The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), Peking University, the Beijing Municipal Government, and Shougang Group of Beijing jointly organised the "Global Youth Leaders Summit 2018" from 13 to 20 July —the first-ever multi-partite collaboration for youth development among universities, government and business sectors. The Summit has attracted more than 300 student leaders from 28 universities of 28 countries/regions across the globe, including 22 Belt and Road countries/regions. They have exchanges and field visits in Hong Kong before heading for Beijing to learn about means for realising their vision.
The Summit was initiated by PolyU's newly formed Global Youth Leadership and Service-learning Institute (GYLSLI) for nurturing future leaders who have the passion and commitment to make the world a better place. Under the theme of "Transforming VISION into ACTION", the Summit will provide opportunities for students to learn how to turn their vision into action, and to search for practical solutions to address critical challenges confronting the world today, such as poverty alleviation, education for all and building of sustainable communities.
Officiating at the opening ceremony of the Summit's Hong Kong session held on 13 July, Professor Timothy W. Tong, President of PolyU, said, "An essential element to equip the young generations to become leaders is to help them gain a better understanding of societal issues. Through the Summit, PolyU is aiming to foster a global network for youth leaders to pursue cross-border community projects with actionable road-maps to tackle some of the world's pressing issues. The Summit is not meant to be a single event, but a starting point of a journey where youth leaders join hands to create a world they envision."
Mr Peter Wong, Deputy to the 13th National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China, and recipient of Young Industrialist Award of Hong Kong and World Tourism Organisation's Award 2017 on Outstanding Contribution to World Tourism, also delivered an inspiring keynote speech on "The Economic and Social Perspectives of the Belt and Road Initiative" at the opening ceremony. He encouraged young leaders to proactively engage in the Belt and Road Initiative that would provide abundant opportunities for them to serve, grow and excel.
The Summit has invited global leaders and experts to share with the participating youth leaders their vision, experience and pioneering efforts in finding solutions to various global challenges. They include Nobel Peace Prize awardee Professor Muhammad Yunus, Inaugural Laureate for the Yidan Prize for Education Development Ms Vicky Colbert, and Co-Chair of the Leadership Council of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Solutions Network Professor John Thwaites.
In Beijing, intensive workshops, field visits and mentorship by experienced practitioners will be provided to facilitate the participating youth leaders to transform their vision into action through teamwork and development of cross-border collaborative projects. They will be required to form into groups, and each group will need to carry out within 12 months after the Summit at least one project to address a pressing social issue of a city or area, so as to make the world a better place for all.
Development Officer, Global Youth Leadership and Service-learning Institute, PolyU