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The potential to be the next generation of leaders

Tuesday 23 November 2021 4:52pm

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Bam Temsawat is planning for a career in digital marketing and says the event helped her to see how she could use her desired career.

Every year the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) brings together students from across the country who have potential to be the next generation of leaders for the Voices of the Future (VOTF) conference.

This year four Otago students took part in the conference which included exchanging ideas on chosen themes and interacting with influential leaders. Notable keynote speakers of the event included Helen Clark, Xi Jinping, Jacinda Ardern, Scott Morrison, Dr Alan Bollard and Amal Clooney.

While this year’s event was held online, it was no less motivational according to students who attended.

Marketing student and VOTF attendee Bam Temsawat is planning for a career in digital marketing and says the event helped her to see how she could use her desired career.

“The theme I chose to look at was ‘Digital Future’. We talked about decreasing digital inequality in a world where digital acceleration has skyrocketed due to COVID-19. We discussed ways to address common issues such as young people not reading terms of service on platforms or being aware of their legal rights.

“One of the main takeaways for me was seeing how collaboration is important. Now is the time to be selfless. Like with vaccines, if wealthier countries weren’t donating their vaccines to help developing countries we wouldn’t achieve the outcome we want internationally. Collaboration is hugely important right now for things like equality, health and climate change.”

Politics and Marketing student Darius Mortimer-Webster was another Otago representative at the conference. He says the event provided interesting context for how leaders make important decisions.

“One thing that stuck with me was how each leader had particular nation specific agenda’s or policy specific nuance’s their state needed but also had to work together to achieve cooperative mutual goals. You can pick up cues from other listeners and learn a lot more than you would from a media article. It was interesting to compare each speech to the last.

“It was amazing to be surrounded by all of these rockstars in your field. You feel small but inspired.”

The APEC VTOF is an annual event which will make its return again next year. For more information, visit their website.