Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Summit

Date : 29 Sep 2019

2019 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Summit 

2019 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Summit will bring together 150 YSEALI exchange program alumni from all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and Timor-Leste for an advanced leadership workshop. The summit promoted problem-solving on critical regional topics related to civic engagement, sustainable development, education, and economic growth in line with “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability,” Thailand’s theme for 2019 ASEAN events.

The YSEALI summit focused on growth, innovation, and sustainability in ASEAN and Timor-Leste and strengthen ties between the United States and the next generation of Southeast Asian leaders. The summit had also developed participants’ leadership skills in systems thinking, collaborative action, communication, and negotiations needed to create solutions to complex problems.

Date and Venue: September 29 – October 3, 2019, Phuket Thailand

Target audience: 150 YSEALI exchange program alumni from all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and Timor-Leste between 18-25 years of age


  • Promote YSEALI alumni engagement and enhance the U.S. – ASEAN relationship

  • Share the best practices in sustainable development in different aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through site visits and dynamic stories

  • Promote and empower the value of a diverse, inclusive society by working with people with disabilities among youth leaders

  • Equip YSEALI alumni with skills to work with local communities to solve global problems

  • Create an idea-planting platform for growing practical development projects

  • Promote active youth engagement towards regional sustainable development solutions

Overall YSEALI Summit 2019 Program

During the summit, participants will interact with content experts, ASEAN leaders, facilitators and mentors, and with their peers to further explore knowledge. This YSEALI Summit equipped these rising leaders with the skills necessary to address the complex political, social, economic, and environmental challenges faced by the peoples of ASEAN. 

The organizers have adopted the “sprint process” methodology and framework to design the summit. Startups use this process to solve significant challenges, create new products, or improve existing projects. Through this process, participants will learn to design and pitch their social enterprises or community development project. The process consists of four stages:

  1. Search: Get inspired by speakers, YSEALI alumni, community service, and each other.

  2. Skill: Strengthen skills and ideas through a youth-led hands-on workshop.

  3. Sprint: Develop a project model, and build a prototype through the canvas process, experiment, validate their assumptions, measure, and learn.

  4. Scale: Take prototype, scale up their YSEALI projects, and be able to scale out across borders.


YSEALI Summit 2019 Achievement:

The program aims to develop three areas: individual participants, community, and U.S.-ASEAN connectivity

Individuals - Participants learned and absorbed Critical Capabilities for a Complex World (Axon et al., 2018) and Mindful Leadership - East Meets West (Barkema et al., 2015; Silverthorne, 2010) through a series of hands-on activities. The participants influenced and inspired one another. 

Community - Concept of “think global, act local” has been applied throughout the summit projects proposed by participants in communities and home countries. 

U.S.-ASEAN connectivity - The summit further strengthen the relationship between U.S.-ASEAN through this cooperation follow-on project activities.

Collaborate for the Better