The 14th Hitachi Young Leaders Initiative (HYLI), held in Yangon, Myanmar, from July 10 to 13, 2017, gathered student delegates from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Among the Filipino delegates was Jamil Faisal Adiong (AB Political Science 4) from USC Department of Political Science. He was joined by Bianca Claveria of Ateneo de Manila University, Aira Ong and Francis Ian Tobias of De la Salle University.
The event’s theme: “Sustainable Urbanisation Through Collaborative Creation,” looked into how private and public sectors perceive rapid population growth and urbanization in the Southeast Asian region.
On his experiences during the event, Adiong shared that the meeting was a great opportunity to be exposed to different cultures which made him see the nations through the delegates who represented them. As a Maranao and peace advocate, he considered the event’s discussion on local urban development planning to be essential in the rebuilding and reestablishing of peace in Marawi and hopes to apply what he has learned in the event in furthering his advocacy.
While he had doubts on how he would fit in given their higher degrees and varied cultural backgrounds he proved what it means to be a Filipino and a Carolinian. During the sessions, he remembered his experiences in the Philippines, like civil society groups and the collaboration among local government units (LGUs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which Myanmar has taken interest in learning.
Student delegates from different nationalities proposed different ways and strategies based on three categories, namely the environment, transportation and smart cities. Prior to the event, each country delegation was also assigned to make infographics about their country’s urban development, and individual assignments on policy recommendations.
Adiong emphasized human development particularly about social inclusion as this would be helpful in making smart cities inclusive and further promote human dignity.
Moreover, Adiong and his group proposed a smart solid waste management framework, in which segregated garbage would be collected and converted to energy processed in the factory. This would require a local city development council represented by various sectors inspired by the Philippine Local Government Code of 1991 particularly in the creation of local development.
Adiong cited how important it would be to consider the role of religious leaders in discussing development issues and to help in fostering good cooperation in bettering the community, as well as consider the beliefs of diverse cultural groups in order to broaden good relations with and among them. The final night of the event was the cultural night to showcase the music and other interesting information about each country’s culture.
Initiated in Singapore in 1996, HYLI is a platform in which students would further their perspective on issues with officials, academics and business and NGO representatives while promoting Asian values and engaging in intercultural exchanges. This program is Hitachi’s way to bring up future leaders from among the brightest students in Asia.
Source: Vincent Reyes
AB Political Science IV
7 August 2017