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Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation students at Young Leaders Summit

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Publié le lundi 16 novembre 2015

Students from the Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation earlier this month joined the prestigious ASEF Young Leaders Summit to discuss and exchange ideas on economic and societal challenges in Europe and Asia.

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) Young Leaders Summit was hosted from 1 to 5 November in conjunction with the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which annually brings together foreign ministers from more than 50 countries in both regions. Luxembourg this year welcomed both events as part of its EU presidency programme.

All currently in the first year of their Master programme, Antony Martini, Santhosh Kannadasan, Anastasia Exi and Sofia Oikonomou were selected to take part in the summit, which focused on entrepreneurship and youth employment.

The four students from the Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation joined young representatives from all ASEM member states to hear from senior politicians and business leaders, with the summit organised in a series of talks and lectures, but also small meet and greets, and topical workshops. One of the workshops, dedicated to entrepreneurship, was led by MEI Course Director Prof. Denise Fletcher. Associate Prof. Mickaël Geraudel also represented the Faculty at the summit.

‘Everyone brought something to the table’

MEI students with international ASEF participants

“I’ve never experienced anything like it,” explained Antony. “We met such a diverse group of incredible people who want to make a difference.” With the summit addressing real-life challenges such as youth unemployment, education and social entrepreneurship, among others, “we came together to discuss something that is very important and everyone brought something to the table,” according to Sofia.

Ideas from the young leaders at the end of the summit were presented to the international leaders attending the ASEM, with the chance to make a difference and contribute to the solution of issues that countries across Asia and Europe face. “I realised that it is in our hand to build relationships between our countries and other countries, and through cooperation achieve a better result,” said Anastasia.

And the links forged between the students and young people attending the summit will hopefully last. Thanks to social media, the group is already connected to online, Santhosh explained.

A new perspective

ASEF Young Leaders group picture

Through tackling the big issues at the summit, the Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation students also took away good advice and motivation for the future. Not only did they learn about doing business in countries from other parts of the world, but also met passionate and inspiring peers. “We got to see different perspectives,” Sofia, a former high school teacher, summarised, saying that the summit for her emphasised the role of education and teaching entrepreneurship to help others achieve their dreams.

“We met bold and courageous people, younger than us, who were setting new standards and implementing new ideas in their countries,” concluded Antony. “I think we should be more bold and courageous too, not second-guess our ideas, but go for it.”

Photos: Courtesy of Antony Martini