26 September 2014

Sunway University hosted Harvard Asia Leadership Conference and Camp 2014

Young Malaysians learned leadership skills from Harvard-trained instructors

The Sunway Education Group and the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF) recently hosted the Harvard Asia Leadership Conference and Camp at Sunway University from August 17 – 22 in collaboration with the Centre for Asia Leadership Initiatives (CALI). Themed “Leadership and Innovation in the 21st Century, the event aimed at transforming young Malaysians into strategic global leaders to help change the country and the world through teaching and learning from facilitators with extensive experience from Harvard.

The event was the second to be organised by Sunway Education Group and CALI after a similar conference in January. Dr Elizabeth Lee, Senior Executive Director of Sunway Education Group revealed that the collaboration with CALI will continue with more projects. “With our continuous effort, the project will get better. We may have to tweak it, or perhaps narrow down the age gap in order to meet the needs and demands of Malaysia,” she added. Samuel Kim, President of CALI concurred with the plan of returning to Sunway with the Winter Trek in December 2014 or January 2015.

Asia Leadership Trekkers and participants with Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah and Dr Elizabeth Lee The Harvard Asia Leadership Trekkers

The conference held on August 17 was attended by 400 participants. Dato’ Seri Idris Jala, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and CEO of Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) and Tony Pua, MP of Petaling Jaya Utara and Director of Invest Penang, were the speakers for the key forum session.

The five-day camp with 150 participants which began on August 18 included diverse practical workshops, specially designed lectures and talks, panel discussions and study groups. The programme was developed by the CALI fellows based on courses, teaching and research from Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. It covers areas of personal leadership, network building, communication and confidence building.

In addition to Samuel Kim, the eight other CALI fellows were Faustino John Lim, Andi Sparringa, April Bang, John Lee, Lance Li, Lauren Swersky, Rajan Patel, Shazia Khan and four teaching assistants Daniel Kim, Jiro Yoshino, Leslie Dong and Peter Taeyun Kwon. All of them were graduates from the Harvard University.

Speakers at the camp included Yang Amat Mulia Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin ibni Tuanku Muhriz, founding president of Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), Professor Dato’ Woo Wing Thye, President of Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia (JCI) and Dr Thum Pingtjin, Founder and Coordinator of Project Southeast Asia, University of Oxford. The organising and hosting of the conference and camp was a mammoth project for the Sunway Education Group’s student volunteers and staff who worked tirelessly behind the scenes. More than 20 Sunway student volunteers and 30 staff were involved from the initial planning to the end.

Dr Lee was especially pleased with the positive feedbacks received from the participants. “The most beautiful of moments always seem to pass by so quickly that they slip right through our hands, just when we want to hold onto them,” said Dr Lee while expressing her gratitude to all the Trekkers, contributors, volunteers and participants who made the event a reality.

The event concluded with a closing ceremony dinner where Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Lin See Yan, President of Harvard Club of Malaysia and Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Jeffrey Cheah, founder and chairman of Sunway Group shared their years of practical experience as business leaders.

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