The 2019 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Summit under the theme of Advancing Partnership for Sustainability is being held at Le Méridien Phuket Beach Resort.
The youth representatives were welcomed by Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce and Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana at the Blue Elephant restaurant yesterday before embarking on tour to explore Phuket Old Town.
“YSEALI is the U.S. Government’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia – strengthening ties between the United States and the region,” said Ms Royce, who will be attending the Summit where she will engage with participants and deliver welcome and opening remarks.
The Summit will also include a ribbon cutting of the U.S. Department of State’s “Common Tides” exhibit showcasing the ties between the United States and Southeast Asia over the last 75 years.
The main Summit event is being held at Le Méridien Phuket Beach Resort today (Sept 30), PhD Suvit Maesincee Miniter of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation will also present at the summit.
Summit participants will enhance their leadership skills, develop an agenda for action aimed at addressing the complex political, social, economic, and environmental challenges faced by the citizens throughout Asean.
Participants will also visit a number of notable local projects and institutions including, the Phuket Marine Biological Center, an ecological pineapple farm, and a sustainable goat farm.
The participants will also engage with the Phuket Hotel Association, which includes several American hotels, to learn how the association is working to reduce marine plastic waste.
The summit will include an entrepreneurial project pitch competition.
The participants will develop business plans and the US Department of State will award seed funding to the most compelling project proposals for eventual implementation across Asean.
The specialists who will speak at the Summit are as follows:
- “Never Too Young to Lead” by Aushim Merchant, the founder of Mintra Foundation
- “Technology for Sustainable Society” by Natthanon Duangsoongnern from Action Lab on Technology and Spaceth.co
- “What is Sustainable Development & Are We Really Helping the World?” by Lyle Bicknell from Seattle Government, Cherriee Atilano from AGREA Philippines and Fuadi Pitsuwan from Surin Pitsuwan and Beanspire Coffee
- “Sustainable Tourism” by Onanong Homsombat from T-plearn, Laos
- “Sustainable Education” by Alex Lim from MYReaders, Malaysia
- “Sustainable Entrepreneurship” by Joe Tan from Love Action, Singapore
- “Sustainable in Creativity and Storytelling” by Melissa Mulzhuhn from Motion Light Lab
- “Reimage the World” by Singh Intharachuto from OSISU, and RISC
- “Inspirational Talk” by Damgerng Mungthanya
On Wednesday (Oct 2), from 7:30am to 10am, the youth representatives will join the “plogging” activity with the Trash Hero on Patong Beach.
Initially launched in 2013, YSEALI seeks to strengthen the partnership between the US and Asean. YSEALI supports emerging young leaders in Southeast Asia by enhancing their leadership skills and providing an opportunity to learn from their peers in the region, and nurtures an Asean community of civic, economic and non-governmental leaders who can work together to solve common issues, explained a stement issued by the US Embassy in Bangkok.
“The YSEALI Summit highlights the strength of our people to people ties and our commitment to the socio-cultural pillar under the US-Asean strategic partnership. This year’s YSEALI Summit will mark the sixth such gathering of alumni from YSEALI academic and professional fellowships, regional workshops, and Seeds for the Future grants programs,” the statement read.
Previous YSEALI summits were held in Manila, Philippines (2014), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2015), Luang Prabang, Laos (2016), Manila, Philippines (2017), and Singapore (2018). Since its inception, the YSEALI network has grown to more than 142,000 members.
For more information about the summit, visit: https://asean.usmission.gov/yseali/
Learn more about the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative at https://asean.usmission.gov/yseali/