Empowering youth to shape Asean

IN an effort to empower youths to start playing a role in shaping Asean’s future, the CIMB Foundation organised the fifth edition of its Young Asean Leaders, this time in partnership with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

This is an annual event that promotes learning, networking and cross-cultural understanding among Asean youths.

This year’s programme brought together 50 undergraduates from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam for a four-day workshop on Asean’s economic future, with the theme “Sharing Economy Beyond Boundaries”.

The programme content is specially curated every year to help these youths foster a better understanding of current issues, and a deeper sense of shared responsibility in shaping Asean’s sustainable future based on the principle of inclusivity.

The programme, which features different themes every year, is also aimed at creating a platform for young Asean leaders to share experiences and be inspired to initiate programmes that benefit their respective home communities.

This year’s theme focuses on two sub-topics, firstly, the Fourth Industrial Revolution characterised by new technologies that blur the lines between the physical and virtual worlds, defining new ways for us to live, work and connect and secondly, the concept of a sharing economy that aims to democratise and leverage on a community’s collective physical and intellectual resources.

CIMB Foundation chief executive officer Datuk Hamidah Naziadin said: “It is imperative that youths be empowered to help us shape the future of Asean, for they are the ones who will inherit it from current leaders.”

“And what better time than during their undergraduate years to inculcate in them the importance of embracing and promoting Asean’s diversity to maintain its strength, peace and prosperity as an economic bloc supporting over 630 million people?” she asked.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution has given rise to a borderless world where collaborative and on-demand economy is fast becoming the norm, democratising the way goods and services are supplied, and information is shared.

“Our aim is for the participants to not only brainstorm on opportunities afforded by this new tech-defined operating landscape, but also reflect on how such developments may exclude pockets of society.

“The key to Asean’s future success lies in these youths, whom we hope will develop into holistic strategists and effective change agents who can successfully embrace the new frontier, anticipate the next and most importantly address the pressing needs of tomorrow to ensure Asean’s sustainable success as a region,” added Hamidah.

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