GLOA Students Participate in the US-ASEAN Futures Symposium

GLOA Students Participate in the US-ASEAN Futures Symposium

Two Global Affairs students participated in the two-day US-ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Futures Symposium held in Washington, D.C. in October 2023. The symposium “is a consultation platform for youth from the United States and ASEAN Member States to engage in interdisciplinary dialogue.” The symposium focused on global concerns and encouraged the “exchange of ideas among future leaders.” The delegates learned from experts and professionals and were able to offer feasible “policy recommendations for the future of US-ASEAN relations.” Read about Ayman and Karissa’s experiences below. You can read more about the symposium at https://www.usaseanypa.org/us-asean-futures-symposium

Ayman Habib (far left) and Karissa Hylton (far right) at the US-ASEAN Futures Symposium. 

“As a Global Affairs major and Sustainability Studies minor, I was honored with the opportunity to attend the US ASEAN Future Symposium held in collaboration with Globally, US-ASEAN Young Professionals Association, and United States Institute of Peace. This two day event entailed five engaging panel discussion on the importance, dynamics, and intricacies of the ASEAN region and their relationship with other nations. Something very interesting is that ASEAN may create regional laws similar to European Union. There’s also no appetite for conflict in South East Asia and they don’t want to pick between US and China. We also had breakout sessions under different themes to discuss issues in relation to the theme and come up with a policy memo. I chose to work in climate change, and maybe I’m biased, but I think our group was the best as we had an amazing mentor who informed us about a lot. Our mentor was great at making our opinions and perspectives feel validated and highly valued. The finalized policy memo that each group worked hard on, will be sent to officials working in US-ASEAN relations. This event was a great opportunity to build connection and learn from people with lots of experience, because not only were the speakers working in the heat of the action, but many of the students participating also worked for the State Department, Pentagon, EPA, etc. Everyone there was extremely informed which made for exciting discussions.” – Karissa Hylton

“As someone less acquainted with the intricacies of the policy world, my decision to apply for the US-ASEAN Futures Symposium initially presented itself as an intimidating prospect. I had the inclination to overlook Dr. Hughes Rinker’s [Director of Global Affairs] email with the application, but upon reflection, I recognized the value of taking up the opportunity. The symposium exposed me to a previously unknown area that I had been eager to explore. During the event, I had the privilege of interacting with an impressive array of individuals. They were all distinguished experts in their fields. The attendees ranged from Ph.D. candidates to fellow undergraduates. The panel discussions proved to be interesting. These sessions not only elucidated the historical context of the US-ASEAN relationship but also offered insights into its potential future trajectory. The questions posed by the participants and the responses of the panelists were both noteworthy. Additionally, the small group participation further enriched my experience. It was during this session that I collaborated with my group to create a policy memo aimed at mitigating climate change. Together, we drafted and presented our memo at the conference. The positive feedback received from the US-ASEAN leaders affirmed collective efforts. I would like to thank the United States Institute of Peace and George Washington University for graciously hosting the symposium. I would also like to express my appreciation to my team members and facilitator, whose expertise and guidance in climate change policy were enlightening. Lastly, I wish to acknowledge Dr. Hughes Rinker and the Global Affairs Department for their ongoing commitment to sharing opportunities and supporting students. The US-ASEAN Symposium was a pivotal educational experience for me and left me with a newfound passion for policy writing.” – Ayman Habib