The inaugural Hwa Chong Asian Young Leaders Summit 2006

The 21st century is often regarded as the Asian century. Already, the Asian economies produce almost 40% of global GDP and the figure is set to rise with the emerging economies of China, India and Malaysia; while Japan is of course the world's second largest economy after the US. To reap the huge benefits of economic co-operation, Singapore has intensified its efforts to build strong ties with these Asian giants.

From 17-28 2006, HCI organised the inaugural Hwa Chong Asian Young Leaders Summit (HC-AYLS). The Summit took the form of a forum for promising Asian student leaders who have clearly demonstrated a commitment to serving society. The project was initiated by inviting the most outstanding young leaders from China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

Hwa Chong Asia-Pacific Young Leaders Summit 2010

In its fourth year, the HC-APYLS has adopted the theme 'Citizens without Borders: Locating the Global Citizen'

About the Theme:

"We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community," so said President Franklin D. Roosevelt over half a century ago, at his fourth inauguration address. The concept of a global citizen is as relevant today as it was then, despite a radically different social milieu. The theme of this year's summit aims then to reconsider the figure of the global citizen and its definition, challenges and responsibilities in a contemporary context.

The concept of a global citizen is perhaps best summarised by philosopher Thomas Paine¡¯s statement - "My country is the world, and my religion is to do good." The concepts of globalisation and cosmopolitanism are both key to being a global citizen, as is the creation of a unified international community that surpasses geographical boundaries. However, there is most certainly no unified global consensus on what the concept of a ¡®global citizen¡¯ includes and precludes. From the vantage points of varying cultural and national interests, it can be subject to substantially different interpretations. Any discussion targeted at clarifying and reinforcing the concept hence requires a diverse array of views.

"Locating the global citizen" is thus an attempt to discover the global citizen's responsibilities as they are articulated by various cultures. Whether these responsibilities lie in the area of social conscience, environmental sustainability, cultural awareness, or economic interdependence, it is only by understanding and uncovering its various conceptions and interpretations, will this term become a fruitful and productive concept that is understood both at a global and a local level.


As the word 'summit' suggests, HC-APYLS aspires to provide a platform for the best young minds of the Asia-Pacific region to discuss issues pertinent to the region today. This pinnacle of Asian youth is embodied by the symbol of an upright triangle - grounded by a wide and firm base, and peaking at the top to chart a direction for the future.

The individual triangles represent the gathering of young leaders of diverse ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds, as marked by the different shades of the same colour scheme. All these are freely stacked to form the silhouette of a mountain, representing how leaders across the continent can build on each other's strengths to surmount common problems.

As a triangle always has a point that indicates an upward direction, the unity of these different nations despite their differences is reflected in how the triangles that make up the mountain ultimately point toward the same goal.






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