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Social and Economic Transformation in Asia Pacific

Deadline is July 19, 2013.

Each year the East-West Center invites rising young leaders from the United States and Asia Pacific to participate in The New Generation Seminar (NGS), a two-week intensive educational, dialogue and study tour travel program. The program is developed around a thematic focus and provides participants with an opportunity to strengthen their understanding of Asia Pacific-U.S. developments and challenges, build a regional network and to become leaders with a more international perspective. The first week of the program is held in Hawaii. In discussions with East-West Center researchers, other experts in the Hawaii community and one another, participants are introduced to key regional policy issues such as international relations, security, economics, population, health and environment. The second week involves field travel to either the United States or Asia Pacific for exploration of the program theme. The program is supported by funding from the Freeman Foundation.

2013 New Generation Seminar

Now Accepting Applications–Deadline is July 19

Dates: September 30-October 13

Destinations: Honolulu, Hawaii; Beijing, China, Seoul, Korea

Theme: “Social and Economic Transformation in Asia Pacific”

Funding: Through a grant from the Freeman Foundation, the East-West Center covers air and ground travel as well as modest meals, lodging and program-related expenses for the participants during the two-week program. Participants will be responsible for their own visa fees and visa related expenses.

Program Agenda

The New Generation Seminar program provides an avenue for dialogue and interaction among the participants through formal meetings as well as informal after-hour activities. The first week of the New Generation Seminar is held at the East-West Center (EWC) in Honolulu and consists of briefings by EWC research staff on key issues in the region such as security, international relations, economics, energy resources, population, health and environment, as well as sessions directly related to the seminar theme. The Honolulu program also includes relevant field visits, a half island Oahu tour and an opportunity for each of the participants to share with the group a topic of interest/importance to him or her. Each participant is asked to give a short presentation on a topic from his or her country as a means for participants to learn from one another about the region and to stimulate discussion. The second week of the program involves field travel to either the Asia Pacific region or the United States mainland to enhance participants’ knowledge of a specific theme.Globalization, modernization and rapid economic development have brought profound social transformation in the Asia Pacific region. In the last half decade, millions of people have been lifted out of poverty, millions have moved from farms and villages to urban areas, and millions have entered the middle class. With this development has come complex social change that challenges traditional values and societal structures and which has significant implications for policymakers. Changes in family structures, living arrangements, gender roles, and the nature of work affect some of the largest and most complex areas of public policy such as education, social security and pension systems, health care and housing. Increasing diversity and complexity bring opportunities, but also uncertainty about the future which can lead to social ills as well as rising nationalism. Leaders must find ways to lead through these difficult and complex changes that challenge people’s individual and societal sense of identity and affect the roles of government, civil society, family and other institutions.

This New Generation Seminar program will explore these economic and societal changes and how leaders and policymakers can deal with social change both in terms of policy decisions as well as in terms of leadership skills. The program will travel to Korea and China, two countries in Asia that have experienced rapid development and significant social transformation. Leadership in both countries face challenges and opportunities in trying to maintain a sense of tradition and culture amidst dramatic social change, and to provide the right leadership to maintain economic growth, while providing for all and maintaining a sense of culture and self.


The New Generation Seminar involves 10-12 participants aged mid-20’s to late 30’s, approximately 6-8 from Asia Pacific* and 3-4 from the United States. The program seeks to engage “communicators” and “leaders,” those individuals who are in a position to shape and influence policy and decision-making in their countries, regions or local communities. The program targets elected officials because of their direct influence on policy, but also includes others involved in politics, governance or community leadership. Past participants have included members of national, state or provincial government assemblies or ministries, young mayors or governors, city council members, up and coming members of political parties, leaders of political party youth wings, political advisers and other elected officials, as well as leaders from civil society organizations, business, law and the media. The program is geared toward professionals working outside of academia.

* Please note that funding applies only to Asia Pacific countries on this list. We welcome other applicants, but they would need to provide their own funding to participate. If you are interested in this option, please contact us and we can provide details about costs.

The strongest candidates for the program will be:

Working professionals in their mid-20s to late 30s;
Elected officials and other political, business and community leaders or communicators with broad-based policy knowledge and influence;
Individuals with limited opportunity for international travel;
Fluent in English.

Candidates need not be specialists in the program theme; indeed, as stated above, we prefer candidates with broad based policy profiles who could benefit from deepening their understanding of regional issues as well as the proposed theme.

For a summary of the NGS program and full details on participant criteria please download the 23rd NGS Background Summary.


Participation in the New Generation Seminar is a competitive process. Nominations are received from a variety of U.S. and Asia Pacific organizations and qualified individuals are welcome to submit applications on their own. The applications and nominations are reviewed by an East-West Center Selection Committee, which makes the final selection of candidates.

To apply, please submit the following:

The Application Cover Sheet: PDF version (Click to download. Please save a copy to your computer first before filling out or you may lose your data. You may type directly into this PDF document.  After completing, submit as an attachment with the rest of the required documents.)
A brief written statement about why you wish to participate in the 23rd New Generation Seminar (not more than one typewritten double-spaced page, please).  In responding please consider what you feel you can contribute to the program and what you hope to gain from participating given your current leadership positions/roles, especially with regard to this year’s program theme.
One-paragraph professional biography summarizing your current work and highlighting your leadership experience and those aspects of your resume you think are most important for the selection committee.
Copy of resume to include professional and educational background.
Resume or CV should clearly indicate years and type of education, title of position held, name of employer, dates spent at each position, and most importantly a brief outline of specific responsibilities or accomplishments in each position.
Two (2) letters of professional recommendation on official letterhead with current contact information for each person writing a recommendation.

For a printed summary of the application requirements, please download the Application Instructions.


You may send applications to:

Ms. Ann Hartman, NGS Coordinator, at:


FAX: (808) 944-7600

POST: New Generation Seminar, East-West Seminars
East-West Center, 1601 East-West Road, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96848-1601, USA

For questions or confirmation of receipt, please contact:

Ms. Carol Holverson, Program Secretary

TEL: (808) 944-7524

Click here for more information.


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