Past Program

Session Overview

The first topic in the multi-year series focussed on A Clean and Green Asia and envision an Asia that contributes to planetary health.

Environmental degradation and climate change are a defining global challenge for the 21st century. Millions of people in Asia are already suffering the consequences of climate-influenced extreme weather events, acute air pollution, water insecurity and other threats. These, in combination with other factors, are flashpoints for future instability and conflicts. While many Asian countries recognize the need to accelerate transition to low-carbon and climate resilient economies, stronger leadership and new alliances at various levels are imperative to drive transformation and deliver integrated and equitable solutions. It is important to tackle the divergence of policies among countries and the lack of regional coordination, which often weakens the impact of environmental and climate change policies and actions.

The first cohort of participants includes rising leaders from ASEAN+3 and India who are rooted in their communities, committed to inclusive progress, and work in fields related to energy and climate, environmental protection and governance, urban planning, technology,culture or media. Participants focussed on practical ways to scale up community action and cross-border cooperation to advance climate and environmental progress in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Series Overview

Asia is the world's most vibrant, populous, fast-urbanizing and rapidly changing continent. More than any other region, its development pathway will be the single largest factor influencing global prospects for growth and stability.

Upcoming Asian leaders have the potential to guide sustainable and equitable development for billions of their citizens and to shape the future of global cooperation and planetary health in the 21st century. However, they also face complex challenges to human, economic, and political security that could weaken their ability to fulfill this exceptional promise. A new generation of connected and informed leaders will therefore be critical to advance regional cohesion and cultivate a stronger sense of collaborative responsibility for peaceful global progress.

The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation is a leadership development program of Salzburg Global Seminar that seeks to build a dynamic, gender-balanced cohort of 150 rising Asian leaders over the next four years (2017-2020). Rooted in their communities and committed to sharing their talent, knowledge, and experience, participating leaders will forge breakthrough collaborations and develop innovative projects and initiatives that advance Asia's regional cooperation and global engagement in the 21st century.

The multi-year series on The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation program was jointly designed by an invited group of Asian experts at a strategy meeting in October 2016, supported by the Japan Foundation. It is envisaged that these three successive meetings will lead into a synthesis program convened in Asia in 2020. This would bring together the network, learning,and exchange catalyzed during the series' first three years.

Series Objectives

The multi-year series The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation has four concrete goals:

  1. Develop a shared vision and commitment to Asian community development that is inspired and informed by cooperation at local to global levels to advance peace, prosperity, and sustainable and equitable development.
  2. Build and sustain a highly-valued and reputable cohort of rising leaders across geographies and sectors, equipped with the knowledge, skills, and contacts to be effective change agents.
  3. Provide a comprehensive analysis of collaboration opportunities in each thematic area and develop the participants' skills to identify and overcome systemic barriers that impede regional cooperation.
  4. Generate practical cross-border projects and community initiatives for on-the-ground implementation, suited to replication and scaling up.

Session Photos

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Marifrance Avila
Focal Person for Climate Change, Water and Land Pollution Section, Department of Environmental Services, City Government of Makati, Philippines
Wilson John Barbon
Myanmar Country Program Coordinator, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Myanmar
Xixi Chen
Manager, Environmental Defense Fund, USA
Hyeonjung Choi
Research Fellow, Center for Global Governance, Asan Institute for Policy Studies, Republic of Korea.
Sandeep Choudhury
Co-founder, VNV Advisory Services, India
Chochoe Devaporihartakula
Programme Manager, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and Training Event Specialist, Regional Resource Center for Asia and the Pacific at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand
Hideaki Hamada
Senior Financial Sector Specialist, Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Program, the World Bank Group (WBG), USA
Salinee Hurley
Director, Border Green Energy Team (BGET), Thailand
Keshav Jha
Assistant Manager (Energy & Climate), ICLEI South Asia, India
Jione Jung
Research Fellow, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), Republic of Korea
Suthikorn Kingkaew
Director of Research, Future Innovative Thailand Institute (FIT), Thailand
Abner Lawangen
Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer, and Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer, Local Government Unit of Tublay, Philippines
Tari Lestari
Project Manager/Consultant, South Pole Group, Indonesia
Roli Mahajan
Storyteller, Freelance, India
Piao Meihua
Secretary General, East Asia Environmental Information Center, Japan
Minh Nguyet Pham
Program Officer, Global Green Growth Institute, Vietnam
Thi Dong Quynh Nguyen
Research Analyst, German Development Institute, Germany
Aye Sandar Phyo
Research Associate, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand
Magdalena Seol
Founder and Managing Director, Global Development Advisors, Republic of Korea
Aiko Shimizu
General Manager, SHARE NOW (formerly car2go), USA
Tan Suwanprik
Local Coordinator for Achieving Low Carbon Growth in Cities Through Sustainable Urban System Management, Thailand
Mohamad Taib
Green engineer, Alor Gajah Municipal Council, Malaysia
Hui Xu
Secretary General, China Social Investment Forum (China SIF), China
Qingchan Yu
Program Manager, Energy and Climate program, Global Environmental Institute, China
Alexander Zhang


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