Young Leaders Forum: Promoting Engagement on Heritage and Memory


The Foundation is offering up to five places for Leadership Network members to attend an online multi-organisational, multi-country event – Young Leaders Forum: Promoting Engagement on Heritage and Memory.

The forum will be hosted by Kyushu University Border Studies in collaboration with National University of Taiwan, Victoria University of Wellington, and the Asia New Zealand Foundation and will be held on Thursday 5 November 2020. The Foundation's involvement in the forum is through our Track II NextGen programme.

Forty emerging scholars from across the region with research interests in North Asia – particularly Japan, Korea and Taiwan – will meet online to discuss how heritage can incorporate and promote diverse histories and memories, and how these can contribute to countering unitary and exclusionist narratives.

This is an exciting opportunity for Leadership Network members to openly debate specific challenges about political contestation over sites of heritage and memory – and how it relates to our experience in New Zealand and across Asia. The Forum will serve as a platform for participants to share their own research, experiences and stories.

The Forum will take place over the afternoon of Thursday 5 November and will help prepare participants for making the most of a full academic conference "Contesting Memorial Spaces in the Asia-Pacific" on 6-7 November, which aims to bring together inter-disciplinary work on territorial disputes and the politics of heritage.

What is the purpose of the Young Leader’s Forum?

The forum is designed to:

  • enable sharing of perspectives on identity, history and social phenomena (such as Black Lives Matter, challenging and critiquing colonial history and experiences)
  • engage in a workshop/roundtable discussion to allow participants to debate and consider different approaches to addressing historical narrative in an academic, community and leadership context in New Zealand and across Asia
  • address how effective communication, sharing of experiences and leadership can lead impactful social change.

Selection criteria for the forum

Up to five places are available for network members to beam in from anywhere in the world.

As places are limited, a selection process will take place. Preference will be given to network members who:

  • can demonstrate a genuine interest in learning about the themes of the forum and sharing their research and stories with a field of international scholars
  • can demonstrate an interest in having challenging discussions about colonial history, the role of Te Ao Maori/bi-culturalism/multi-culturalism in New Zealand, leadership for social change in New Zealand and implications, connections and learnings with Asia
  • are keen to unpack and question their own understandings of these themes, as well as their own stories
  • are connected/engaged with the Leadership Network and the Foundation
  • have demonstrated leadership in their workplace, community, and/or in achieving the network’s vision.

Successful applicants will also need to secure the necessary time off with their employer.

There will be no cost to the participant. Successful candidates will be supplied a password to access the forum and conference. Participants will need to do some light preparation ahead of the event (James To from our Research and Engagement team will provide some guidance on this).

How to apply

Please submit a paragraph to express your interest, outlining the following:

1) Why you want to share your research and experiences and learn from others.

2) Your interest in the themes of the forum.

3) What you want to learn from attending the forum.

4) Your leadership story.

Applications should be emailed to James To at [email protected] by 5pm Sunday 20 September 2020.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome within two weeks. Please note that participants will be expected to attend all of the forum and will be encouraged to attend the conference that follows.

If you have any questions about the forum, please do not hesitate to contact James.