13 Sep Be Local, Be Global! – AG-SIM International Youth Leaders’ Summit 2013
Over 900 youths from more than 16 countries congregated at the 2013 AG-SIM (Agape Group Holdings – Singapore Institute of Management) International Youth Leaders’ Summit from 19-20 July 2013, where they discussed and exchanged ideas on developing youth leaders in a climate of shrinking borders and globalisation.
This year marked the 5th installment of the summit and the theme for this edition was “Be Local, Be Global”. Guests-of-Honour, Mdm. Halimah Yacob, Speaker of Parliament, and Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Health & Ministry of Transport, shared with the youth attendees their take on what it meant to be a leader in today’s context.
In her keynote address on building the ‘Singapore Home’, Mdm. Halimah noted that Singapore Youths today ‘are engaged and care about Singapore’ and ‘want to have a say on matters of public policy and community concerns’. Citing results of a National Youth Council survey, she noted that ‘despite their wide exposure to the outside world, our youths are still deeply rooted to Singapore’.
On youths actively getting involved in issues concerning Singapore, Mdm. Halimah noted that youths have also actively been part of Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) dialogues. She also hoped that the youths will also continue to contribute their energies and ideas towards supporting the core themes of OSC: Opportunities, Care and Compassion, Peace of Mind, The Kampung Spirit and Collaboration.
Youth leaders who took part in the two-day summit also attended workshops conducted by experienced speakers and motivational trainers such as Ken Coleman and Michael Hirsh, as well as, activities for them to interact with their international counterparts.
The summit also saw special guests, Mr. Baey Yam Keng, Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC, and Ms. Tin Pei Ling, Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC, engaging the youth leaders through a forum on building a better Singapore.
The highlight of the summit was the launch of the i-Ribbon by Mdm. Halimah Yacob. The “I” in i-Ribbon stands for Integration, Internationalisation, and Influence. Chief organizer Agape Group Holdings, a character and leadership academy hopes to make wearing of the i-Ribbon an annual affair to promote the spirit of Integration, Internationalisation, and Influence amongst youth leaders as well as Singaporeans at large.
The AG-SIM International Youth Leaders’ Summit series is started by Mr. Delane Lim, Chief Executive Officer & Academy Founder for Agape Group Holdings. Explaining the rationale of the summit, Mr. Lim says, “The qualities of leadership cannot be found in books alone. I think the best way to inspire youths towards leadership and imparting them leadership knowledge and soft-skills is through the sharing of leaders themselves. That is why the idea of this summit came to be – to bring leaders from various fields and let them share and inspire the youths in a conducive environment. Another essential quality of a leader is to recognize the fact that everyone is useful and should be given a chance regardless of their background. That is why the summit focuses on integration, transcultural and racial diversity. The summit has youths from many different countries and this allows them to interact with, befriend, and work with people from many different backgrounds and culture.”
On the rationale behind the i-Ribbon, Mr. Lim said, “We have a few ribbons in Singapore for a number of meaningful social causes such as the Yellow Ribbon, and Pink Ribbon projects. The ribbons actually help these causes gain traction and mindshare amongst Singaporeans. So I hope that with the launch of the i-Ribbon, more Singaporeans will be made aware of the importance of integration, especially in these times of shrinking borders. More importantly, I think the ribbon is not about highlighting the process of integration, but the friendship bonds that can be formed when people come together and accept each other with open minds.”
The Summit is in its fifth edition this year and Agape Group Holdings has even extended this programme’s reach to Hong Kong, China and even South Africa. The summit gained the support of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and the National Integration Council. Several notable leaders have also graced the summit and its activities as Guest-of-Honour, including Acting Minister Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mr. Seah Kian Peng, GPC Chairman for Education Mr. Lim Biow Chuan.