The Global Citizenship Programme 2012
A group of 30 Chinese undergraduate student leaders studying in Hong Kong , selected on the basis of academic achievement and leadership qualities, visited New York on June 17-24, 2012, to meet with experts on the theme of Understanding Conflicts in a Global Perspective.
The Global Citizenship Programme sends university students abroad to acquire an international perspective and to equip them with the knowledge and skills to become a committed citizen of the globe. It is a flagship program of Hong Kong’s Dragon Foundation, a non-profit, charitable organization with a long-term commitment to nurturing young people of Chinese ethnicity worldwide as tomorrow’s leaders. The program is organized by The Dragon Foundation and coordinated by the Institute of International Education through its Hong Kong office and Global Scholarships Program group in New York. It is funded by the Victor and William Fung Foundation Ltd.
The delegation came to New York to take part in interactive presentations, site visits, and a group project, designed to develop leadership skills with a specific emphasis on creativity, innovation and community leadership. Students gained an enriched understanding of the direct and underlying sources of conflict; the impact of the conflict; and ways and ideas in which individuals, groups and nations address and attempt to resolve these conflicts. Students also examined the unique role of young people in many of these issues.
In New York, the group took part in an opening Forum at IIE, with a keynote address by Andrea Bartoli, Ph.D., Dean of The School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. During the course of the week, the group visited and met with experts from organizations such as the Peacebuilding Support Office of the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Asia Society, Human Rights Watch, the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, New York University, the EastWest Institute, IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund, and the International Peace Institute. They also met with the Education Consul from the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China and the leadership of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, and took part in cultural activities and learning tours.
The 2012 program is focused on case studies of significant local, regional and/or global issues that have resulted in conflicts. These include looking at contemporary issues such as the continuing Arab spring; the Occupy Wall Street campaign resulting from the 2009 financial crisis; the divisive 2012 U.S. Presidential election; the debate over the European Union’s unilateral decision to impose a “green” carbon tax scheme; human rights and intellectual property rights when production is outsourced to developing nations; and other topics.
- To understand the contributing factors of various contemporary conflicts around the world
- To study these current conflicts from various perspectives, including their impact on financial markets and social stability worldwide
- To explore how international NGOs, local organizations, government and citizens address and attempt to resolve these conflicts
- To discuss the unique role of young people in many of the contemporary protests and conflicts
- To conduct site visits to international NGOs and other organizations/institutions of relevance to the programme theme
- To apply new knowledge through a team research project
Delegation members were nominated by their universities in Hong Kong as outstanding students, and then ultimately chosen by a selection panel based upon their exceptional academic performance and achievements, in addition to having a record of leadership on campus of in their community, as demonstrated by extra-curricular activities and community service.
The Dragon Foundation
The Dragon Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization with a long-term commitment to nurturing young people of Chinese ethnicity worldwide as tomorrow’s leaders. The Dragon Foundation’s programs enable young Chinese leaders from around the world to meet, explore topical global issues and exchange ideas, thereby building a network to prepare them for future contribution to society.
Flagship programmes of the Foundation include the “Global Citizenship Programme,” which sends university students abroad to acquire an international perspective and to equip them with the knowledge and skills of becoming a committed citizen of the globe; the “Dragon 100 Young Chinese Leaders Forum,” which annually invites 100 young Chinese leaders from around the world to get together to exchange ideas and to build network; and a “Lecture Series for Youth Leaders,” where prominent figures of international repute are invited to share their experience and expertise with young leaders in Hong Kong. The Dragon Foundation also organizes visits and exchanges in order to establish a solid network among youth leaders, thus creating synergy that can lead to social improvement. An alumni network of past programme participants is formed to gather young Chinese leaders from around the world to discuss and plan for further contribution to societies. Training and workshops are held for young Chinese people to stimulate them as future leaders.