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An ASEAN learning journey

28 November 2012

Mr Nayar delivering his keynote address

Students from various ASEAN countries presenting a cultural performance

The "ASEAN Learning Journey: Living and Leaving a Legacy" symposium was held recently to mark the 5th cycle of the Temasek Foundation (TF) Leadership Enrichment and Regional Networking (LEaRN) Programme @ NUS. Organised by the NUS International Relations Office, the two-day event sponsored by Temasek Foundation seeks to groom the next generation of leaders in Asia for Asia.

The event saw prominent speakers from various industries sharing their knowledge and expertise in their respective fields. His Excellency Anil Kumar Nayar, Singapore's Ambassador to Indonesia, gave the keynote speech which noted that "ASEAN faces a new and more complex interplay of political and socio-economic factors in today's increasingly fluid global movement". He also stressed the importance of ASEAN leaders' role in remaining constantly engaged externally and with each other as this will determine whether the grouping can "maintain its central role in the regional architecture".

Mr Abid Butt, CEO of Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, highlighted how businesses must take an active role in responsible development to ensure sustainable growth. With the support of local communities and public interest groups, the various hotels in the group plant 2,000 trees every year on each property. The company also mentors disadvantaged youths, providing them with internships, educational opportunities and job skills development.

Inbound exchange students with the TF LEaRN Programme gave an account of the learning and community work they were involved in, as well as the friendships forged during their stints at NUS.

Guest speaker Mr Ivan Lau, an alumnus of the NUS Business School, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of BagoSphere, spoke on youth and engagement in ASEAN. Other presenters at the symposium included NUS faculty staff Associate Professor Johannes Widodo from the Department of Architecture; Associate Professor Teofilo C Daquila and Associate Professor John Miksic from the Department of Southeast Asian Studies; and Associate Professor Albert Teo, Director of Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme at NUS.

The event was attended by key diplomats and representatives from the ASEAN Embassies. It ended on a high note with a rousing cultural performance by the students from the various countries.

By NUS International Relations Office