Stories > Youth of the Nations

2019 • Issue 1

Youth of the Nations

Centred on the theme of innovation, ASEAN Youth leaders came together in Singapore to discuss key issues in the hopes of inspiring action for good.


ASEAN Youth Fellowship (AYF)

Held in Nov 2018, the inaugural ASEAN Youth Fellowship (AYF) was a joint initiative by Singapore International Foundation and National Youth Council (NYC) to enable cross-sector collaboration across the people, public and private sectors at the regional level.

40 participants from 10 ASEAN countries gathered for the AYF, which comprised dialogues with prominent leaders, exclusive learning journeys and team-building activities. Speakers included Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who shared his views on topics from education, innovation and smart cities to furthering people-to-people ties among ASEAN youths.


  • Connect young leaders to start joint initiatives to enact positive change at the regional level. Through intergenerational dialogue across disciplines, the Fellowship can act as a collective voice in areas of youth policy contribution, with a focus on social mobility, integration and equal opportunity.
  • Expose participants to innovation opportunities across a range of sectors. Fellows visited cutting-edge private companies in Singapore to learn about how they innovated to capitalise on digital and technological disruptions.
  • Foster a shared ASEAN identity with organisations in various sectors to create greater social good. Fellows may work with public institutions to expand the network, private companies that wish to promote youth collaboration, or NGOs that can provide services across borders.
  • Facilitate peer learning and sharing among young leaders on topics such as challenges in ASEAN, arts and culture, social entrepreneurship and sustainability.
  • Fellows established that identifying common ground amid the ASEAN diversity was essential youth leaders and collaborate to achieve sustainable social impact in the region.
  • Fellows collectively undertook a Call to Personal Action, where they pledged to continue to build a strong network of ASEAN youth leaders and collaborate to achieve sustainable social impact in the region.


“The Moment We Began Talking To More Entrepreneurs, We Realised There Was A Big Pool Of Individuals Who Needed Access To Capital And, More Importantly, Markets To Help Them Grow And Scale. Hence, We Now See Ourselves As Stewards Of Our Resources – A Bridge That Connects Entrepreneurs To Local Communities.”

Audrey Tan, Co-founder of Angels Of Impact, Singapore, On Gaining Entrepreneurial Insights Through Cross-cultural Exchanges

“AYF Showed Me The Human Side Of Singapore, Which Can Be Perceived As A Competitive Country. Our Singaporean Fellows Were Gracious And Generous. I Enjoyed Visiting One Of Their Homes, Where I Had The Opportunity To Learn About Their Everyday Life And Community.”

Zaim Mohzani, Co-founder Of Nation Building School, Malaysia, On How The Programme Helped To Strengthen Ties Among Countries


“It Is Clear That The Region Is Moving Towards Digital Economy Powered By Innovation. That’s The Correct, Fastest And Most Sustainable Way Of Development We Can Rely On To Speed Up Regional Economic Growth. To Achieve That Goal, It Is Essential That The Various Countries Cooperate And Formulate Partnerships For Strong Connectivity. This Should Make ASEAN Prosper And Become Resilient Enough To Weather New Challenges In Our Fast-changing World.”

Chu Minh Thao, Researcher At The Diplomatic Academy Of Vietnam, Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, On ASEAN’s Digital future

“Learning From Singapore’s Past And Future Developments Made Me Realise What I Can Do For My Country. I Hope That By Sharing My Experience With My Fellow Filipinos, They Will Be Inspired To Envision A Better And More Inclusive Philippines In The Years To Come.”

McReynald S. Banderlipe, Founder Of M.R.S. Banderlipe Business Solutions In The Philippines, On Looking Beyond The Fellowship

ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting (AFMAM)

The 4th ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting (AFMAM), held in July 2018, was an initiative by the ASEAN Foundation. It promotes a sense of ownership among the regionʼs youth towards the ASEAN community by inviting them to role-play senior officials, ministers and leaders.

158 undergraduates from 10 Asean nations participated in AFMAM. The event featured lectures and expert coaching, role-playing, simulation exercises, and visits to leading institutions.


  • Dealing with threats such as transnational crime, terrorism and cyber attacks.
  • Deepening economic integration across ASEAN states.
  • Climate change and the regional climate agenda.
  • Seizing opportunities in the digital economy through inovation.

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