Young SouthEast Asian Leader Initiative Summit 2017

Manila, Philippines
18–21 October 2017

The Young Southeast Asian leadership Initiative (YSEALI) Summit is a seminal event that will bring together YSEALI alumni from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The 2017 YSEALI Summit is a chance for alumni of YSEALI fellowships, regional workshops, and Seeds for the Future grant programs to:

To help accomplish this, the 2017 YSEALI Summit will focus on advanced leadership skills, such as whole-system design thinking; 21st century collaboration; and approaches to meaningful dialogue.

The content will be delivered in the form of lectures, simulations, discussions of best practices, and training in advanced techniques to grow participant skills.

Summit Focus

Whole-system design thinking explores and exploits connections between parts of a system. Generally whole system design approaches gather input from diverse teams to understand how the parts of a system work together, then attempts to turn those linkages into synergies. Some of the basic principles which underpin the approach include such ideas as: defining shared goals; collaborating across disciplines; seeking systematic causes and ultimate purposes; seeking radical simplicity; and attempting to wring multiple benefits from single expenditures.

All of these can be applied to social, economic, political, and environmental challenges such as re-inventing access to education, environmental sustainability, waste management, or any number of issues in our communities.

Participants will be guided towards applying this more systematic process for addressing issues in the region.

Relationships in the workplace have changed dramatically. Instead of looking at collaboration in terms of individuals and departments, management experts are exploring ways to manage fractal organizations. Fractals are patterns which repeat themselves on different scales. In organizations, they understand human capital as creative, adaptive and evolutionary.

A fractal organization is defined as one which includes shared purpose and values that create pattern integrity; universal participation in ideas and solutions for continuous improvement; decision making at functional levels; leadership devoted to employee development as a source of intellectual capital; and competition energy directed outward instead of inward.

This has replaced the traditional hierarchical management system with a view toward synchronizing the efforts of teams of employees growing and innovating functions across the organization.

Advances in communication technology that allow people to access and share information have also eroded our ability to understand others with different points of view and to negotiate through areas of disagreement. But potentially divisive trends make it more vital than ever that we know how to skillfully and persuasively negotiate in complex, multi-stake holder environments.

The 2017 YSEALI Summit will also embrace components of several advanced leadership models that will help to develop a deeper understanding of bridging societal divides in their home countries and the region.

The 2017 YSEALI Summit is not a four-day event – it is an opportunity to work with others to advance your leadership skills. The program will include an online pre-Summit course, the Summit event itself in Manila, and follow-on engagement with teams across ASEAN to launch implementation projects in time for the December 2017 YSEALI YOUnified celebration.

Who is Eligible

Eligible applicants will be YSEALI alumni from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as the U.S. Mission to ASEAN who have not participated in previous YSEALI summits: 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and 2016 in Luang Prabang, Laos.


The four-day Summit in Manila will be preceded by robust virtual learning activities that will challenge participants' understanding of these topics, and which will lead to an outline of proposed post-Summit activities to be implemented during YSEALI YOUnified in December 2017.

8 September 2017, Virtual learning activities begin

17–22 October 2017, Summit in Manila

17 October 2017, Travel to Manila
18–21 October 2017, Four-day Summit
22 October 2017, Depart from Manila
3 December 2017, YSEALI YOUnified Activities

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Launched in 2013, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is the U.S. government’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Through a variety of programs and engagements, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community of leaders who work across borders to solve common issues.


Approximately 65% of people in the ASEAN region are under the age of 35. YSEALI is an effort to harness the extraordinary potential of youth in the region to address critical challenges and expand opportunities.


The YSEALI community consists of bright young leaders, 18–35 years old, from Brunei,Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam who are making a difference in their communities, countries, and the region. Learn more about the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative at and join the official YSEALI social media communities on Facebook and Twitter.

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