Youth Leadership Summit ’16

3 years ago, SEALNet Youth Leadership Summit (YLS) was born to incubate more SEALNet projects, connect like-minded service leaders and expand the impact of SEALNet in the region in general. Walking into its 3rd year, YLS has gone through some content adjustment, but the one-week framework, its youth-driven mission and faith in cross-culture connection still do wonders.


Faces of YLS16 Participants (*)

This year,  YLS16 was hosted in Singapore from 25 June to 3 July. It welcomed the largest number of participants (28) from 8 out of 10 ASEAN countries (with the exception of Thailand and Brunei), plus Timor-Leste. This diverse group bonded well together through mutual desire to learn and passionate commitment to serve their communities after the summit. YLS16 also had the chance to collaborate with Anderson High School in Singapore, who not only supported us in location and accommodation but also collaborated enthusiastically with us to conduct successful design thinking workshop series.

Similar to any SEALNet initiative, YLS16 centered around two pillars – service and leadership: 

  • The leadership component was conveyed through challenging leadership workshops, project management training and inspiring talks with various actors in the social sectors, from government officials (e.g. Ambassador Ong Keng Yong) to social entrepreneurs (e.g. James, owner of Bliss Restaurant).
  • The service component was conducted through a 3-day series of design thinking workshops, where participants were not only provided with knowledge sharing about this powerful human-centered problem-solving tool, but also put in a hands-on challenge to apply their design thinking training into helping Anderson students brainstorm ideas on how to improve the recreational space at their school.

Sound exciting? Let’s relive those unforgettable moments of the one-week summit with the following recap video:

The impact of these one-week interactions were well captured through our participants’ sharing:

SEALNet & YLS16 have given me more than just a week with some crazy, energized, passion-filled, thrilled and excited people altogether to get a light upon a particular skillset that we were all drawn to work on since the beginning of seeing “Leadership Programme”. It was an “interfriend-tion”…I thank SEALNet for making this beautiful and magical thing happen to the youths of YLS16 together with the students and organizers of Anderson High School…we are the Leaders! The Givers and Hopers of our own and of those in our lives as well.

Ricky Kg, Myanmar

Before joining this, my heart asked myself: “Are you kidding that you will go there in your fasting month? Are you sure with what you’ll get then?” Now, if I can travel back in time, still I will go there again! Spend more time with you guys, laugh and cry together, inspire each other. Really learn a lot for better process of my life, really a lot…Thank you for all the life-changing, emotional, crazy and inspirational things. “Southeast Asia” has become so meaningful because of you all.

Ali AlGhofiqi, Indonesia


YLS16 team on Culture Day (**)

What’s the next exciting news? up to 3 summer projects in 2017 will be coming out of YLS16 generation, including potentially 2 Project Myanmar and 1 Project Cambodia!

Thank you YLS16 for another journey of cross-culture growth and inspiration. Let’s look forward to another life-touching YLS17 and exciting summer projects led by YLS16 folks!


Image credits:

(*) Rathayuth (Yuth) V. HingPhith (YLS16 Organizer)

(**) Chanrithykol (Kol) Em (YL16 Participant)