Two Bruneians are set to represent the sultanate in the inaugural cohort of the Obama Foundation Leaders: Asia-Pacific programme in Kuala Lumpur from December 10 to 14.
Aimi Ramlee and Angie Ang will be among 200 emerging civic leaders from 33 nations and territories in the region taking part in a series of skill-building workshops, leadership development training and networking sessions.
Aimi is the founder and creative partner of Tyne Solutions, a creative agency established to enable businesses of all sizes to give flexibility to workers.
In an interview with The Bruneian, the entrepreneur hopes to build strong connections with the new network of change-makers from further afield.
“The opportunity to not only meet emerging leaders from Southeast Asia but also Hawaii and other pacific nations is exciting,” she said, adding that the range of industries represented also offers the opportunity for interesting collaborations.
Passionate about causes related to technology and its uses in communities, she believes that creating tools, in addition to integrating technology, is key to improving economic opportunities for women and people living in remote societies.
“I’m very humbled to have been chosen to represent Brunei and hope to show what (the country) has to offer.”
Meanwhile, Ang, a legal executive for Eversheds HP, aims to bring awareness of Brunei within the Asia-Pacific region at grassroots level regarding topics she’s passionate on including startups, entrepreneurship, innovations and the creative arts.
“These (topics) are rarely discussed or highlighted. We hear a lot from our neighbouring countries and we are always inspired, re-sharing stories and articles on our social media – but only a few stand out to put Brunei on the map.”
“Previously, we lacked the platform but over the past three years we have been working hard to build this ecosystem and we are active in Brunei, yet not quite enough.”
She hopes to learn from other leaders of their struggles and intends on forming connections whilst building bridges that would benefit the next generation of Bruneians.
“It would be a chance for our locals to have the opportunity to diversify and gain new experience,” she said.
Humbled and honoured to be selected for the programme, Ang said she is grateful for the opportunity to represent the country.
“I believe we all have room to grow and I am looking forward to unlearn and relearn and have a paradigm shift.”
The participants consist of leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors working on a variety of issues, ranging from education, environment to entrepreneurship.
The Bruneian representatives along with other selected leaders will be joined by prominent speakers and thought leaders covering topics of progress and opportunity in the Asia-Pacific region, value-based leadership and the intersection of purpose and entrepreneurship.
In addition to Barack and Michelle Obama, other speakers expected to attend include Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development YB Hannah Yeoh; Malaysian entrepreneur and co-founder of AirAsia Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes; Director of External Affairs at the Green Climate Fund Dr Oyun Sanjaasuren; Co-founder of Allbirds Tim Brown and Taiwanese entrepreneur and founder of Miniwiz Arthur Huang.
“Participants will have a chance to apply their skills and knowledge to various real-world scenarios while using creative, value-driven approaches to problem-solving,” read a press statement.
Leaders will additionally be participating in a community service project to underscore the important relationship between service and leadership.
The gathering serves as a kick-off event for a year-long leadership programme designed to further inspire, empower and connect the emerging leaders to change the world.
Each participant’s journey will continue after the event concludes through webinars and a virtual speaker series as well as support, amplification and other opportunities from the Foundation.
The Asia-Pacific programme emanated from the Obama Foundation’s inaugural international Leaders programme launched in Africa in 2018.
Signifying the foundation’s commitment to the region, the programme believes that the emerging leaders through the extraordinary work they do in their own communities, have the potential to positively affect change across the globe.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN