Movingforward with the legacy of enriching and transforming lives through the young and dynamic future leaders of the world, The Humanitarian Affairs is organizing its 6th annual University Scholars Leadership Symposium from 1st to 7th August this year, in Hong Kong, with the support from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Hong Kong Government.
The Honourable Matthew Cheung Kin-Chung, Minister for Labour and Welfare, Government of Hong Kong will officiate at the Opening Ceremony on August 2 at 10.00am in Jockey Club auditorium, Hong Kong PolyU. The Honourable Tony Simpson, Minister for Youth for Western Australia will give an address at the Opening Ceremony.
A total of 873 young leaders from 57 countries across the world will participate in this Leadership in Social Change Symposium. The Symposium is looking forward for the individuals between 18 to 25 years of age with an outstanding potential to lead and bring about change in the society, influence people with their thoughts and engage in experiential learning to enhance their skills and develop leadership qualities among themselves.
The University Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS) is an international leadership program which has the capability to transform lives by engaging the delegates into out of the classroom learning experience that will enhance their confidence, goal setting capabilities, competitiveness which is the important fundamentals for the future leaders who have the responsibility of routing people in the right direction.
Since the commencement of USLS in 2010, Humanitarian Affairs has partnered with more than 500 of the world’s leading universities including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Oxford University, University of Cambridge and many others, some of which regularly send delegates each year from their student communities as part of their leadership development, life-skill training and sustainability programs. Till now, more than 3,300 promising young leaders from more than 60 countries have undergone this one week long leadership in social change program and acted as change makers after returning back to their countries by transforming lives of the communities in need.
Stephanie Soenkandar after successfully completing one week of the Symposium started the ‘Trashsure’ project in her native country Indonesia which helps resolve the problem of trash through recycling. With all the learning she carried from USLS, she has taught more than 70 children in just the beginning of her project. “A big thanks to Humanitarian Affairs and my HA and USLS family and friends, as well as to Binus University. You guys are very special in the journey of my life,” she posted on Social media.
Fernando Barbosa, a former participant of the University Scholars Leadership Symposium who has co-founded an NGO in Cochabamba, Bolivia, called “Educating the Street”, which engages and educates the Bolivian street children. Another wonderful example would be Madeleine Buchner from Australia, who has co-founded a not-for-profit organization called “Little Dreamers”, supporting the siblings of sick children and young careers by promoting education and providing them with their “Dream Experiences”. For George Baker, it has been a spiritual experience as he learnt to be more positive and enthusiastic about life while attending the Symposium.
In this one life changing week the delegates will learn to develop leadership qualities to tackle, manage and harness the rapidly changing social environment and continuous advancement of the society and also undertake a number of community projects while going through one day of experiential learning.
The activities will include visiting the elderly poor living in cage housing, learning to draw with toe from the disabled artist, working with Intellectually disabled persons at the Spastic Association of Hong Kong, conducting a Day Camp for 200 children from ethnic minorities, visiting the Typhoon shelters and victimsto learn about their way of living, meeting the victims of domestic violence in the migration shelter. All these experiences will help the delegates empathetically understand the problems and their root causes which will give them a broader perspective to think about the solutions for the same.
There will be two simulation exercises as well, one of them being Sweat Shop, through which the delegates will learn about the workers who get exploited in Sweat shop factory. Another one is Refugee Run, through which delegates will experience the life of a refugee and taste the food served to the refugee camps around the world. This is the same simulation experience that the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, and the British tycoon, Sir Richard Branson, have went through at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The delegates will also have an amazing opportunity to listen to some of the world’s best motivational speakers who will also guide them throughout the duration of the Symposium. Mr. Haoliang Xu, Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will deliver a Keynote Speech, advising the World Emerging Leaders to step forward and work in partnership with the United Nations.
Michelle Kim, best known for her talent as a Pianist and extensive charity works in Hong Kong, also featured as ‘Inspiring Women of Hong Kong’ in the October 2013 Issue of Marie Claire will share her experiences and thoughts with the delegates.
With Gigi Chao, a successful businesswoman founded Faith in Love Foundation to help alleviate poverty and remind young people about the power of art as a medium of communication. She hopes to get more young people personally involved with the communities in need.
Francis Ngai is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Social Ventures Hong Kong, a venture philanthropic organization dedicated to the support and nurture social innovation in Hong Kong. He was selected as one of the 100 Asia Pioneers by The Purpose Economy in 2014, a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2012 and one of Hong Kong’s Ten Outstanding Young Persons in 2011. As an ultra-running veteran, Mr. Ngai completed The North Pole Marathon in 2013 and the 250-km Gobi March of the 4 Deserts race series in 2012. He will share his wisdom that everyone is a Change Maker.
Among the other speakers, Lee Seunghee, a professional recording artist and producer will speak about discovering inner self and one’s true passions, Chandran Nair, founder and CEO of Global Institute of Tomorrow and a regular speaker at World Economic Forum and other distinguished speakers will help the delegates learn significant things and discover a new perspective to life.
The USL Symposium is organized every year in a developing country in the Asia Pacific Region inviting the exceptional people with a genuine passion and willingness to change the leadership styles for a better world. The main objective of the Symposium is to help young leaders carve a niche for themselves by providing the knowledge, right skill set and unmatched perspective so that they can stand apart from the crowd and earn that extra edge than everyone else.
The world renowned humanitarian workers, team of professional trainers, life coaches and the vast experience through various activities provided through the Symposium helps the delegates realizing their true potential, discovering the purpose of their life and work as a change agent in improving lives of the communities in need.
To know more about the USL Symposium, visit the event website at: www.universityscholars.org.uk
To find more about our work, visit the Organisation’s website at: www.humanitarianaffairs.org.asia