Philippine Daily Inquirer >

Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Seeing tomorrow with Asia's young leaders

In a world of uncertainty with its many twists and turns, charting Asia's roadmap seems impossible. Come July 29, 24 student-leaders from six Asian countries will gather to do just that.

In a media briefing last March 20 at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel, Hitachi finally launched the 5th Hitachi Young Leaders' Initiative (HYLI) to be held on July 29 to August 2 at Singapore. The weeklong Initiative comprises of a two-day Forum, closed-door student workshops, community work, and participation activities.

Forums would be highlighted by keynote speeches and panel discussions of high-caliber government officials, business leaders, and civil society. The students and approximately 300 members of the audience will be asked to participate, making way for lively and dynamic sessions.

HYLI's beginnings

The HYLI was established by Hitachi in November 1996. It aims to contribute towards the development of young potential Asian leaders by providing a platform for bright university students, selected from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and the Philippines, to air their views and exchange ideas.

Regional Cohesion

The 5th HYLI promises to live up to these goals. This year, it will bring together the 24 elite students and regional opinion leaders to discuss issues under the theme 'Asia's Roadmap Forging Regional Cohesion for Global Advancement'. This calls for a close look at the bridges that Asia needs to cross in order to forge alliances to help bolster Asian growth.

"Asia has come a long way to what it is today. It has yet more roads to travel, and our future leaders will be entrusted to map these roads" said Mr. Nobuaki Furuse, General Manager of Hitachi Asia Ltd., Philippine Branch.

"By providing a platform for these young leaders to debate, discuss and exchange ideas on regional and global issues with the leaders of today, we hope to broaden their outlook on the roles they will take one day in society. The Initiative also serves to promote a sense of Asian values and an understanding of different cultures. We hope that the students representing their countries will use this platform to broaden their perspectives to benefit the road ahead for Asia."

Three sub-themes will support the discussions. They are 'Cultivating Entrepreneurial Spirit in Asia'; 'The Growing Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility in Asia'; and 'The Changing Role of Media in Asia'.

The Philippine Team

"The four students selected by the Philippine Selection Panel had to go through a rigorous selection process which included university selection, submission of written essays and a panel interview. These are bright, intelligent and articulate young men and women, well informed on current issues," said

Hon. Antonio Eduardo Nachura, Representative of the 2nd District Western Samar, and Chairperson of the Philippine Selection Panel.

The four selected students are:

William Panlilio, Master of Arts in Philosophy, AdMU

William plans to become a lawyer or work in the legislative branch of government.

He intends to pursue higher learning by taking up International Law or Political Science. As the Philippines' top-ranked debater, William promises to go to Singapore and treat the other delegates not as competitors, but as colleagues to learn from.

Dominic Pascasio, AB Economics & BS Business Management, DLSU

Nico has his sights set on someday being a world-renowned economist or a top decision-maker in one of the country's multinational firms. Willing to do anything within a value-structure to achieve his goals, Nico hopes that his firm grasp of issues and conceptual frameworks can help the group find some plausible solutions to Asian problems.

Leslie Ann Tan, BS Business Economics, UP Diliman

Leslie's career goal is to work in a prestigious consulting firm. She envisions helping companies not only become financially stable and profitable but also realize its commitment to society through the practice of corporate social responsibility.

Marie Grace Veracruz, BS Business Economics, UP Diliman

Grace looks forward to working in an international organization such as the United Nations or to being an executive in a multinational corporation.

Her long-term goal though is to build a school for gifted children from less-fortunate families. As a delegate of the Junior Team Philippines to Canada last year, Grace will surely bring her experience and charm to Singapore.

On a personal note

On a more personal note, I cannot help but be doubly excited for the upcoming Initiative.

With the unique opportunity to be with the three other delegates in a more informal and interactive way, I have seen how much diversity there is among us, and yet there is much camaraderie and learning as well. What more if you have 24 such student-leaders? I know that when we go to HYLI, we will not have all the answers. But we will have things to say. If we put all our energies, all our ideas together each can contribute a piece to the puzzle that is Asia.

At the end of the week, perhaps we can present a roadmap, no matter how hazy, to the international community; and somehow help chart Asia's progress.


2002 Philippine Daily Inquirer