Speakers Series finale in KL!
Since 2019, the Young Entrepreneurs and Leaders Speaker Series has run across Southeast Asia, hosting more than 60 events and working with thousands of young people, plus business, government and community leaders. In 2022, the highly acclaimed Speaker Series, delivered by Social Good Outpost ran its finale series of events with the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from March 22-24.
Held in the Australian High Commission’s theatre, five highly engaging online and in-person events were held over four days focused on the themes of: youth entrepreneurship changing the world; climate action; resilient leadership; creative disruption; and the next big opportunities for Australia and Malaysia.
Showcasing award-winning and passionate social entrepreneurs and leaders from Australia and Malaysia in each panel, audiences were invited to engage and debate on issues facing both countries. Speaker Heidy Quah founded Refuge for Refugees in Malaysia at the age of 18, while Varsha Yajman, one of the organisers of the School for Climate Strike in Australia, did the same while still in high school. These impressive speakers displayed the passion and dedication many young leaders have, across numerous tough challenges they’ve faced in society.
Each event focused on a different theme – with opportunities for discussion on how to keep addressing these important issues in the region. Some of the key insights across the week were:
- Taj Pabari, CEO The ASE Group, on the Upstart: Young Entrepreneurs Changing the World panel sharing on the importance of failing quickly and how to use learnings from such failings to keep innovating;
- On the Taking Climate Action panel, Forever Sabah’s Program Coordinator, Neville Yapp, spoke about the importance of circular economy thinking in addressing the rapidly changing habitat in Sabah, prompted by the question of, “where will the state be in fifty years if it continues to progress along its current development trajectory?”;
- Professor Michelle Ryan, Director, Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, Australian National University, explained the concept of the glass cliff at the Resilient Leadership Panel, asking the audience to keep pressing for progress on gender equality, and women’s representation in leadership;
- Creative Disruption was a masterclass from three game changing entrepreneurs who empowered the most vulnerable, such as Tharma Pillai, Co-Founder and Advocacy Director of Undi18, a student led movement to enable youth to vote at the age of 18 in Malaysia and be involved in democratic decision making.
The series concluded with remarks from the Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, Dr Justin Lee, Malaysian High Commissioner to Australia, Dato’ Roslan Abdul Rahman, and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Paul Sanda, sharing their insights for future opportunities for both countries. From concentrating on climate action, to the digital economy, the Speaker Series highlighted the importance of collaboration and greater involvement of young people in decision making. It also encouraged all leaders to continue building better communities for all – whether through taking on a mentor under 30, co-leading with a young person, or funding a young entrepreneur’s initiative.
Social Good Outpost and the Australia now team would like to thank all those involved in making this finale an important and successful way to conclude an incredible Speaker Series across the Australia-ASEAN region, fostering new friendships, collaborations, business opportunities and most importantly a dialogue on how to work together to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.