Forty-six (46) student leaders from Ateneo de Davao University participated in the online Global Leadership Forum – Asia Pacific last 29 October 2020. 

In pursuit of strategic internationalization, the Ateneo Internationalization for Mindanao (AIM) Office continues to seize opportunities of global experiential learning for the holistic formation of the Ateneans.

Therefore, in collaboration with SAMAHAN ng mga Mag-aaral ng Pamantasan ng Ateneo de Davao, the University’s official student government, students from various clubs, organizations, student executive councils, and departments had the opportunity to learn from esteemed international speakers and engage with student delegates from universities across the Asia-Pacific region in various sessions of the Global Leadership Forum hosted by the Common Purpose.

Photo credit: SAMAHAN, AIM Office

The virtual event is designed with two keynote sessions, five Leadership Masterclasses, and five Leadership Insight sessions, which the students could tailor into their desired sequence of online sessions, depending on the combination of sub-events they wish to attend.

The program started with the opening keynote session entitled: “How will you take ownership of the leadership that will define you and your Generation?” with Mr. Sashi Cheliah, the 2018 MasterChef Australia winner. Throughout the session, the delegates learned the difficulty of maintaining a large-scale business in a pandemic, the leadership journey Mr. Cheliah pursued post-MasterChef, and the youth’s importance in realizing one’s leadership in a post-pandemic world. 

After the opening keynote session, the delegates were allowed to choose from five Leadership Masterclass sessions. The sessions were mostly centered around the following themes:

  1. Emphasis on creating partnerships through cross-sectoral collaborations to achieve the ASEAN SDGs,
  2. the current situation of the business sector in the ASEAN and its changing role in society,
  3. the importance of protecting the youth in the digital sphere and being a catalyst for social impact, and
  4. creating a culture of innovation by forming leaders equipped to meet the challenge of humanity.

The same multiple-optioned format applied to the Leadership Insight sessions which highlighted the topic: “How have leaders stood up and led change across boundaries?” 

All participants re-convened into one major plenary for the closing keynote session entitled: “How are we going to stand up and change the world” by Mr. Syed Saddiq bin Syed Abdul Rahman, a Malaysian politician, activist, and youngest former Minister of Youth and Sports.

In the closing session, Mr. Syed spoke about his journey of being the youngest Minister pursuing legislation to benefit the youth and emphasized the youth’s overbearing need to be politically aware, actively contribute to the development of one’s country, and inspire change.

Photo credit: SAMAHAN, AIM Office

To end the forum, the delegates were also given the opportunity to meet and network with fellow international delegates from across the world. According to the ADDU delegates, the global forum was a dynamic and rare space for discourse which inspired a deep discernment in one’s approach in leadership. It shed light on the proactive and zealous kind of leadership the world of the new normal now needs from young people in order to thrive in a time of uncertainty. 

Global Leadership Forum – Asia Pacific is hosted by Common Purpose, a non-profit organization that runs global leadership programs for students and young leaders from all over the world. Common Purpose has organized multiple Global Leadership Forums for students from universities across Australia and the UK, and this is the first time that they organized this event for students in the Asia Pacific as a widely accessible online event.

Photo credit: SAMAHAN, AIM Office
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