Going beyond borders

Published March 8, 2022, 3:44 PM

by MB Lifestyle

Filipino youth leaders chose to challenge the pandemic’s physical distance through organizing an ambitious intercontinental conference Globify: A Cross-Cultural Conference. In Globify, organized by AIESEC in the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), 230 delegates from all over the world were able to share a virtual space and connect through skills-building sessions, panel discussions, and socialization opportunities.

The event kicked off by equipping youth leaders with a global mindset, including the nature and nuances that came with it. With a panel session entitled Beyond Borders: Leadership on a Global Scale, panelists Kristoffer Briones, Patricia Ralston, and Maggie Chen shared their experiences as former AIESEC members and individuals deeply immersed in the global network. Mr. Briones served as the President of AIESEC in Cambodia from 2014 to 2015. Ms. Ralston, on the other hand, is the current President of AIESEC Alumni Iberoamerica. Ms. Chen, in the term 2018 to 2019, worked as AIESEC in Australia’s National President. The conversation was moderated by Patricia Mejia, a student of AdMU and a member of AIESEC in AdMU’s Executive Board 21.22.

In the panel, all three experts highlighted the different situations one can expect as a global leader. These included everything from holistic and leadership development, passion for learning, overcoming communication problems, and intercultural conflict. It served as a learning experience for delegates about the importance of leadership and how a great leader would act in times of conflict.

“Be​ passionate about whatever you do and [whatever] you believe in,” Ms. Ralston said in the closing moment of the panel. “If you want to be a leader and develop your leadership skills, you have to be passionate about learning, and you have to be passionate about teaching.”

Day one fully closed off with a skills-building session entitled Skills as a Global Citizen by Julia Corotan, an AIESEC alumni, entrepreneur, and creative designer residing in Papua New Guinea. She illustrated the significance of cultural awareness and understanding, and stressed that patience and communication are vital in the journey to being true global citizens. Afterward, delegates were brought into breakout rooms to share their experiences and highlights.

Seizing your moment
Now it was time to put the skills and learnings from the first day into practice. Day 2 began with a keynote session by Ehvan Delos Santos, a Filipino student who pursued his Master’s degree abroad. In his session, Global Moment , Ehvan highlighted the experiences and trials that come with moving away from home. Developing skills such as a growth mindset and emotional intelligence was essential to succeeding globally. Towards the end of his session, he reminded the delegates that it would truly take turning theory into reality to succeed.

With that message, the delegates were given the opportunity to meet people from different cultures and nationalities firsthand through the final event, the Kaleidoscope of Cultures . Representatives from nine (9) countries – United Kingdom, Ghana, Canada, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Oman, Costa Rica, and Argentina – were all present to share their experiences and equip themselves with a global mindset, ready to tackle the increasingly interconnected issues the world is facing today.

“Akwaaba!” “你好!” “Hola!” The delegates would be encouraged to talk to representatives from all over the world, learning their country’s history, food, culture, and language. Here, they utilized the skills built up throughout Globify in order to make a culturally sensitive, open-minded, and learning environment even with the digital set-up.

Challenging your world
The pandemic has made it difficult for one to firsthand expose themselves to the realities of the world. Distance learning and isolation make it increasingly easy to get lost in one’s own echo chambers, thus highlighting the importance of events like Globify.

AIESEC in AdMU strives to encourage youth leaders to unlock their full potential and empower those around them. Globify: A Cross-Cultural Conference is a testament to their mission in bridging communities from countries all over the world and a continuation in their promotion of cross-cultural understanding.

To receive updates about such initiatives, learn more about global leadership and stay updated on projects by AIESEC in AdMU, please send an email to [email protected].