Harvard Conference Aimed at Uniting Cultures and Young People Held for First Time in Kazakhstan

Friday, September 27, 2019 - 9:08 am

NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan (August 21, 2019)Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan recently hosted a five-day international youth conference to provide a platform for discussing important economic, political and social problems facing Asia.

The Harvard College Project for Asian and International Relations Conference (HPAIR’s Asia Conference) was held at Nazarbayev University, from August 16-20, the first time in history the conference has been held in Central Asia. More than 500 delegates from over 40 countries traveled to Kazakhstan’s capital city Nur-Sultan to participate in the prestigious international event.

The conference included discussions on six different areas: art, media and culture; energy and environmental sustainability; governance and geopolitics; global markets and the economy; social policy and justice; and science and technology. The aim was to create a platform for students and young professionals to discuss the most important problems facing Asia, promote long-term relationships among future leaders and connect them with current leaders in the world.

Among the conference speakers were heads of international companies, well-known influencers, and public figures in various fields, such as the president of UNICEF Korea, former Indian foreign minister, Nobel Peace Prize winners, and journalists, among other experts and specialists from different fields.

Speaker Crystal Lim-Lange, an expert on future-readiness, education pioneer and global public speaker, is the founder of Forest Wolf, a mindset change agency offering bespoke leadership training and consultancy in mindfulness, communication and empathy.

She says, “At HPAIR, it was lovely to see so many passionate students from all around the world, but you could see that they are all struggling with the same problem: too many options. In the past there were fewer options, but now there are so many choices for young people that they are faced with ‘analysis paralysis’: they spend so long thinking about which option is the best, that by the time they have figured it out, things have changed and that option is no longer the best. Students should keep their minds open and constantly try different things, so they don’t miss out on any opportunities.”

The Impact Challenge competition also exposed participants to international companies and organisations by solving problems they provided. These were practical case studies from different fields, including social policy, industry, business and international relations, with students collaborating to find potential solutions at a global level.

Events were also held to celebrate international cultures, music, theatre and dance, and gave visitors the chance to taste traditional dishes and buy national souvenirs presented by conference delegates. These events symbolized the cultural diversity of the world and contributed to the strengthening of cooperation between representatives of different countries.