This year’s Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit took place in BRAC-CDM, Dhaka, Bangladesh, over a three-day period, beginning, December 7th. The event gathered over 100 delegates, representing diverse backgrounds and from over 20 different countries.
Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, State Minister of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh formally opened the Summit with a keynote address on the 7th, which was followed by a cultural performance showcasing traditional Bangladesh dance and music, and cultural nightcap activities. Following a plenary discussion on leadership, Sir Fazle H. Abed, Founder and Chairperson of BRAC, who is also Asia Society Global Council member, participated in a keynote conversation on December 8th. The Summit also featured a youth leadership dialogue where representatives of the Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center and One Degree Initiative Foundation, joined the Asia 21 delegates for an interactive discussion on the most pressing challenges facing youth leaders in Bangladesh to offer innovative ways to address common challenges.
The theme for this year was Asia 21 in 2020: Catalyzing Change, Sustaining Impact, where participants explored their vision for Asia and Asia 21 in the year 2020 the discussions helped assess their roles as civic-minded leaders, and explore ways to enhance and sustain their collective capacities. The participants also visited four different BRAC projects in Savar to interact, learn more about the projects, and develop a plan of action to help each program going forward.
The Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit was supported by Founding International Sponsor, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Other supporters include the Coca-Cola Company and local partners include the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, the Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center, the Daily Star, and special thanks go to Abdul Monem Ltd. and the U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh.