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Southeast Asian Youth Say Yes We Can

About 4,000 youth aged 18-35 from Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Singapore, Laos, Vietnam, and Brunei participated in Youth Engagement Summit 2009 (YES2009). It was organized by Sledgehammer partnered by YouthAsia and SouthEast Asia Youth For Change (SEACHANGE).

YES2009 was held in Putrajaya International Convention Center (PICC) in Malaysia last November 16-17, 2009. The two-day summit was inspired by President of United States Barack Obama during his “Yes We Can” campaign for social change.

Over 610,000 youths all over Southeast Asia signed for support via internet through its website have said “YES” to change.

Global icons and changemakers like Sir Bob Geldof (Founder of Live8 and Live Aid), Biz Stone (Co-founder of Twitter), Randi Zuckerberg (Director of Market Development at Facebook), Nando Parrado (Ultimate Survivor and Inspirational Speaker), Dr. Mamphela Ramphele (Former Managing Director of World Bank), Datuk Tony Fernandes (Founder of AirAsia), David Magliano (Director of Marketing for London Olympic 2012), Garry Kasparov (Russian Living Legend of Chess), Lorraine Hahn (Former Presenter for CNN and CNBC), Long Yongtu (Former Vice Minister of Trade in China), Yashwant Sinha (Finance Minister of India from 1998-2002), Narain Karthikeyan (Indian F1 Driver Champion), and Donald Trump (founder of Trump Organization) were the speakers of the Youth Summit. They shared their experiences, success in life, ups and downs, and their insights.

Biz Stone

Donald Trump

Lorraine Hahn

Here are some quotable quotes from the speakers:

“Tiny bits of information can create a profound impact.“, said Biz Stone.

Sir Bob Geldof, said that everyone has the exact same potential if they’re given the exact same opportunity.

“It is important to drive a plan. The key to success is to be objective about your strengths and weaknesses.”, added Garry Kasparov.

For Donald Trump, host of TV show “The Apprentice”, Success sounds a simple word but it is so COMPLEX.” He also added that a quitter will never be successful.

“Grab every opportunity, if you fail you can try again. You can’t be a great leader if you don’t go to the ground.“, said Datuk Tony Fernandes.

Lorraine Hahn who facilitated the forum, said that “It’s the youth who build the future, not the future build the youth.”

Narain Karthikeyan, F1 Racer Champion, encouraged youth to never give up. “When there’s a will there’s a way. If you start something finish it.“, he added.

Many people want change. All of us want change. Change must begin within ourselves before we can change our community and our nation. Remember that the power of change is in our hands. Anything is possible if we put our mind and heart on it. As one of our great patriot declared “The youth is the hope of the nation”, I believe that lies in the shoulder of the youth are great responsibilities in building a better nation.

Youth Engagement Summit 2010 (YES2010) will be held in Indonesia.