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Harvard Scholars Set to Kickstart Asia Leadership Trek 2017

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Harvard Graduates and Students Set to Kickstart Asia Leadership Trek 2017

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by John Lim

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The Center for Asia Leadership (CAL) is preparing for its eighth Asia Leadership Trek (ALT), a socioeconomic and political journey, and teaching fellowship program that covers six destinations this December 26, 2016 to January 21, 2017, on the theme of, ‘Transforming Asia: Exploring Pathways to a Sustainable Future.’ Twenty “Trekkers” from the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School, Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Medical School, and the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management will embark on the journey where they will engage with key opinion leaders in government, business, and local social enterprises.

The Trek, which is Harvard parlance for student-led socioeconomic, political, and cultural tours of a country or region have played an essential role in the Harvard University graduate school experience. The original ‘Asia Leadership Treks’ 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 Trek program has been adapted by CAL and made available for the public.

The schedule to six destinations for this upcoming Trek is as follows: Yangon, Myanmar: December 26-31; Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam: December 31-January 4; Jakarta, Indonesia: January 4-9; Penang and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: January 9-15; Seoul, South Korea: January 15-18; and Tokyo, Japan: January 18-21. The Trekkers are scheduled to be engaging with leaders such as: General Thura Tin Oo, Chairman of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar; CNN Indonesia Correspondent Desi Anwar; Chief Minister of Penang State Lim Guan Eng; Senior Officials from Samsung Electronics; as well as senior officials from the Nikkei Group.

In previous Treks, we have had the opportunity to dialogue with Former President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang 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 Jindal Steel, Mitsubishi Group, Lippo Group, and the Sunway Group.

Much more than textbook learning, Trekkers acquire first-hand insights as they directly explore, experience, and engage each unique culture. Trekkers also serve the communities visited by hosting mentoring and knowledge-sharing seminars, and workshops for local citizens.

The month-long Trek will culminate with a publication chronicling Trekkers’ experiences, learned best practices, reflections, and insights.

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