Track II – NextGen

How prominently does Asia feature in your outlook in life and career? How important do you believe Asia is going to be in New Zealand's future? The Asia New Zealand Foundation offers many opportunities for tertiary students and young professionals to kick start their future in foreign, trade and security policy through NextGen activity.
A NextGen delegate speaking at a roundtable discussion

The Foundation's NextGen programme provides a foot in the door for younger people to get involved in Track II diplomacy

We’re keen to help grow a fresh, diverse and more representative generation of role players for regional Track II diplomacy and dialogue – by guiding, mentoring and coaching our emerging scholars and younger delegates to get the best out of what Track II can offer, both for their future career pathway and personal development.

In addition to participating in Track II dialogues and roundtables both on and offshore, we also offer postgraduate research grants, opportunities to attend/present at conferences, a range of workshops, and networking events to help grow and mentor the next generation of policy makers, scholars, and think tankers.

What is Track II diplomacy?

Track II is often referred to as unofficial diplomacy – facilitating international relations outside of official government-to-government channels. 

Track II is used to broaden and strengthen our foreign relations through dialogue on politics, security, defence, trade, and law – an opportunity to exchange ideas and share perceptions in a free and frank environment, and to gain more nuance and context beyond the standard media release.

By bringing together a diverse level of participation (including experts, academics, commentators, and former officials) the Foundation works with our think tank partners across Asia to help inform New Zealand’s broader understanding of the important issues at hand, and deepen our bilateral and regional relationships.

The trip gave me a better understanding of the Chinese “gradualism” when it comes to areas like trade. …Having an appreciation for that approach, and understanding its shortcomings, is going to be invaluable as I try to square China’s policy moves with the New Zealand context – and that’s an appreciation I would never have gotten sitting in front of my keyboard in Wellington.

Leadership Network member Sam Sachdeva visited China as part of a Track II delegation with the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

 Find out more


Who can apply?

If you are a postgraduate student or young professional specialising in Asian, international relations, politics, security/defence studies, international trade/law we want to hear from you. We also want to hear from undergraduates who are keen to deepen their understanding as they progress onto further studies. If you are a lecturer or academic wishing to nominate a student, please get in touch.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation is a taxpayer funded organisation and as such limits Track II and NextGen opportunities to New Zealand citizens or those with New Zealand permanent residence.

If you are keen to be involved and to contribute to what we have to offer, please send your resume and cover letter to explaining why you want to be a part of the Foundation’s NextGen programme.

How to get involved

Two ways you can get involved with NextGen Track II activities by taking part in:

  • The Otago Foreign Policy School
  • Attend Foundation events at your campus (contact the Foundation's senior adviser research Dr James To for further information)

In the first instance, or for any particular opportunity, please send your resume and a cover letter explaining your interest in the Foundation’s NextGen programme to James To

Frequently asked questions

Our NextGen programme seeks to build a deeper understanding and engagement in a dynamic and shifting Asia-Pacific region – especially when it comes to political, security, defence, trade, economic and legal issues. Our NextGen programme offers participants nuanced insights and colourful perspectives of what is driving international relations and foreign/trade policy across Asia. 

Who are NextGen?

If you are a postgraduate student (honours, masters or doctoral), or in your last year of undergraduate study, or a young professional early in your career who is interested in Asia in the context of foreign, security, defence and trade policy – we’d like to hear from you.

Our NextGen programme is aimed at up and coming academics, policy makers/analysts, journalists, and lawyers who see Asia as part of their future pathway.

We also welcome nominations from teachers, lecturers or academics as well. Please get in touch with us if you think your students may benefit from our offerings.

 Who is NextGen activity for?

We want to engage with more young people and introduce to this new generation the benefits of Track II diplomacy, and what and where it can lead to. We’re on the lookout for more diversity and representation in our Track II work – bringing together New Zealand’s leading and best-informed commentators, academics, and former practitioners with an interest in Asia, and are thinking about what that all means for New Zealand’s national interests.

What can I expect to get out of NextGen activity?

NextGen activity comprises of interactive roundtable dialogues and workshops that help build knowledge and confidence by engaging with New Zealand’s most informed experts on Asian issues. You will also have the opportunity to meet and exchange views with regional experts from our Asian think tank partners and network with a broader constituency – both in New Zealand and abroad. We work closely with our diplomatic posts to put together programmes that go beyond roundtable discussions, such as site visits and networking events.

 Am I eligible for participating in the Foundation’s NextGen activity?

The Asia New Zealand Foundation is a taxpayer funded organisation, and as such limits NextGen opportunities to New Zealand citizens or those with New Zealand permanent residence.

How do I express my interest to apply for NextGen opportunities?

In the first instance, or for any particular opportunity, please send your resume and a cover letter explaining your interest in the Foundation’s NextGen programme to James To .