Building A Better Asia: Future Leaders’ Dialogue – A Retreat Program of the Nippon Foundation Group

Building A Better Asia: Future Leaders’ Dialogue – A Retreat Program of the Nippon Foundation Group

The Nippon Foundation and its affiliates such as the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and the Tokyo Foundation etc. have implemented/supported a variety of people exchange and human resources development projects over the past several decades. The almost 30,000 beneficiaries of these projects represent a vast and diverse reservoir of talent that spans the globe. Below are a few examples of projects and programs that were supported by the Nippon Foundation Group.

1. Peking University Graduate Program in International Relations
2. The Sasakawa Young Leader Fellowships Fund (SYLFF)
3. Asian Public Intellectual Fellowship Program (API)
4. Young Leader Exchange Program: Dialogue for Enhanced Partnership in the 21st century
5. Civilization Dialogue: Promotion of Asian Intellectual Exchanges and Mutual Understanding
6. ASEAN Young Politician Retreat Workshop
7. Russia and Japan in Asia
8. Developing Economic Forecasting Model in Laos

Although The Nippon Foundation Group has been largely successful in identifying and nurturing the next generation of leaders through its programs, we have been less successful in generating a synergy effect among our beneficiaries by providing opportunities for continued interaction among those who were on the same program or by creating new links between those from different programs.

Against this backdrop, in July 2006, the Nippon Foundation (in consultation with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and Tokyo Foundation) initiated a retreat program—“Building a Better Asia: Future Leaders’ Dialogue.” The objective of this retreat program is two-fold: firstly, for strengthening existing ties and creating new ones between the beneficiaries of our past projects/programs in Asia from people exchange and human resources development projects implemented in Asian countries; secondly, for provide a platform for retreat participants to continuing their interactions and relationships so that new ideas for a shared commitment in engaging issues that are of their mutual concern. Overall, the ultimate goal of “Building a Better Asia: Future Leaders’ Dialogue” is to nurture future Asian leaders from this vast and diverse pool of human resources generated from the past Nippon Foundation Group’s projects.

On this basis, the 1st Building a Better Asia: Future Leaders’ Dialogue retreat was organized from September 3rd to 10th, 2006, in the campus of Peking University. This first retreat program had invited 16 participants , from various countries in Asia, The Academic Committee of this program had chosen “ Reconciliation Reconsidered” as the theme for this First Retreat. This retreat program comprised two keynote lectures delivered by Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, former Foreign Minister of Thailand, and Prof. Jia Qingguo, a well known scholar from Graduate School of International Relations of Peking University. In addition, a series of lectures were conducted by a group of eminent scholars/professionals on the following topics, political transition, development governance, political transition, civil society, innovation and technology, media. Furthermore, the participants were divided into three discussion groups, in which each group had 5 break-out sessions for furthering their intellectual exchanges.

The lectures were intended to deepen the participants’ knowledge on a set of emerging issues in Asia on the one hand, and also to foster the art of leadership in solving these problems on the other hand. In addition, group works by the participants were aimed for enhancing their interactions in this retreat so as to nurture a long-lasting relationship among the participants.

At the end of the retreat, each group presented their visions, which were generated their interactions in this retreat, for building a better Asia. Equally important, every fellow participated actively, in the last session of this retreat, in drafting a Communiqué to reaffirm their commitments in contributing towards that end. On the basis of their proposals and for the purpose of enduring this networking spirit, this website—Building A Better Asia.Com ”—was incepted. It is our fervent hope that this website will serve as a knowledge platform for generating ideas and continuous interactions by the present and future fellows of this retreat program. We anticipate that this platform will become one of the many channels in transforming ideas into practical activities that will shape and transform Asia into a better and a progressive community of peace and prosperity.

The Nippon Foundation has reaffirmed their commitments, not only for continuing this retreat program, but also to expand the number of fellowships every year for the past beneficiaries of its affiliated organizations.

Also See: Building A Better Asia: Future Leaders’ Dialogue
| Program Schedule | Communique | Lecturers CVs | Secretariat CVs | Participants CVs | Academic Committee CVs | Lecture Notes | BABA Group three members video presentation