• December 11-23, 2017

  • Mumbai, India / Jakarta, Indonesia / Hong Kong SAR, China

  • USD 3,290 (limited to 30 participants)

  • Graduate Students and Mid-Career Professionals

Apply Now!

Cities in Asia are at an important crossroads. With some of the fastest growth rates in the world – they have become vehicles that are bringing hundreds of millions out of poverty. Until recently, they have grown in a traditional manner with long-established industries and archaic forms of governance. For the next phase of its journey, they are seeking to grow in a new innovative manner on a “smart city agenda,” while driving sophisticated industries to the next level of growth. Success depends on a complex set of factors that include changes to policies, business models, and even culture. What are business, government, and community leaders doing to reach the next frontier of development?

Rise of the Smart City in Tomorrow’s Asia: Challenges and Opportunities is a program designed to help graduate students and mid-career professionals, investigate ecosystems across the development spectrum that are seeking to advance the smart nation and smart city initiative in their communities. The program travels through some of the most exciting cities in Asia, including Mumbai, Jakarta, and Hong Kong.

Through on-the-ground interaction with political, business, and community leaders, the program allows aspiring individuals to study the lessons of the past and evaluate its current challenges. Trekkers will gain an improved understanding of how to design better solutions for the future, as well as be better positioned to identify and take advantage of opportunities.

* Cost inclusive of economy flight tickets from the first city of the Trek to the last city of the Trek; 12 nights accommodations in a minimum 3-star hotel; local transportation fees during official program (not including during free times); most meals during official program days (not including during free times). A minimum of 20 accepted and fully paid participants are required by October 31, 2017 to go ahead with the program.



Through the program, you will:

Gain an unrivaled experience that broadens the mind:

  • Travel and discover new places, sights, and sounds in a dynamic environment and come away with a broadened perspective

Make lasting connections and a global network:

  • Through living and learning together with motivated peers from diverse backgrounds, as well as meeting high-level individuals from all walks of life – you will gain a valuable professional network and make lifelong friendships.

Engage in active learning and garner best practices:

  • Take on the responsibilities and mindsets of diplomats, journalists, and academics as you engage in on-the-ground experiential learning, capturing and testing new ideas and insights you can take back to your own setting.

Mumbai, India: December 11-15, 2017

In Mumbai, we will visit one of the massive greenfield projects near Mumbai which business and policy leaders are launching to jumpstart the country’s smart city initiatives. Do projects like these hold the solution to decongest crowded city centers and solve the rural-urban divide? What practical role can “smart solutions” play in alleviating poverty and improving governance?

Targeted visits and meetings include:

  • Orange Smart City
  • Tata Consultancy
  • Cisco, Lodha Group
  • Oracle Public Sector
  • Ola Cabs
  • Centre for Urban Science and Engineering

Jakarta, Indonesia: December 15-20, 2017

In Jakarta, we will meet leaders who are transforming the transportation, goods, and service landscape in Indonesia through digital solutions. What are the drivers of success we can learn from private enterprise that are providing public solutions? How do we navigate the tricky intersection between business, policy, and governance?

Targeted visits and meetings include:

  • Gojek/GoLife
  • Jakarta Smart City
  • Qlue
  • Citiasia Center for Smart Nations
  • Block71 Jakarta
  • nodefulx
Hong Kong SAR, China: December 20-23, 2017

In Hong Kong, we will visit some of the city’s most successful companies and organizations providing logistical solutions – and investigate their initiatives to make Hong Kong into a world-leading leading smart city. How does an advanced city with established infrastructure push the agenda to stay relevant? How do we overcome the cultural constraints that inhibit innovation?

Targeted visits and meetings include:

  • Hong Kong MTR
  • Uber Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation
  • Uber Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Transport and Housing Bureau
About the Asia Leadership Trek

The Asia Leadership Trek is a unique, overseas learning experience devoted to exploring the most important issues and cutting-edge ideas through engagement with political and business leaders, educational figures, entrepreneurs, and students. This one-of-a-kind study tour travels to locations all across Asia and exposes individuals to the region through active engagement and knowledge sharing of best practices.

Harvard Beginnings

The Trek, which is Harvard parlance for student-led socio-economic, political and cultural tours of a country or region has played an essential role in the Harvard University graduate school experience. The original Asia Leadership Trek organized by the Center for Asia Leadership began among students in the Harvard community and were exclusively for participants chosen from the greater Harvard graduate school community, the MIT Sloan School of Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Columbia Business School, and the Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Our Global Leadership Experience

Through the Asia Leadership Trek, our Center has had the opportunity to dialogue with Former President of Indonesia Susilo Poumbang Yudhoyono, President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, Korean National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa, and former ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan, among several other dignitaries. We have also engaged with CEOs or officials of companies such as Samsung Electronics, Mitsubishi Group, Toyota Motors, Lippo Group, and the Sunway Group.

  • 400+ Scholars from Harvard Benefited
  • 600+ Leading Companies and Organizations Visited
  • 90+ Meetings with Minister-level Dignitaries
  • 65+ Cities Visited Across Asia


About the Center for Asia Leadership Initiatives

Established in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2014, the Center for Asia Leadership Initiatives 501(c)(3), is a group of non-profit international organizations that addresses public needs and problems in Asia through research, development, training and publication initiatives in the areas of public leadership, entrepreneurship and education in Asia. The birth of our Center was sparked by the hope of connecting the vast educational resources at Harvard University with individuals and organizations in Asia who are working to address the core challenges of the 21st century.

Our mission is to assist and empower individuals, organizations, and governmental bodies to play more active and meaningful leadership roles in their communities. We strongly believe that Asia will be the driver of next opportunities for the world, and thus, seek to help Asia become better understood in the international community by helping individuals and communities in this region face its challenges, identify opportunities, and turn downsides to upsides for their own well-being, with the end goal of promoting prospects for democratic, thriving, and just, modern societies.

To learn more about the Center, please click here to view our corporate brochure.