APEC 2016 Voices of the Future Australian Youth Representatives
From left: Philip Chan, Zoe Neill, MacCallum Johnson, Isobel McDonald, Toni Pachernegg and Larry Stalis
Australia through the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award has nominated 6 participants (5 youth participants and 1 educator) to represent Australia at APEC Voices of the Future Youth Forum in November 2016
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Bubbling with excitement and jetlag, 120 young people from 21 APEC economies converged into Lima for Day 1 of the APEC Voices of the Future program. The group attended the meeting at ABAC, the APEC Business Advisory Council, listening to interesting discussions among political and business leaders. The Second Vice-President of Peru, Mercedes Araoz Fernandez, talked about the importance of less regulations and reduced redtape for trade, as well as the need for employment for young people. The upcoming Trump presidency also dominated discussions, particularly the consequences for APEC and trade liberalisation.
The team met fellow delegates from across the region, had a scrumptious Peruvian buffet dinner, including the renowned culinary delights, ceviche and chicha.
The group were all up bright and early to depart for the Universidad San Lgnacio De Loyola and jump straight into the APEC Voices of the Future (VoF) 2016 Youth Forum. The topic of this years APEC VoF is "How can youths play a role as community leaders to promote quality growth and human development in the Asia Pacific Region?". Sparking much debate, each economy had one representative present their views. Philip Chan, presented the Australian perspective where 'a fair go' for all' and 'not just voices of the future but voices of now' was given as the key rhetoric's. The day concluded with focus groups debating the three key components to the question of the day; 1. Youth as community leaders 2. Quality growth and 3. Human development. Outcomes from these focus groups will be used tomorrow to construct a 'Youth Declaration" to be negotiated between representatives from each economy
Community activity at the Escuela de Talentos (Callao). Another early rise to beat the Lima traffic and visit the country's "Talent School", a public school funded by the regional Government of Callao. It has a pedagogical model that incorporates the use of NTIC (new technologies of information and communication). That means no books, only computers! They selects its students from the top third of academic performers in the region and it ensures no talented student is excluded from the education system because of their economic status. The school offers comprehensive training that integrates technology with entrepreneurship. Students propose business ideas and work to make them reality. To begin the day, the students put on an excellent performance of traditional dance. We were shown their robotics lab, some business prototypes (all amazing), taken through the history of Callao and taught how to dance. The students really made us feel welcome and it was an wonderful experience, one we will not forget to quickly!
A key component of APEC Voices of the Future is to be able to attend the CEO Summit and listen to key world leaders and mingle with prominent CEOs. A definite highlight for the Australian delegation was seeing our very own Malcolm Turnbull lead a panel session on 'The Innovation Economy' expressing the absolute need for an economy to be open to innovation or face greater consequences of technological destruction in the future. Another key speaker and highlight was IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde discussing the importance of Women in organisations - "Women's economic empowerment, along with being a moral imperative, is a game changer and no brainer".
Read Philip Chans report here APEC Voices of the Future Report 2016 - Philip Chan