Gen A 2024
Preparing the Next Generation for the Asian Century
Asia matters. In its mission to foster Asia Competence, Asia Society Switzerland is committed to empowering young voices in the dialogue with Asia, recognizing youth as a key driver of Switzerland’s future success in the region. We offer the Gen A – Young Leadership Program to young professionals and advanced students in Switzerland. Gen A (short for: Generation Asia) aims to deepen the participants' knowledge of Asia-related issues, to provide them with the tools to interpret Asia’s development and to identify opportunities for successful collaborations with Asia. This one-year program enables the next generation to engage with Asia at eye-level and build a community of young Asia-curious people in Switzerland.
Become a Gen A Fellow
Gen A is a learning and leadership development platform for advanced students and young professionals. Application to the program is open to anyone living in Switzerland under the age of 35 with no more than three years of relevant work experience. Gen A is designed to inform, inspire, and connect. Gen A fellows gain access to leading business, policy, trade, diversity, and culture thinkers on Asia; join a network of peers who are passionate about Asia; and get the chance to lead projects and represent the network.
Program Elements and Requirements
- 5 roundtables catered exclusively to the Gen A Fellows
- 2 skill-building workshops
- Active participation in Asia Society Switzerland events (attendance of a minimum of four public or members-only events/webcasts is required, participation at executive roundtables upon opportunity)
- Graduation project: deep dive on a topic that you care for, professionally or personally – alone or in groups of up to two Fellows. The program offers the opportunity to present your project at our flagship conference, STATE OF ASIA. See selected projects from the previous cohorts here.
Why You Should Become a Fellow
In this one-year program, you will:
- get direct access to high-level experts;
- get in-depth insights on Asia that help you understand what is happening today;
- build a network of like-minded peers, including the Gen A Alumni Community;
- get the ability to analyze and assess future developments on your own;
- get free access to Asia Society Switzerland events;
- receive a certificate confirming your engagement to understand Asian issues upon graduation;
- develop your skillset (e.g. leadership, public speaking, and presentation of research) and gain hands-on experience in relevant fields
The program is designed for advanced students and young professionals who aspire to engage with Asia. Whether you want to do business in Asia, study a year abroad or just gain a better understanding of a region that is already shaping our future; this program will give you the tools and network to achieve your goals. If you have no more than three years of relevant professional experience; are below 35 years of age, and have a strong interest in Asia, join us! The maximum number of participants is 25.
Applications for Gen A 2024 have closed on January 14, 2024. Watch out for the next call for applications by the end of the year.
Find all selected of Gen A 2024 Fellows here.
Farwa Aamer is the Director of South Asia Initiatives at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) in New York, where she oversees the institute’s policy work and projects in South Asia. She is an expert on issues and opportunities concerning water, energy, climate change, and sustainable development in Asia.
Katrin Büchenbacher is a journalist at the Foreign Affairs Desk of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. She is in charge of the dossiers relating to China, society, women, social policy and the intersection between technology and politics. She studied media and communication in Freiburg, Paris, and Shanghai and has been an editor for Chinese media in Beijing.
John Delury is a historian of modern China and a professor at Yonsei University in Seoul. He is an expert on US-China relations and Korean Peninsula affairs. John is also a senior fellow at Asia Society and the Pacific Century Institute and a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the National Committee on North Korea.
Arnaud Favry is Director of Public and Governmental Affairs and Patient Value Strategy of bioMérieux. He started his career at the French Minister of Health and Sports. In 2011, he moved to the medical sector by joining Institut Mérieux in China, before entering bioMérieux as Asia Pacific Strategic Initiatives Manager in Singapore in 2017, then in Indonesia in 2019. Arnaud is also an Asia 21 Fellow.
Anna Mattei is Deputy Head of the Asia Pacific Division and Head of Regional Coordination for Southeast Asia and Pacific at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. After gaining work experience in the tourism business, she became a diplomat in 2006. Over the course of her career she has been based in China, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland.
Schedule for Gen A 2024
January 14, end of the day
Announcement of successful applicants
February 5, 18:30-20:00
February 12, 18:30-19:30
Roundtable #1 with Katrin Büchenbacher
March 11, 18:30-19:30
Roundtable #2 with Farwa Aamer
April 8, 12:00-13:00
Roundtable #3 with John Delury
April 27, 13:30-17:00
June 3, 18:30-19:30
Roundtable #4 with Anna Mattei
September 9, 18:30-20:30
October 7, 18:30-19:30
Roundtable #5 with Arnaud Favry
November 7, whole day
STATE OF ASIA Conference
November 30, 15:00-21:00
Closing Event (presentation of the graduation projects, followed by a dinner)
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does the Gen A – Young Leadership Program cost?
We offer Gen A free of charge to all Fellows. We are convinced that fostering Asia Competence early on in the careers of future leaders is crucial for a flourishing society – in Switzerland and on a global scale.
How much time should I set aside for the program?
The program elements and dates that you are expected to attend are listed above. Whenever possible you should attend in person in order to graduate. We advise you to also allocate some time in the second half of the year to invest in your graduation project, especially if you would like to present it at the conference.
Do I have to attend the Gen A events in person?
Part of what makes Gen A so valuable is its community. Therefore, we expect our Fellows to do their best to attend in person whenever possible. It is also in your own interest as you will be able to forge stronger bonds. We try to make programs available online if you cannot make it to Zurich for certain reasons, but cannot guarantee online participation for all program elements.
I live outside of Switzerland but come to Zurich on a regular basis. Can I still apply?
Under certain conditions, yes. As stated above, we expect our Fellows to make an effort to join us in person whenever possible. If you can attend our program in person most of the time, then we highly encourage you to apply.
I plan to study abroad/already know that I will spend some months outside of Switzerland. Can I still apply?
Under certain conditions, yes. The Gen A network consists of an international group of people highly engaged with Asia and we encourage you to gather experience in Asia/an international context first-hand. However, please be aware that not all program elements will be available online.
What happens after the fellowship has ended?
After you successfully complete your fellowship and graduate from the Gen A – Young Leadership Program, you will become part of the Gen A Alumni Community and gain access to exclusive events, an extensive network of peers around the world, and much more. And of course, we highly encourage you to stay part of Asia Society Switzerland’s community and become a member.