From Small Things, Big Things Grow™

Significant milestones since 2003

This is a timeline of significant moments in our history.


nanoKnowledge®'s international journey begins in 2003 as "nKnowledge" in Singapore. nKnowledge is a startup business with big dreams of delivering premium and customisable corporate technology training solutions to fast-growing service-intensive organisations in the Asian marketplace. But nKnowledge is not an instant success because its founders are part-time entrepreneurs juggling full-time day-jobs and family commitments. Something has to change in order for the business to grow!

On 11 December 2003, David C Tham, one of the original four founders, takes over the reins of the firm as its first managing director. The firm is restructured as a partnership and renamed to nanoKnowledge® . Its primary focus is on helping customer service-oriented organisations achieve excellence through training and development -- by teaching people how to Do The Little Things Right.


In January 2004, nanoKnowledge® is re-conceived and re-formed as an enterprise knowledge brokerage with a mission to develop and cultivate real enterprise applications of knowledge management through sustainable experiential activities.

On 11 May 2004, the first nanoKnowledge® sigil (or logo) is unveiled in Singapore. The choice of Singapore as a launch platform is a reflection of our founders' belief in the simple yet profound idea that small movements can have big impact.

The catchphrase From Small Things, Big Things Grow is also coined in Singapore, inspired by the island nation of Singapore that has achieved great international successes despite its small size. From Small Things, Big Things Grow™ sums up the nanoKnowledge® value proposition and becomes our mantra. It also encapsulates our tacit mission to Do The Little Things Right™. These basic ideas permeate through the various ways we help our clients and partners to achieve their goals.

nanoKnowledge® is about creating innovation in people for people. We bring the interdisciplinary knowledge that sparks innovation in businesses, communities, and organisations.

In the nanoKnowledge® sigil, the four spherical elements combine with the 'n' to form a 'K'. The spheres represent tacit knowledge and the four visionaries that founded the first nanoKnowledge® partnership.

The colour blue represents the world of contestable market-spaces. The symbol 'n' represents the explicit knowledge that supports just one-billionth of all the tacit knowledge in the world.

The 'K' logo, which is formed through creatively combining the 'n' symbol with the four spherical elements, represents the value of new perspectives to harness knowledge for innovation.
The nanoKnowledge® sigil


By August 2005, the first-generation nanoKnowledge® network is formed with support from our international partners and associates based in Singapore, London, Beijing, and Perth.  The current nanoKnowledge® word, logo, sigil, and related devices, are adopted as official trademarks of the network internationally. 


In 2006, nanoKnowledge® launches the nanoKnowledge® Pioneering Leadership Program, which provides affordable leadership development programs for Singapore school students and teachers participating in international travel and learning journeys.  The Pioneering Leadership Program begins as a corporate social responsibility initiative, not a commercial one, because founder David Tham learns about a pair of talented students from Singapore who could not afford to travel to Australia with their sports team for an educational tour.   Mr Tham remembered how he did not have the opportunity to take part in international school exchanges during his own school years.  So he talks to his clients in Australia and Singapore, and persuades them to work together to create the first nanoKnowledge® Pioneering Leadership Program between Singapore and Australia.  The parties involved gain new media exposure, particularly in the emerging social media marketing space. 


In April 2008, nanoKnowledge® become a member of the Australian Sports Commission’s Club Development Network, and launches the nanoKnowledge® Pioneering Learning (Sports) Program, which teaches school athletes about leadership, resilience, mentorship, and teamwork. 

The first nanoKnowledge® Pioneering Learning Program is designed by some of Australia's leading paddlesports coaches. And the first [email protected] event is born in Perth, Western Australia.

The nanoKnowledge® Pioneering Learning (Sports) Program is acclaimed by the Australian media for pioneering the development of new sports education tourism.  The program is prominently featured in Comment News (Community Newspaper Group WA, 24 June 2008) and Escape in The Sunday Times (Seven West Media, 14 December 2008) respectively.

The media report on nanoKnowledge's contribution to pioneering educational tourism in Western Australia (2008)


The nanoKnowledge® Pioneering Learning and Pioneering Leadership Programs are combined to create the nanoKnowledge® Pioneering Learning & Leadership Program (PL2P) in Australia.  The new program provides both experiential learning and leadership growth opportunities to Singapore school students visiting Australia, and supports the local communities that the students visit.  Local communities benefit from the development and diversification benefits of new educational tourism opportunities. 


Case Study: "Experience Extraordinary Western Australia"

In April 2011, nanoKnowledge® becomes the convener of tourism industry knowledge and expertise.  In Perth, Western Australia, nanoKnowledge® plans and facilitates the first Western Australian tourism stakeholder dialogue and horizontal-industry meeting on strategically marketing Western Australian tourism to China.  The expected outcome is that the Western Australian tourism industry would gain greater trade and consumer exposure in Chinese-speaking markets via nanoKnowledge®'s China network. 

From the perspective of tourism industry stakeholders, the goals of the proposed integrated marketing campaign -- codenamed “Project Cathay” by nanoKnowledge® -- are to significantly increase the volume and expenditure of tourists from China, as well as to lower the risks for Western Australian tourism businesses to venture into Chinese-speaking market segments for the first time.  To achieve these lofty goals, nanoKnowledge® encourages Western Australian tourism industry stakeholders to undertake a very specific integrated marketing communications campaign, specially designed by nanoKnowledge® to catalyse a return on investment (ROI) and stimulate Western Australian tourism product revival/renewal within the next 3 years.  

The three-year project would reach at least 70 million viewers in China, Hongkong SAR, Taiwan, and Singapore, through a strategic marketing campaign involving: celebrity visits by at least 10 of Greater China's leading business and entertainment personalities; advertising and public relations through multiple media channels, blogs and social media; trade events, agency training, and roadshows; seasonal promotions and competitions. 

Project Cathay kick-starts the exciting transformation of the Western Australian tourism sector into a more united industry and business community capable of work more cooperatively and knowing how to  appreciate the value of introducing innovative ideas more frequently and regularly.  

Project Cathay is officially supported by a Leadership Advisory Board comprising key horizontal-industry, government and community stakeholders; not just tourism businesses.  The first meeting is co-chaired and co-hosted by nanoKnowledge® and China Approved Destination Status (ADS) inbound tour operator Motive Tours Australia. The meeting is attended by key representatives from leading tourism stakeholder-organisations and businesses, as well as State and City (local) governments.  Subsequent meetings are held at Council House, Perth (courtesy of the Lord Mayor of the City of Perth) and co-chaired by Mr Clive Nelthorpe and Mr David Tham, with nanoKnowledge® Australia staff providing the strategic vision and corporate secretariat support. 

1st Meeting of the Project Cathay Board 12 April 2011
1st Meeting of the Project Cathay Board (12 April 2011)

As an immediate result of nanoKnowledge®'s interventions, Western Australia achieves its first public-private partnership for the tourism sector. 

In May 2011, nanoKnowledge® Australia leads the first official China-Approved Destination Status inbound tourism operator delegation from Perth, Western Australia, to visit Nanjing in Jiangsu province, China.  The visit, organised by nanoKnowledge® Australia, is officially sanctioned by the City of Perth and hosted by the City of Nanjing – a first for the Western Australia tourism industry.  The purpose of the visit to China is to broker stronger tourism trade relations between Perth and Nanjing cities at the small and medium enterprise level (SME). 

Through the visit, nanoKnowledge® Australia effectively demonstrates that Australian small and medium tourism enterprises (SMEs) -- like Perth-based inbound tour operator Motive Tours Australia which had no previous experience of doing business or generating leads in China -- can quickly gain experience, prominence and first-mover advantages through nanoKnowledge®.

In September 2011, Tourism Council Western Australia invites nanoKnowledge® to address the State’s tourism industry leaders at the “Industry Leaders’ Forum: Getting 'China Ready'” event.  In anticipation of the arrival of the first direct flights from China to Perth, the Industry Leaders’ Forum is a gathering of leaders from government agencies, businesses, and industries, with the aim of delivering a total value experience to Chinese tourists throughout their anticipated visit to Western Australia. 

About 50 senior-level executives from the Western Australian tourism industry and government were briefed by nanoKnowledge® founder and managing partner David Tham about the importance of China as a strategic trade partner, as well as the challenges of selling Western Australian tourism to travel agencies in China

Mr Tham shares his firsthand experiences of doing business in China and emphasises the importance of using social media as a low cost yet powerful direct marketing platform.  He encourages industry leaders to consider how to reach out directly to consumers in China instead of depending on traditional trade marketing channels alone. During the workshop component of the Industry Leaders’ Forum, Mr Tham facilitates further discussion as industry leaders work together to identify critical actions needed to deliver a world class experience.

Following the Industry Leaders’ Forum, nanoKnowledge® Australia is appointed by Western Australia’s peak tourism industry body, Tourism Council Western Australia, to conduct a series of strategic marketing workshops across Western Australia. Since 2011, nanoKnowledge® Australia has helped more than 100 Australian businesses develop the capability to attract Chinese tourists and investors.


By September 2012, data released by Tourism Research Australia shows that Chinese visitors to Western Australia spent AUD$154 million after a spectacular 60.4 percent increase in annual expenditure by Chinese visitors.  The International Visitor Survey also shows that nearly 28,000 Chinese visitors travelled to Western Australia over the previous year,  which is a 43.3 percent increase over the previous financial year when nanoKnowledge® first addressed Western Australia’s tourism industry leaders and began supporting businesses and government organisations from the Western Australian tourism industry to cooperatively market their products and services to China.

In Oct 2012, the Wheatbelt Development Commission invites nanoKnowledge® Australia to inspect a number of pre-selected tourism businesses emerging in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. These businesses are based in Quairading, Corrigin, Kukerin, Lake Grace, Hyden, Moorine Rock, Marvel Loch, Southern Cross, Wyalkatchem, and Kellerberrin.

Following the visit, nanoKnowledge® consultants contribute the first external assessment of the potential to develop Western Australia's Wheatbelt region as a world-class experiential learning / educational tourism destination under the new nanoKnowledge® Pathways to Excellence Program (previously known as the nanoKnowledge® Pioneering Learning and Leadership Program). 

“Imagine learning from some of the most inspiring leaders in your community or industry. How do you think it will impact your decision-making or choice of career? This is what a nanoKnowledge®  Pathway  opens for you."  
-- Dr Casey Ho, co-founder and managing partner of nanoKnowledge®  Singapore.

On 30 Nov 2012, nanoKnowledge® is recognised and appointed as a registered trade partner of  Jetstar Airways (Skytrax - Best Low-Cost Airline - Australia / Pacific region 2007, 2009 & 2011; Best Low-Cost Airline - Worldwide 2007).  The partnership with Jetstar Airways opens the door to a trade partnership with Qantas Airways, which means that nanoKnowledge® can expand Australia-wide more quickly: from Perth in Western Australia to other cities in Australia, such as Brisbane and the Gold Coast in Queensland.  


2013 marks the 10th year anniversary of the founding of nanoKnowledge® in Singapore. 

In March 2013, Mr Casey Ho is appointed as a managing partner of nanoKnowledge® in Singapore.  A dynamic and highly versatile team leader and certified corporate trainer, Mr Ho brings 20 years of experience in Learning and Development, Organisation Development, Human Resource Development, Training Management, Project Management,, Quality Management and Continuous Improvement. 

Mr Ho also brings 15 years of managerial and supervisory experience managing trainers, training specialists, chemists, technicians, engineers and executives in various sectors, including clinical research, pharmaceuticals (primary and secondary manufacturing, R&D), medical devices, energy and resources, semiconductor, electronics, freight forwarding and shipping, logistics and warehousing, conventions and exhibitions and food and beverage.

By May 2013, nanoKnowledge® is recognised as a Preferred Partner by Avis Worldwide, allowing access to a range of extremely competitive prices for vehicle rental under the Avis networkThis is followed by an invitation from Qantas Airways for nanoKnowledge® to become a Qantas Business Direct partner.  nanoKnowledge® accepts the invitation from Australia's flag carrier  to access new market opportunities along Qantas' and Jetstar's flight routes.

In May 2013, nanoKnowledge® Australia partners with Wyalkatchem Tours to lead a group of about 40 participants from the nanoKnowledge® Pathways to Excellence Program to Wyalkatchem for a 4-day residential camp program. Supported by the local Shire of Wyalkatchem, Wyalkatchem District High School, Wyalkatchem Tours and Wheatbelt Development Commission, the nanoKnowledge® Pathways to Excellence Program directly contributes more than AUD$10,000 to the local Wyalkatchem economy over 3 consecutive nights, not counting personal expenditure by the individual participants, or investments by the local shire in upgrading works and development. 

Case Study: "O Little Town of Wyalkatchem"

The town of Wyalkatchem, which lies in the heart of Western Australia’s Wheatbelt, is well-known locally as an important Cooperative Bulk Handling reception point with the capacity to hold nearly 120,000 tonnes of grain and crops. In recent times, the town of Wyalkatchem has been busy improving its tourism infrastructure and establishing itself as a key tourism hub and destination in the Wheatbelt region.

Despite being a relatively new and very small business in the Australian tourism industry, Wyalkatchem Tours was able to quickly gain exposure in Singapore and China with the help of the nanoKnowledge® network. Prior to this, Wyalkatchem Tours had no experience of doing business or marketing to anywhere outside of Wyalkatchem.

On 9 August 2013, Wyalkatchem Tours was prominently featured as an important prize sponsor at the 48th Singapore National Day celebrations in Beijing, China (organised by SingCham - the Singapore Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China). About 500 people took part in the event that was featured on television in Singapore on National Day itself and the day after. The 2nd Prize dinner raffle/"Grand Lucky Draw" for the Singapore National Day dinner was a cash prize of AUD$480 sponsored by Wyalkatchem Tours.

"All 500 guests got to see the Wyalkatchem Tours name displayed on the big screen and I got them to pronounce the company name together with me so that they at least got the pronunciation right. Later on audience members commented on the significance of the AUD$480 cash sponsorship coinciding with our 48th birthday. The cash prize was won by an extremely ecstatic Chinese lady," said Mr Malcolm B Nerva, nanoKnowledge® China’s executive director, who was also the Master of Ceremonies at the Beijing dinner event that was also attended by international diplomats and dignitaries.


In February 2015, nanoKnowledge® managing partners David Tham and Casey Ho meet in Queensland to establish partnerships with both Gold Coast- and Brisbane-based organisations and institutions. 

In April 2015, nanoKnowledge® establishes a new base in the Southern Gold Coast, and launches the world’s first hospitality-themed experiential learning program in Australia called nanoKnowledge® Pathways to Excellence in Hospitality.

The six-day five-night residential program is supported by world class hotels and resorts, avant-garde community clubs, exciting food and beverage brands, leading schools of hospitality and industry leaders in the Gold Coast, Queensland. These include the multi-award-winning Currumbin RSL, Ignite Education, the International Hotel School @ Palazzo Versace, and Southern Cross University.

In June 2015, nanoKnowledge® also launches the first aviation learning module in Beijing, China, for a new nanoKnowledge® Pathway™ to Excellence in Aeronautics. The module is facilitated by nanoKnowledge® China (Genowledge Corporation) and supported by the Reignwood Group.

In November 2015, over 100 Chinese agricultural industry leaders gather in Beijing to reflect on growth perspectives during the Alltech China "Rebelation Day".  At the conference, nanoKnowledge China's Malcolm Nerva (founder & managing director of Genowledge Corporation) spoke about building a high performance team and the value of trust, responsibility and accountability. 


2016 marks the 10th year anniversary of the founding of nanoKnowledge® in Australia. 

In February 2016, The Straits Times interviews nanoKnowledge China's Malcolm Nerva about his reaction to the news that China has been stepping up its game in the battle for global talent and investment with plans to make it easier for foreigners to obtain permanent residency (PR). Foreign investors keen on applying for PR will also likely have a lower threshold to meet under China's new "pro-active" investment-based immigration policies. 

On 17 August 2016, Curtin School of Management invites nanoKnowledge® founder David Tham to speak to students and staff about entrepreneurial opportunity recognition.  Mr Tham's story of entrepreneurship is selected as a case study to teach Curtin University students about Opportunity Recognition. The case study is part of students' assessment in the MGMT3004 Entrepreneurship course unit.  Over 100 students turn up to listen to Mr Tham share his nanoKnowledge® story about how the different small events in his life influenced his big vision as an enterprise knowledge broker today.  

On 19 August 2016, Singapore's Adult Education Network (AEN) formally recognises nanoKnowledge® co-founder Dr Casey Ho's pioneering contributions to National Adult Education.  Dr Ho and fellow trailblazers from Singapore's first batch of Specialist Adult Educators (SAEs) are thanked and congratulated by Ng Cher Pong, CEO of Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), at the e2i Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability.  The AEN is a professional membership scheme for Continuing Education and Training (CET) professionals from diverse disciplines such as Adult Education, Training Management, Human Resource Development and Workforce Development. The scheme is facilitated by the Institute of Adult Learning, Singapore (IAL).

In September 2016, nanoKnowledge® Australia is a sponsor at IdeaGen 2016 at Curtin University, which is the first IdeaGen event organised by Curtin Marketing Association.  

In October 2016, nanoKnowledge® collaborates with AIESEC to teach Curtin University students how to think like a social entrepreneur. MusicArt Society founder Sumit Pokhrel volunteers to share his story via "live" video conference as a real-life case study in conjunction with a series of entrepreneurship workshops led by nanoKnowledge® founder David Tham.

In December 2016, Murdoch University features David Tham in the Summer 2016 issue of Intouch magazine

Connecting Southern Gold Coast announces its partnership with nanoKnowledge® to promote the Southern Gold Coast region as a leading destination for educational opportunities.


In February 2017, nanoKnowledge® Australia supports Curtin University's Asia Business Centre (CABC) at the Asia Gateway Forum -- the 1st Australia-China Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation.  The Asia Gateway Forum is a partnership between CABC and the Western Australian Chinese Scientists Association (WACSA) to enable WACSA's 180 Chinese delegates taking part in the Australia-China Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation (ACCSTI) to connect with Western Australian officials and business people, such as nanoKnowledge® founder David Tham.  VIPs at the Forum include eminent scientists from China, such as Curtin’s new Dean International for China, Professor Henry Li, Curtin Business School’s Professor Jiang Fuming, Science and Engineering’s Li Chun-zhu and Humanities’ BIM guru Professor Wang Xiangyu.

In April 2017, recognises nanoKnowledge® founder David Tham as an Innovation & Enterprise mentor

The UniSA Business School is South Australia's largest and one of the nation’s premier business schools with the 5-star MBA program, ranked in the top 1% worldwide. UniSA is one of just nine business schools in Australia with EQUIS accreditation awarded by the EFMD Quality Improvement System. It has also been awarded a QS five Star™ rating.

On 27 July 2017, nanoKnowledge®'s David Tham serves as a facilitator at the inaugural Regional Telecommunications Summit for Western Australia. The event is hosted by Farming Champions Inc at Cambinata Yabbies in Kukerin, Western Australia, which is approx 315km from Perth.  During the morning session, Mr Tham listened to the challenges faced by the rural community as they grapple everyday with slow and/or unreliable Internet connectivity, the lack of convenient access to user information on digital infrastructure developments, and ineffective communication between technology stakeholders and end-users.   Mr Tham leads a lively discussion on how improved connectivity and speed can accelerate the development of regional Australians as well as enhance the the livability factor of the Wheatbelt of Western Australia. The discussion is also facilitated by Boyd Brown (Telstra's Area General Manager) and the Hon Colin de Grussa (Western Australian Legislative Council Member for the Agricultural Region).  Also attending the Summit are nanoKnowledge® Associates: Michael Tan (Australian Migration & Business Skills Placement) and Fred Carles (Meritus Legal).

In September 2017, knowledge management guru David Gurteen celebrates 15 years of Gurteen Knowledge Cafes.  The first knowledge cafe was held at the Strand Palace Hotel in London on 4 September 2002.

In November 2017, nanoKnowledge® celebrates 14 years since its founding in Singapore, and 11 years of expansion into Australia and China.   Singapore Airlines invites nanoKnowledge® to be a corporate partner in the new Singapore Airlines HighFlyer program.


2018 marks the 15th year anniversary of the founding of nanoKnowledge® in Singapore and internationally.  Since 2003, nanoKnowledge® has literally transformed from a local startup training business, into the international enterprise knowledge brokerage and global partnership network it is today.

In April 2018, the world's first nanoKnowledge® Pathway to Excellence in TouchSports™ is launched and "paved" in conjunction with our long-established [email protected] Pathway in the Southern Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia.

Video created by participants of nanoKnowledge® [email protected]™ and [email protected]™ Pathways in the Gold Coast (11-16 April 2018).

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