Dragon 100 Young Chinese Leaders Forum 2011

OSCA Delegates

Photos from Lin Zhou

The Dragon 100 Young Chinese Leaders Forum is an annual event organised by the Dragon Foundation in Hong Kong aimed at training talented young Chinese people as future leaders. Each year 100 delegates, aged between 18 and 35 years from around the world, are selected to attend this forum to tackle global issues. Selection is based on applicants being of Chinese descent and those who have excelled academically or professionally, and are award recipients or exceptionally talented in a non-academic area. 

The Dragon 100 programme was established in 2002 as a platform for sharing views, generating synergy and providing stimulus for those with potential to work together to improve societies to which they belong.

This year I was privileged to be selected to be a delegate at the Dragon 100 and represent New Zealand, along with 7 other delegates from around the country (six from Auckland and one also from Invercargill). The forum was held from 24 July to 1 August, and comprised of three days in Hong Kong and a six-day tour in Taiwan. It was held in conjunction with the Dragon Series of The Hong Kong Federation of Youth groups and was the first time the Dragon Foundation has worked in collaboration with Taiwan. As a result, the 100 delegates of the Dragon 100 Programme travelled to Taiwan along with a group of 400 participants nominated by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and World Vision Hong Kong. 

As Caring about the Poor – Today and Tomorrow was the theme of the forum, several lectures and discussions were held during this time. The first lecture was given by Dr Chi-Kwong Law, a founding member of the Democratic Party in Hong Kong and a lecturer at the University of Hong Kong, themed “An Overview on Poverty.” The major lecture of the forum was at the World Chinese Youth Forum, where speakers, Dr Thomas Chan Sze-Tong, Professors Stephen Cheung Yan-Leung and Wang Yeong-Tsyr, gave presentations on the poverty situation in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, respectively. 

The Dragon 100 delegates also held their own forum to discuss the issue of Global poverty and how this affects our own countries, the methods that our Governments use to manage the situation and how we as future leaders can make a difference. One of the key points highlighted in this forum was the need for education. It is important to provide people with an education, but this is not limited to tertiary qualifications. It is vital that the population is provided with an education which teaches them the skills they need to enable them to produce a sustainable food supply and to fulfil their dreams. Critical thinking skills, a positive attitude toward life and fundamental brief that one day all of us will have a brighter future and a better world are also interlinked. We also discussed many potential solutions to these problems, the responsibility of collective global or corporate social organisations, and whether it is powerful social enterprises or creativity and innovation in our pursuit for a more just society.

The Dragon 100 programme also involved a cultural aspect, which gave delegates an opportunity to experience what Hong Kong and Taiwan to offer. This included city exploration activities; visits to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong Museum of History and the National Palace Museum; exploring Bo-Pi  Liao and Huashan 1914 Creative Park; and interacting with students from the National Taiwan University . A commissioning ceremony was also held at the Hong Kong International Airport for the Dragon 100 delegates, as well as the other 400 young people, prior to our departure to Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

One of the major cultural events of the forum was a visit to Ma-Jia Farm in Pingtung. This was organised in collaboration with World Vision Taiwan, with the aim of increasing awareness of the devastating Typhoon Morakot in 2009 and how it affected the aboriginal people living in the area. The event was also an opportunity for delegates to help the local people with manual labour and to enable them to interact with the villagers and experience their culture and tradition, while exchanging our own at the same time. 

The highlight of the forum was the Dragon 100 delegates’ participation in the World Vision 30-hour famine event. Delegates participated in the final 9 hours of the event, which included a mega dragon dance performance with a 200-metre long dragon. The event also included several song and dance performances by various Taiwanese celebrities, much to the pleasure of the crowd. 

Overall, the Dragon 100 Young Chinese Leaders Forum was a great success. It was a rare opportunity to meet new people from all around the world and share our ideas and experiences with one another, while having a fantastic time. It would be correct to state that the Dragon Foundation achieved its goal of providing a platform for meeting, sharing and discussion with participants.

Finally, I would like to thank the NZCA Otago-Southland Chinese Association (OSCA) for their support, especially the Invercargill sub-branch for nominating me to represent New Zealand and with assisting me with my application.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for your support.  We had a memorable time in Hong Kong and Taiwan.  It was our honor to have had the opportunity to represent NZ, Otago and Invercargill by attending the Dragon 100 Overseas Young Chinese Leadership Forum.

The Dragon 100 program was established in 2002 as a platform for young Chinese leaders to share their views. This trip comprised of three days activities in Hong Kong and a six-day study tour in Taiwan. There was a group of 400 participants from the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and Word Vision Hong Kong who joined our Taiwan study tour. It was a great opportunity to meeting so many Young Chinese Leaders.  

I would also like to say “thank you” to the Invercargill committee. A special thanks to Margaret and Colin Young for their assistance with our applications.
Our NZ crew presented a gift and a traditional Maori greeting to the organisers in Hong Kong.

We came from all over the world.  Some of us came from Harvard University, Yale University and other top universities. But everyone is very friendly and modest.

Six of us were selected from the 100 dragons to be on the panel discussion. I was very lucky to be selected to share my view on the global poverty issue.

We went to visit the Ma-Jia Farm in Taiwan and took part in the community service.

Group photo in Taiwan