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 17th to 28th July 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 2012

In its sixth year, the HC-APYLS has adopted the theme 'Leadership by Example'.

About the Theme:

''Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction'' - Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

The fates of communities across the globe are becoming increasingly intertwined as globalization breaks down the barriers that once divided the world. Problems that could once be contained within individual nations have global consequences in today's world. As transboundary issues like immigration, environmental pollution, and organized crime proliferate, people across all countries and communities need to act in concert to protect their shared future.

But acting in concert doesn't always entail acting in identical ways, because the same problems manifest themselves differently in different regions. The same solutions cannot always be applied everywhere, in a one-size-fits-all manner. Peoples with vastly dissimilar characteristics, while striving towards the same goal, cannot always adopt the same courses of action.

Each community will have unique perspectives on how it can best contribute towards a united global effort; perspectives informed by their social, economic, and political context. Surely a small Belizean village cannot adopt the same approach to cutting carbon emissions as a sprawling Belgian city. Neither can Mexico clamp down on its drug cartels in the same way that the United States cracks down on its drug dealers. If we want to address the various challenges we face as a global community, individuals and local communities should not wait for top-down solutions but lead by example. We are best placed to come up with solutions that are not only informed by our understanding of the local situation but a global perspective as well.

In today's interconnected and inclusive world, it has become even more urgent for us to be the change we want to see. We need to generate and embrace innovative and diverse local solutions to global problems, so that each and every of us can guide our global family in the right direction.

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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