De La Salle University’s –De La Salle Project of Asian and International Relations (DLSPAIR) in partnership with Banco De Oro Unibank, will kick off the 2015 Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR) – Asia conference this coming August 20 at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel, Manila after a 21-year absence!
Since 1991, the HPAIR has been hosting one of Asia and the world’s largest and most prestigious student conferences, having an annual delegation of 700. Every year, HPAIR hosts two academic conferences, one in Harvard itself which is held every February convening around 200 delegates and one in Asia which is held every August with 500 delegates coming in from across the world. The Asia Conference has also been recently hosted in some of Asia’s leading universities and cities such as the 2012 conference in Taiwan, hosted by the National Chengchi University, 2013 in Dubai hosted by the American University in Dubai and the 2014 conference in Tokyo hosted by Keio University.
In 1994, the conference was also hosted in the Philippines with the theme “Economic Cooperation for the Pacific Century” discussing about the relevance of increasing economic trade between the tiger economies in the Asian region (which is now happening due to the ASEAN Economic Integration). As a fun fact revealed to us by the organizers, the 1994 HPAIR Conference was also held in the same venue they have unknowingly reserved—The Makati Shangri-la. This information was passed on to the organizers after they have reserved the venue by no other than Mr. Vincent Tobias, who is currently the lead for Innovation at the Ayala Corporation and was the previous Host Country Organizing Committee Executive Director of the 1994 conference. Today he will join the conference as a speaker for one of the conference’s sponsors—the Ayala Corporation.
During the 5-day conference from August 20-24, 2015, the students are exposed to various issues, its over-all conference theme is “Confronting Asia’s Development Challenges through Innovation” advocating for the need of innovative ideas and practices in both government and business, especially in mending the wide economic gap between the rich and the poor experienced across developing nations. The conference is divided into seven panels: Corporate Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Finance and the World Economy, Security & Diplomacy, Health and Social Policy, Energy and Sustainability & Human Rights.
De La Salle University – Manila was chosen to be the partner university through a competitive bidding process. “We wanted to redefine HPAIR’s standards and bring the conference closer to the issues and problems discussed throughout the conference, such as those issues being experienced in the Philippines” said Jonathan Beltran, Executive Director, Host Country Organizing Committee of HPAIR (DLSPAIR). The team immediately began working after last year’s HPAIR-Asia conference in Tokyo with great support from the President of BDO Unibank Inc., Mr. Nestor V. Tan and the Chairman and CEO of the Ayala Corporation Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.
The Host Country Organizing Committee Executive Director of this year’s conference, Mr. Jonathan Beltran said, “We also reinvented the conference experience through increased participation of sponsors and companies throughout the Philippines”
For the first time ever, HPAIR will have company sponsored case studies, and company hosted dinners- On the 21st the “Globe Dinner” at the Globe headquarters in BGC, on the 23rd there will be an event entitled “Manila Night” hosted by RFM and Go Negosyo which will be held at The Manila Polo Club and both will feature speakers such as Globe’s top management team including its CEO Mr. Ernest Cu, Senator Bam Aquino and Mr. Joey Concepcion of RFM and Go Negosyo respectively.
For the first time in HPAIR’s history, the conference will include an International Night, Manila Night, Entertainment Night, field trips per panel, Mixers for delegates and speakers to mingle and so much more.
The HPAIR Asia Conference 2015 is hosted by De La Salle University in partnership with Banco De Oro Unibank. The organizers would also like to thank its Platinum Sponsors, The Ayala Corporation, Go Negosyo and RFM; its Executive Sponsor Globe, its De Luxe Sponsor Security Bank; Bronze Sponsors the PHINMA Foundation and Unilab; its Official Airline Carrier Philippine Airlines; Academic Partners, DLSU College of Liberal Arts, AIM 2015 ASEAN Project and Google Philippines, its Media Sponsors WhenInManila.com, Rappler.com, Monster Radio RX 93.1, RX Magic 89.9, Animo Magazine, ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) and lastly, French Baker, Jollibee, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Kettle Korn.