, Singapore and Mumbai. 

Our Singapore Board members act in a voluntary capacity and are expected to serve for a minimum of three years. The board meet about 3 to 4 times a year in Singapore. Applicants must be a Singapore citizen or hold permanent residency to qualify. 

Our annual report and accounts can be found here.  

To apply for this role, please send your up-to-date CV and a covering letter to [email protected]

For further information, please contact Ariel Muller - Managing Director Asia, Forum for the Future, on [email protected].

Closing date for applications: Sunday, Nov 17 2019, 23:59 SST.