The Center for Asia Leadership (CAL) recently organized the Asia Leadership Conference (ALC) 2017 on June 10, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Aimed at empowering high school, college and university students aged between 15 and 22 years old, the full day conference offered them with an opportunity to gain crucial leadership skills and create a sense of purpose for life in the fast-moving 21st century.
With the theme, “Vision and Value Creation: Charting the Path to Tomorrow’s Asia,” the ALC 2017 provided participants with the perfect avenue to learn essential knowledge and skills to succeed in today’s globalized world through workshops, plenary sessions, professional development and career mentoring sessions, TED-style talks and panel discussions. These sessions were facilitated by 14 scholars from prestigious Ivy League schools from the United States including Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, MIT Sloan of Management, Northwestern and Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy who visited Malaysia as part of the Asia Leadership Trek (ALT) 2017, a one-month study and service program that enabled the scholars to visit cities in Asia to develop a greater understanding of the region.
In his opening remarks, Samuel Kim, Co-founder and President of CAL encouraged the participants to engage with the visiting scholars and apply the knowledge gained to contribute to the well-being of their communities. Peter Deutscher from Harvard Kennedy School kick-started the ALC 2017 with a TED-Talk entitled, “Learning How to Learn” which emphasized the importance of embracing challenges and adversity in order to create adaptability, a unique trait that helps you stand apart in life. Samuel led the Plenary Session themed, “Building a Powerful Personal Brand” to inspire participants to understand themselves in order to shape their way of thinking that goes beyond the narrow confines of their individualistic concerns to the broader issues affecting the rest of humanity. Ahmad Raza from Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Jennifer Hurford from Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, and Puay Siang Tan from MIT Sloan of Management participated in the Panel Discussion entitled, “New Perspectives on Leadership” which was moderated by Emily Gannam from Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Through the Panel Discussion, participants acquired valuable insights on becoming effective leaders and the significance of stepping out of their comfort zones in order to gain personal growth.
The ALC 2017 received an overwhelming response from the participants who learned new and refreshing ideas from the conference. The highly engaged participants posed many questions during each session and highlighted that the conference exceeded their expectations. They went home with a newfound understanding of leadership and motivation to be contributing members of society.
by Ida Fazila