“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”
-Cesar Chavez, Labour Leader and Civil Rights Activist
While ‘progress’ is commonly associated with advancements in the sciences and the arts, true progress transcends this description. To echo the words of Cesar Chavez, genuine progress must be inclusive: it is not about adding to the abundance of those who have much, but assisting those who have little. Hence, even as we celebrate mankind’s myriad achievements, it is also essential that we focus our attention upon the social problems which still permeate in communities.
The Asia-Pacific Young Leaders Summit is a palette of global diversity: as mutual sharing of perspectives and learning takes place, participants should aspire towards deepening their understanding of the challenges that communities around the world face, developing cultural empathy as well as identifying with the universalities of the human experience. From the poverty cycle to human rights movements, young leaders should develop a keen sense of awareness about these social issues that we face as a global community, as well as review the efforts that have been made at addressing them. Subsequently, with this knowledge forming the bedrock of their understanding, young leaders should seek to translate their sense of responsibility and connection into innovative solutions for local and global challenges.
Ultimately, all of us have the potential to be catalysts of change. By proactively caring for our peers, the community and society, we contribute to a more peaceful and progressive world. This is certainly easier said than done, but there is power in a shared vision and strength in collective will. As such, we look forward to an inspiring summit where young leaders will recognize the key role they play in laying the foundations of global progress, and be empowered to create and actualize their visions for a better world.