LAsia 21 Young Leaders Initiative

Asia Society’s Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative was first established in 2006 with the goal of developing a network of young leaders across Asia-Pacific and the United States. The cross-sector and cross-national leadership initiative brings together a select group of the region’s most dynamic young leaders for proposing innovative solutions to the most pressing issues in the Asia-Pacific region.

On October 10, 2011, Asia Society Southern California (ASSC) officially launched its LAsia 21 Young Leaders Initiative with Asia Society Co-Chairs, Ronnie Chan and Henrietta Fore. LAsia 21 seeks to recognize and honor outstanding young individuals from Southern California who will impact global affairs over the coming decades through actively building bridges between Asia-Pacific and America. Under the leadership of ASSC’s Executive Committee Members, Eric Garcetti and Dr. Seagull Song, ASSC will select 10 honorees annually, three of whom will become a part of the Asia 21 Fellows program.

These distinguished young leaders will join the Asia 21 Fellows class of 25 young leaders from varying backgrounds working together to develop creative solutions to critical global issues. The group meets three times during their one-year fellowship: in the Spring at the Asia 21 Young Leaders Forum where they lay the groundwork for the Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit in the Fall, at the Summit, and finally, at the next Spring Forum where they complete their term and meet the new class of Fellows. Each Forum, therefore, allows the past Fellows to share their experiences and best practices with the new class, and to enhance the Asia 21 Fellow network.

A major component of the Fellowship is the selection of a recipient of the Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative Public Service Award (PSA). The Award recognizes organizations that benefit underprivileged social and economic groups, communities and individuals in the Asia-Pacific region. The winning organization receives a cash grant as well as the access to Asia 21 Fellows network for support in program development and replication of successful projects models.

The Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit creates an active network for emerging leaders under the age of 40 from throughout Asia-Pacific and the United States to build relationships, engage in interdisciplinary dialogue and cultural exchange, and to develop collaborative responses to addressing shared challenges. The Summit brings together up to 200 participants to promote greater public visibility for the contributions of young leaders representing diverse sectors in business, politics, arts & culture, civil society, media and academia. Past Summits were held in Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. The 2011 Asia 21 Summit will be held in New Delhi, India from November 18-20.