The 1st SEAMEO Youth Leadership Forum held on 1-4 October 2014 at Holiday Inn Sukhumvit in Bangkok, Thailand was attended by 33 Southeast Asian youths who were selected from an application pool of over 500 hopefuls. These selected individuals were chosen as they had proven to show great potential in leading their respective Southeast Asian nation’s in the near future.
On the first day of the forum, the participants were welcomed by SEAMEO Secretariat’s Deputy Director for Admnistration and Communication, Dr. Tinsiri Siribodhi; SEAMEO SPAFA’s Centre Director, Dr. MR Rujaya Abhakorn; and keynote speaker, Dr. Sumet Tantivejakul, who is the Secretary-General of the Chaipatana Foundation. They were then given talks on ‘concepts and facets of leadership’, ‘team leadership and learning dynamics’ and ‘leadership of 21st century global citizens’. They also participated in two workshops (Workshop 1: Leadership in Action, and Workshop 2: Imagining an ‘ideal’ leader) which was led by officers from the Right to Play Thailand Foundation. From the first day, it was evident that this group of 33 selected youth leaders were knowledgable about world issues, current events, and most importantly, enthusiastic and passionate about the issues and in bringing about change for the better.
With views expressed and discussions complete from Day One on ‘Developing Future Leaders of Southeast Asia’, the SEAMEO Youth Leaders were ready for Day Two’s theme which was on ‘Effective Professional Values and Ethics’ were they were spoken to with regards to ‘core values in ethics and professional responsibility’ and what was required for professional ethics in a) education; b) media and communication; c) business; d) information technology; and e) arts, culture and entertainment. After each of the sessions, the participants were always asked for their reactions where they expressed their opinions (i.e. agreements or disagreements) and posed questions to the session’s speaker.
But the four-day forum was not confined to the conference room of the Holiday Inn, Sukhumvit, Bangkok as the SEAMEO Youth Leaders were taken to two site visits on Day Three. The first site visit was The Royal Chitralada Projects, and the second was the Kudi Chin community. At The Royal Chitralada Projects, the participants were able to see first-hand, projects related to sustainable development and economic sufficiency as initiated by His Majesty, The King of Thailand. At Kudi Chin, the SEAMEO Youth Leaders were able to see how different races and religions were able to live harmoniously within a small community.
On the fourth and final day of the forum, the SEAMEO Youth Leaders were first shown an environmental film, “The 11th Hour” (2007), which tied in with the overall theme of Day Four: Managing the Development of a Changing World. They were then given talks on ‘sustainable development’, ‘sustainable environmental management’, ‘multi-lingual communication’, ‘cultural appreciation and intercultural understanding’, and ‘the role of young leaders in the ASEAN socio-cultural community’.
At the end of the four days of informative speeches, interactive workshops, insightful discussions and site visits, the 33 SEAMEO Youth Leaders were awarded certificates. More importantly, they were armed with the broadened concept of what leadership entailed so that they, in the near future, could better serve their community, their nation, and the Southeast Asian region in leading them towards a more harmonious, economic sufficient, and greener standing. In the words of Mr. Agee Ahmad, one of the Bruneian youth leader participants: “Indeed the best youth programme I ever attended.”
For more, please click here for the post-forum article by SEAMEO College Project Management Office on the SEAMEO Secretariat website.
*Visit SEAMEO SPAFA’s YouTube Channel to view the plenary sessions and workshop activities from Day 1.
Day 1 Sessions: (1) Concepts and Facets of Leadership by Mr. J. Peñol; (2) Team Leadership and Learning Dynamics by Ms. N. Wadman; and (3) Leadership of 21st Cent. Global Citizens by Dr. Chung Utak.
Day 1 Workshops: (1) Leadership in Action – Marshmallow activity; (2) Leadership in Action – Natural Orchestra; (3) Imagining an “ideal” leader.
** Day 2 and 4 to come.
The World Bank estimates that globally there are 1.5 billion young people (defined as persons aged between 15 and 24), the highest number ever in history. As of 2010, more than 60 percent of the world’s youth live in Asia Pacific, about 15 percent (or nearly 110 million) of which is in Southeast Asia. The so-called “youth bulge” presents opportunities for countries to maximize their human capital in pursuing their social and economic development goals. On the other hand, failing to prepare the future generation of citizens – as workers, businessmen, parents, and community leaders – have serious costs on governments. Not meeting the youth’s expectations to have gainful employment or to be able to participate in political decision-making have the danger of fostering social discontent.
The “SEAMEO Youth Leadership Forum” aims at providing a regional platform for youth representatives from Southeast Asia to build their leadership skills and strengthen their capacity to contribute to the ASEAN community now and in the future.
For information on the background/rationale, objectives, target participants, and themes of the 1st SEAMEO Youth Leadership Forum, please click on the following PDF file:
To view the programme of the Forum, please click the PDF file here:
For ‘Criteria for Selection of Participants’, please click the PDF file here:
Alternatively, all the above can be accessed at the official 1st SEAMEO Youth Leadership Forum website here.
– See more at: http://www.seameo-spafa.org/news_events_detail.php?tid=478#sthash.HVgR0zTo.dpuf