Philippines 21 Young Leaders Program

The Philippines 21 delegation at the 2007 Summit.

The Philippines 21 Young Leaders Initiative is an offshoot of the larger Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative, a cross-sectoral and cross-national engagement of new generation leaders in the Asia-Pacific region and the US, from across the fields of business, politics, civil-society, media, arts and culture, and academia.  Philippines 21 was founded by Harvey Keh, in collaboration with the Asia Society Philippines, upon his return from the inaugural Asia 21 Forum in Hong Kong in February 2006.  

The local chapter mirrors the goals of the global program to explore imaginative ways to address the most critical issues facing the Asia-Pacific community today, develop common approaches to addressing these shared challenges, and cultivate the long-term relationships necessary for developing responses.  As such, Philippines 21 seeks to identify a multi-sectoral network of Filipino young leaders who will take up the challenge of developing projects to address national issues.  It likewise serves as a venue for these young Filipino leaders to interact with each other and later have the opportunity to meet fellow young leaders from different Asian countries at the annual Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit. This opportunity to network and share experiences is very crucial in a highly globalized society where synergy and partnerships play a vital role towards promoting development in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Key leaders from various Philippine industries were invited to serve on the Board of Advisers to help direct the programs and projects of Philippines 21.  The Asia Society Philippines Center serves as the secretariat, coordinating activities and providing fundraising support.

A year-round programming of roundtable discussions, lecture series and community service projects will allow ASPF not only to identify the country’s most promising young leaders but also help them realize their potential with significant opportunities for learning and sharing experiences.  

The main program is the annual Philippines 21 Young Leaders Forum, which gathers the selected 10 Filipino young leaders who will represent the country to the Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit.  The Fellows engage in roundtable discussions on key issues concerning the Asia Pacific region, in preparation for their participation in the international program, with the ultimate goal of developing projects to address these issues.

The Future Leaders of Asia Lecture Series identifies the most promising student leaders between the ages of 17 and 22, from colleges and universities across the country.  It is designed to give them the opportunity to interact with accomplished leaders from different sectors of society, and provide them with an invaluable venue to gain significant extra-curricular learning.

Finally, the Young Leaders Cocktail Series aims to inculcate a sense of social responsibility among young professionals aged 23 to 35 years old.  Young leaders gather in a social networking setting, with speakers invited from different foundations, institutions and organizations that are currently engaged in efforts toward social development.  This program also enables Asia Society Philippines to identify potential Fellows for the Philippines 21 and Asia 21 initiatives.