American Corner Manila Hosts "Empower The Leader Within" Panel Series

As part of its Emerging Voices Program (EVP), the American Corner Manila hosted a three-part panel series titled Empower The Leader Within in partnership with The Organization for American Studies and the American Spaces Philippines last April 16, 23, and 30, 2021. The series encompasses contemporary issues surrounding the themes of environment/climate change, good governance, and regional cooperation. The learning sessions aim for participants to (1) understand what it takes to become a global leader and citizen; (2) boost their leadership skills and potential for personal and community development; and (3) collaborate and expand their networks through virtual immersion with their peers and experts from various fields. All in all, the program virtually reached over 800+ student leaders and professionals nationwide.

There’s No Planet B!

The first part of the series aims to increase the participants’ climate awareness. The invited discussants were Engr. Maricris Elemos, Director of the De La Salle University (DLSU) Campus Sustainability Office, and Mr. Val Amiel Vestil, Executive Director of the Association of Young Environmental Journalists (AYEJ) and a Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Alumnus. The panel discussion tackled the global state of affairs of the environment,  crucial environmental issues, and some practical ways to help improve the current condition of our environment.

Leading the Path Towards Good Governance

The second session intends to expose the participants to the essential concepts and best practices of good governance in today’s world. The discussants for this session were Ms. Georgeline Jaca, Assistant Professorial Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, DLSU, and Mr. Dexter Yang, the founder of GoodGovPH and an academic fellow of YSEALI. The discussion revolved on the significance of good governance, critical governance challenges faced by various countries, and some practical approaches for strengthening good governance on the national and global scale. The discussants were also able to exchange views on the trending topics in the country such as the emergence of community pantries, the 2022 Philippine election, and the Covid-19 government financial cash aid for the poor.

Harnessing the Future of Regional Cooperation

The last part of the series strives to explore and examine the purpose, benefits, factors, and challenges to regional cooperation. The invited discussants were Ms. Jeremie Credo, the Senior Foreign Affairs Research Specialist at the Foreign Service Institute, and Ms. Jona Villasante, the Supervising Legislative Staff Officer II at the House of Representatives and a professional fellow of YSEALI. The conversation focalized on the intricacies of regional cooperation and integration, as well as on some innovative ideas and advice on the youth to contribute to the enhancement and accomplishment of the region.