How can YOUth shape Sustainable Development in a post-COVID-19 world?
Be an ASEM Young Leader!
WHAT IS #ASEFYLS4
The ASEF Young Leaders Summit (ASEFYLS) is ASEM‘s official Youth platform that connects young people with the Heads of States and Governments from 51 Asian & European countries and the political Leaders of the EU & the ASEAN Secretariat.
The 4th ASEF Young Leaders Summit (ASEFYLS4) was a 10-month long youth leadership programme connected to the 13th ASEM Summit (ASEM13) in November 2021 in Cambodia. The ASEFYLS4 focused on ‘Sustainable Development in a post-COVID-19 World’ and incorporated 3 spheres for youth leadership: 1) self-leadership (you), 2) team leadership (we) and 3) societal leadership (all).
The 4th edition was a hybrid project with collaborative elements taking place virtually, in Cambodia, as well as across ASEM countries. We addressed 4 thematic areas:
- SDG3: Good Health & Wellbeing – Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages
- SDG4: Quality Education – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
- SDG8: Decent Work & Economic Growth – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
- SDG13: Climate Action – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
It aimed to give #Youth the opportunity to:
- Receive a certified course/training by world-leading institutions on Asia-Europe relations and the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as Leadership!
- Have the rare chance to interact with ASEM Heads of States and Governments to present the youth voice and even have the once-in-a lifetime opportunity to moderate a Youth Dialogue with an ASEM Head of State or Government!
- Bring the youth voice into the multilateral policy arena and contribute to the ASEM Process. Be part of and even featured in the ASEM-wide Youth Leadership Report and have your perspectives reflected in the ASEM Youth Declaration, that will be presented to the ASEM Leaders at the 13th ASEM Summit Opening Ceremony!
- Leave a positive mark in local communities across Asia and Europe and bring in your enthusiasm, knowledge and skills to 15 ASEFYLS4 Leadership in Action projects on the SDGs!
- Have access to and become a member of the ASEM & ASEF youth community opening doors for cross-regional collaboration and exchange.
For more details, please refer to the Overview. ASEFYLS4 was preceded by a virtual ASEFYLS4 Navigators Training, which served as a springboard and capacity building opportunity for youth facilitators who guided the ASEFYLS4 participants.
WHO JOINED #ASEFYLS4?
ASEFYLS4 brings together over 180 participants and Navigators from all 51 ASEM countries – see more details about them in this video and this Participants Booklet.
WHAT DID #ASEFYLS4 OFFER?
The ASEFYLS4 programme consisted of 3 phases:
1. Knowledge Building: Monday, 22 February 2021 – 28 May 2021, Virtual
We invited youth to an in-depth knowledge journey and peer-to-peer exploration into Asia-Europe Relations, the Sustainable Development Goals and Leadership with a certified course and training led by the College of Europe in Natolin and the Center for Creative Leadership respectively. Besides focus group discussions & youth collaboration, the highlights of this phase were Youth Dialogues with ASEM Heads of States and Governments led by ASEFYLS4 representatives.
For more details you can see the Programme and the Speakers, Facilitators and Organisers Booklet,
Highlights of the Knowledge Building Phase included:
- Dialogue with H.E. Mr Micheál MARTIN, Taoiseach/Prime Minister of Ireland, moderated by ASEFYLS4 participants – see Keynote and Recording.
- Dialogue with H.E. Dato LIM Jock Hoi, ASEAN Secretary-General, moderated by ASEFYLS4 participants – see Opening Keynote, Closing Remarks and Recording.
- Dialogue with H.E. Mrs. Pornpimol KANCHANALAK, Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, moderated by ASEFYLS4 participants – see Keynote and Recording.
- Dialogue with Ambassador Johannes MATYASSY, Deputy State Secretary of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), moderated by ASEFYLS4 participants – see Keynote.
- Thematic Sessions on the Sustainable Development Goals with:
- Dr Paloma CUCHI, WHO Representative and Head of Country Office in the Republic of Poland
- Dr Wesley TETER, Senior Consultant, Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, UNESCO Bangkok
- Ms Tanja PACIFICO, Chief of Mission, International Organization of Migration (IOM) Uruguay
- Dr Youssef NASSEF, Director of the Adaptation Division, UNFCCC
- Leadership Training co-led by Mr Anand CHANDRASEKAR, Center for Creative Leadership.
2. Leadership in Action: June – November 2021, Virtual & in local ASEM communities
During this phase, participants turned theory into action, and jointly worked on 15 impactful, community projects on the Sustainable Development Goals across ASEM.
See here for an overview on the 15 projects and here for more details on all 15 projects
Project 1: Across ASEM – “End the Stigma. Period.”
Project 2: Little Bubbles @ The Soap Factory
Project 3: The Well-being Platform
Project 4: The BEEP Media Campaign
Project 5 Teaching & Learning during COVID-19 – “What Do You Need?”
Project 6: Access and Success for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Project 7: Culturetelling: Anthology of ASEM Folk Tales
Project 8: Economic Diplomacy as an engine of growth and prosperity – A Policy Brief
Project 9: Econ4Life
Project 10: The Adjustment Manual: Work From Home Edition
Project 11: Leaders of the Future Bootcamp (LFB)
Project 12: Food Forests
Project 13: Higher Education for Climate Action – Waste management on university campuses
Project 14: ASEM Youth Podcast on Climate Action
Project 15: Atlas-Akhyana
3. Youth Summit: 22 – 26 November 2021, Virtual
The virtual Youth Summit took place in conjunction with the 13th ASEM Summit in Cambodia, featuring ASEM Government & Youth Leaders. Highlights included:
- The ASEFYLS4 participants presented the outcomes of their 6-month ‘Leadership in Action‘ phase.
- The ASEM Youth Report on Leadership was launched – sharing the views of over 13,000 Asian & European Youth.
- ASEFYLS4 participants presented an ASEM Youth Declaration at the Opening Ceremony of the 13th ASEM Summit to the ASEM Leaders. Watch the declaration here.
You can read the full programme of Summit events here.
Watch the highlights from each day:
ASEM Youth Report
The ASEM Youth Report is the first Report focusing on Youth Leadership across all ASEM Countries. It is an outcome of the 4th ASEF Young Leaders Summit (ASEFYLS4).
Based on a large-scale ASEM-wide survey, the Report highlights the voices from 13,676 young adults in the 51 ASEM countries on their leadership experiences, aspirations and recommendations for a post-COVID-19 world. The Report emphasises the eagerness of young people to be more engaged in leadership which they see as a means to make a positive societal impact. Focusing on the personal, interpersonal and societal barriers that young people are facing when pursuing leadership positions, the Report highlights important recommendations on how to design and provide them with better leadership opportunities.
The Report and its unique insights into young people’s leadership experiences & aspirations are the result of a collaboration between the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL).
You can read the full Report here.
Special Edition of Orange Magazine
As part of ASEFYLS4, in partnership with European Youth Press, a special edition of EYP’s publication, Orange Magazine has been produced featuring articles written by participants on the programme, the SDGs, interviews with organisers & other participants!
The editor of this edition was Ms Patricia SENGE, Executive Board of EYP & ASEFEdu alumnus.
You can check out the magazine here.
ASEFYLS4 Youth Speak up for UNESCO World Higher Education Conference 2022
As part of the ASEFYLS4, participants worked with their country peers to produce videos exploring different aspects related to Higher Education: climate change, COVID-19, digital futures, education policy, governance, inclusion, indigenous youth, labour markets, migration, & well-being. These videos are being published in the lead up to UNESCO’s World Higher Education Conference (WHEC2022).
Read more and see all the videos here.
Youth Publication – (Un)masked: Reflections on Self and Collective Responsibility during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The publication is a unique compilation of over 80 op-eds written by the ASEFYLS4 participants on their individual experience amidst the pandemic, as well as their observations on youth around them.
Through the ASEFYLS4 Participants’ own writings, this Publication is a unique historical snapshot which explores these young Asians and Europeans’ perspectives on the topic as they were tackling this unprecedented global challenge.
The publication is a useful reference for decision-makers to understand the impact on and the perspectives of youth during crises, particularly related to Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, across Asia and Europe.
The op-eds were written over 1.5 years before the publication of this compilation, and the COVID-19 pandemic has thoroughly evolved during that time. However, the editors see the value in documenting the youth experience as a historical snapshot.
You can read the full publication here.
The ASEFYLS4 Navigators Programme was a capacity building training following a peer-to-peer learning methodology. This programme invited a group of 15 young Asians and Europeans (Alumni of ASEFEdu and Partner organisations) for an in-depth training prior to the 4th ASEF Young Leaders Summit (ASEFYLS4), which they supported as resource persons, and a debrief afterwards.
The training took place virtually from September – November 2020: Programme, Participants, Speakers
The debrief & reporting took place in Bangkok, Thailand from 21 – 25 June 2022, alongside the 43rd ASEF Board of Governors Meeting (ASEFBoG43): Programme
Read more about the debrief here.