November 24-27, Cavite, Philippines (Silang) –World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific (WYAAP) successfully held its 8th Emerging Leaders Conference last November 24 to 27, 2019 at The Hills in Cavite, Philippines.
With over 20 delegates and volunteers from the Philippines and Singapore, and a roster of speakers from different industries, it was a fulfilling three days of talks, workshops and breakout sessions that encouraged young leaders to look at good governance through the realm of the self.
Unique in approach, this year’s ELC was held outside the city of Manila and approached good governance on the level of the self – who am I? What is my vision for myself? What message do I wish to communicate to others?—and on the level of the community—how might we live in solidarity with one another? How might we uphold the truth?
The delegates were chosen based on their dedication towards honing their leadership potential and their passion to better serve their communities. This was exercised each day through focused talks and workshops that promoted a heightened sense of shared responsibility in each person— the core of good governance.
The first day aimed to introduce the delegates to the work of World Youth Alliance (WYA) as well as the ideas behind dignity. This foundation gave credence to the relationship between good governance and the self which was expounded on by Keynote Speaker Hon. Alfredo Coro II, Vice Mayor of the Municipality of Del Carmen, Siargao. He focused on the person and the importance of creativity, as the backbone of his local good governance efforts. His talk was bolstered further by AI4GOV co-founder Lei Motilla, who spoke about her leadership journey and the importance of structuring your vision in a framework that would lead to real-life impact.
That night, the delegates were immersed in a fellowship session entitled Imagine, where they were asked to visualize their dreams for the community through creating their own color palette. This palette was then attached to their name tag, which symbolized how dreams are a vital part of their identity.
Having established the right foundation for good governance, the second day was all about strengthening the individual. The morning session was composed of storytellers from different industries that spoke about the qualities of a 21st century leader. Kicking it off was Thomas Graham, an entrepreneur and co-founder of MadTravelsPH. He spoke about his journey towards achieving solidarity with Filipinos and channeling this energy towards real-world community efforts. Afterwards, lead strategist of Palafox Associates, Mikey Ramos, spoke about the relationship between infrastructure and good governance, highlighting the value of knowing the needs of the community you serve. This session was then concluded by Dave Mariano of The Learning Center Inc., who spoke about his leadership journey. Not without his own struggles, Dave spoke about the value of initiative, fearlessness, and having great empathy for those around you– which was key to his success.
The afternoon was spent with Renelyn Tan-Castillejos, founder of Yorokobi and Certified KonMari Consultant, whose vibrant session focused on the idea of joy and continuously giving back not only to others but to oneself. That evening, delegates were asked to do one-on-one elevator pitches, as their future selves, to emphasize the importance of network building and collaboration.
The final day focused on strengthening the society. It started with an inspiring talk from youth leader Rigzin Regal of Bhutan GNH Youth, who spoke about Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness and how values have seamlessly woven itself into Bhutan’s way of governing. This was complemented by Hon. LA Ruanto, Vice Mayor of Infanta, Quezon, who spoke about his journey as a leader and how this has translated into real-world impact through his efforts in his local hometown.
The conference was capped off with the Solidarity night, where delegates and volunteers danced and celebrated their newfound insights as emerging leaders of the Asia Pacific region.
WYAAP extends its gratitude to everyone who made this ELC possible: our delegates, volunteer facilitators, interns, generous donors, local transportation partners, and to our delegates’ parents and guardians. The team would also like to thank The Hills at Silang, Cavite and their wonderful staff for their hospitality.
Interested in knowing more about how you can get involved with WYAAP? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org