Asia Society’s Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative, the Asia-Pacific’s preeminent network of next-generation leaders, marked its tenth anniversary on December 2-4 in a special summit at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center.
Asia 21 is a robust network of more than 800 young leaders from 30 countries, focused on shaping a brighter future for the Asia-Pacific, and confronting the most vexing challenges facing the region today. Asia 21 Young Leaders are selected through a highly competitive process based on outstanding achievement, commitment to public service, and a proven ability to make the world a better place.
“Next-generation leaders hold the keys to our future, and Asia has a treasure trove of leadership talent,” said Josette Sheeran, President and CEO of Asia Society. “Asia 21 includes the most brilliant pacesetters, young leaders who are already helping tackle poverty, hunger and creating new governance and business opportunities. We are proud to give them a global platform and a network of like-minded talent from throughout Asia.”
In addition to welcoming the Class of 2015, more than 100 of the initiative’s change-makers from previous classes gathered in Hong Kong to celebrate the achievements of the first decade, explored innovative ways to leverage the Asia 21 network for greater impact, and address critical issues facing the region.
"Asia 21 was born in Hong Kong a decade ago, and so we are proud to welcome this remarkable group to our Hong Kong Center for the 10th anniversary," said Asia Society Co-Chair Ronnie C. Chan, who also serves as Chair of the Society's Hong Kong Center. "These people represent great examples of what we are all about: building crucial bridges between the peoples and cultures of Asia."
Among highlights of the Asia 21 10th Anniversary summit:
- Dinner hosted by Asia Society Co-Chair Ronnie C. Chan, featuring a short film about Asia 21 and testimonials from a half dozen distinguished alumni
- Keynote conversation with retired U.S. Army General and chairman of KKR Global Institute, David Petraeus
- Special sessions highlighting the impactful work of Asia 21 alumni including Tudor Clee, founder of New Zealand’s Touchable Earth; Scarlett Li, founder and CEO of Zebra Media, China’s most innovative entertainment platform; Myanmar’s Yin Myo Su, founder of Inle Heritage Foundation; Natharoun Ngo, Head of Program at United Nations, Cambodia; Penny Low, Founder, Social Innovation Park, Ltd. from Singapore; Malaysia’s Mun Ching Yap, Executive Director, Air Asia Foundation; Nepal’s Rabi Karmacharya, Founder & Executive Director, Open Learning Exchange Network; Itochu Corporation Executive Officer and General Counsel Mitsuru Claire Chino from Japan; Goldman Sachs Head of Corporate Engagement in Asia Wenchi Yu from the U.S.; Australia’s Ewa Wojkowska, Co-Founder and COO of Kopernik; International Security Fellow at New America Faiysal AliKhan from Pakistan; and Afghanistan’s Saad Mohseni, Chairman and CEO of Moby Group
- Screening of Rosewater, followed by a discussion with Asia 21 young leader, author, and former political prisoner Maziar Bahari, whose life inspired the film
- Screening of the recent HBO documentary, The Diplomat, followed by a conversation with filmmaker David Holbrooke, who will discuss leadership as embodied in the legacy of his late father, the film’s subject, and former Asia Society Chairman, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke
- “Asia 21 Task Forces” will leverage the collective experience and expertise of the Asia 21 network to generate a core set of recommendations on four topics—public health, good governance practices, innovation, and the environment. These Task Forces will be respectively coordinated and led by four Asia 21 alumni: Dr. Akash Goel, who spearheaded the launch of India’s national Second Line ARV drug program that currently provides lifesaving medication to tens of thousands of individuals living with HIV/AIDS; Aaron Maniam, Director of the Industry Division at Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry; Armen Orujyan, the founder and CEO of Athgo International, one of the world’s leading entrepreneurial platforms in consultative status; and Dorjee Sun, Director of Carbon Conversation and one of Time’s “Heroes of the Environment” in 2009
- Participating Asia 21 alumni at the summit will also include President & CEO of Philippines’ Bases Conversion and Development Authority Arnel Casanova (Philippines); CEO & founder of Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB) Veronica Colondam (Indonesia); Vice President for global ICT Programs and Policy, Internews Kathleen Reen (Australia); Executive Director, the Institute for Societal Leadership (ISL), Singapore Management University Martin Tan (Singapore); National Award-Winning Documentary and Producer Aarti Shrivastava (India); Founder and President of the Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center Ejaj Ahmad (Bangladesh); and Partner Chief Engineer at NASA Adam Gilmore (U.S.)