Hitachi champions young regional leaders’ potential

Hitachi last week held the 11th Hitachi Young Leaders Initiative, that saw regional politicians and key leaders from the region gather.

The region is looking for its next batch of young leaders

The 11th Hitachi Young Leaders Initiative (HYLI) took place in Hanoi between January 9-13, with Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai as the guest-of-honour.

Themed The New Stage for Asia – an Asian Perspective on Managing Sustainable Development and Economic Integration, the speakers touched on the various topics under two sub-themes of energy and the environment, and economic partnership and integration.

At the event, regional politicians and thought leaders spoke on and discussed Asia’s challenges with 28 selected young leaders from the seven participating countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan.

“It is no mean feat for a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme to run for a good 16 years with 11 editions,” said Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Hitachi’s board. “It is encouraging to know that the vision we have set out to achieve in 1996 is supported by some of the most respected and prominent leaders from the region. Without them, HYLI would not have been possible.”

Since its inauguration in Singapore in 1996, HYLI, which aims to identify young Asian leaders by providing a platform for top students to discuss key issues and establish contacts with prominent regional opinion leaders from the private, public and academic sectors, has been successful in bringing the best and brightest students in Asia together.

Each year, four outstanding students below the age of 28 are chosen to represent their country for the HYLI. All student applicants were put through a rigorous selection process based on their academic results, participation in extra-curricular activities, awards achieved, fluency in the English language and knowledge of current regional issues.

Toshiaki Kuzuoka, senior vice president and executive officer of Hitachi, said: “Cultivating our next generation leaders has always been at the top of Hitachi’s CSR agenda. While we provide these young leaders a conduit to gather and discuss on issues, it would not be possible without the endorsement from these great leaders of today.

Apart from various forums and workshops designed to ensure students rich networking and learning opportunities at the 11th HYLI, Hitachi also organised an overnight field trip to the world heritage Halong Bay.

“On this trip, we believe that the students will see how human and natural ecosystems can co-exist and develop interdependently to achieve sustainable economic development. And hopefully, they can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Vietnam’s heritage,” Kuzuoka added.

Song Ngoc (