10th Anniversary Campaign

Report from the World Economic Forum on East Asia

From May 31 – June 1, ISAK Executive Director Lin Kobayashi attended the World Economic Forum on East Asia (held in Bangkok, Thailand) as a “Young Global Leader 2012.”

Following is Lin’s report on her exhilarating 48-hour stay in Bangkok, which provided her the opportunity to discuss many key issues with other young leaders who will be shaping the future of Asia in the years ahead.

“It was such a short trip, but during my two days in Bangkok I was really able to put my finger on the pulse of Asia.

In the past, the key phrase for our region—Connectivity in Asia—referred to the establishment of infrastructures that would promote regional integration. As Asia has progressed, however, the term has come to represent cooperation in politics and other areas. My discussions with other participants reinforced my views that education in Asia will be a leading issue for achieving regional connectivity.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Chairman of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar, made her first trip outside of Myanmar in 24 years to attend the Forum, and she discussed the importance of secondary education in her keynote speech. When I had the opportunity to talk with her directly, she expressed strong interest in the ISAK mission and vision. (We have had a student from Myanmar participate in ISAK Summer School every year.)

Lin Kobayashi and Aung San Suu Kyi 2

One of the most meaningful aspects of participating in the World Economic Forum was the opportunity to meet incredible individuals who share common goals. I think the ISAK mission grabbed the attention of many participants in the Forum, and leaders in a wide variety of fields expressed interest in supporting our school. I feel that during my time in Bangkok I was able to reach out to many different people and expand the circle of ISAK supporters in new directions.

Also, I received requests from CNBC Asia and other prominent members of the media who want to cover the ISAK story, so I feel that we are making great headway in spreading the word about ISAK to overseas markets.

The WEF provides a platform unlike any other for innovators who are on the front line of change, whether it is nationally, regionally or globally. The Social Entrepreneurs, Young Global Leaders (under the age of 40) and Global Shapers (age 20 – 30) communities of the WEF help support young leaders who are responsible for shaping the future in their respective countries. It was my great honor to be selected as a Young Global Leader for 2012, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity, through participation in the Forum in Bangkok, to build relationships with so many individuals working in the field of youth education in Asia.

One entrepreneur, who teaches leadership education at schools in India and throughout Asia and sends ten high-achieving students to MBA programs each year, actually investigated ISAK ahead of time, and sought me out from among more than 500 participants in order to talk to me. That was quite an amazing experience!

At the next Forum, scheduled for Tianjin, China in September, leaders will be gathering from Asia and around the world. I expect it to be an incredible chance to share news from the Asian region with members from other areas. I would like use these opportunities as a source of inspiration and learning as we continue to progress toward ISAK’s opening in 2014.”

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