2nd SEAMEO Youth Forum Reinforces Leadership and ASEAN Communityhood, Emphasizing Sustainable Development, Ethics, and Action among Southeast Asian Youth Leaders

From March 7th-11th, 2016, SEAMEO SPAFA hosted the 2nd SEAMEO Youth Leadership Forum (2nd Forum) at the Holiday Inn Sukhumvit in Bangkok, Thailand.

The 5-day forum, which aimed at helping to provide Southeast Asian youth with the tools to become responsible and ethical leaders of tomorrow for the Southeast Asian region, brought together 41 youth leaders (32 participants from Southeast Asia, and 9 from ASEAN+3 nations of China, Japan and Korea). Each day focused on one of four interdisciplinary themes: “Developing Future Leaders of Southeast Asia”, “Managing the Development of a Changing World”, “Intercultural Understanding”, or “Effective Professional Values and Ethics”.

In addition to the 41 participants, the forum brought together 22 speakers and facilitators from Southeast Asia, East Asia, and beyond, representing various fields of interest and expertise. The diverse group of speakers included experts in leadership and learning dynamics, sustainable development gurus, a disaster mitigation architect, a solar power executive, a renowned linguist, a Bruneian youth motivator, a social entrepreneur, and mangrove conservation specialists. Speakers hailed from various institutions and organizations such as the ASEAN Secretariat, UNESCO, UNESCO APCEIU, the University of Tokyo, Japan, Chaipattana Foundation, Right to Play Foundation, The Nation Newspaper of Thailand, Google/Youtube, IDEO Singapore, SocialGiver, MAQE Thailand, and Mahidol University, among others.

Overall, it was a rigorous five days that equipped participants with the tools, methodologies, and insights to pave their paths to becoming tomorrow’s leaders of Southeast Asia. The participants also gained lasting memories and formed strong connections with their fellow youth leaders. In addition, the event reaffirmed that such a successful outcome stems first and foremost from bringing together talented and driven youth participants, but also from an effective programme design rooted in interdisciplinary knowledge, face-to-face interaction among participants and speakers, interactive workshops and site visits, and developing community-based projects, and an effective support team.

"Seeing our key learnings in action through the different excursions inspired me to finds ways to bring back a part of it back home and share it with my fellow youth,” Ms. Danielle Chang of the Philippines said. “This forum experience also allowed me to learn from experts in various fields and gave me the opportunity to work and build bonds with passionate youth leaders who are full of brilliant ideas. Coming out of this forum, I am challenged to continue working not only towards my own advocacies, but also with these fellow change makers in the execution of the joint projects and initiatives we developed during and after this forum."

The forum, which was first held in October 2014, was funded under the SEAMEO College project, a regional platform for education ministers, high-level policymakers, prominent education practitioners and youth leaders to regularly convene policy, strategy, and methodological dialogues on ASEAN-wide education and human resource development (HRD) issues.

More information about the Second SEAMEO Youth Leadership Forum is available on the activity website: