Hong Kong Young Leaders Programme

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The Hong Kong Young Leaders Programme is an internationally-recognised executive education programme. Facilitated by the Global Institute for Tomorrow (GIFT), the YLP adapts the Global Leaders Programme for a Hong Kong context, combining intellectual rigor, a beyond-classroom methodology and an output-driven approach to leadership development. 

Providing a Professional Platform for New Ideas and Leadership Development

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Hong Kong, one of the world's most dynamic cities, is in a state of transition. The Hong Kong Young Leaders Programme provides a platform where young professionals from all parts of society can engage in constructive dialogue, equip themselves to be effective leaders and collaborate across sectors and industries.

(Photo from Wikimedia Commons, from users Base64 and CarolSpears)

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Hong Kong, as a city tightly integrated with China, Asia, and the wider world, faces many challenges. But these challenges present an opportunity for bold new ideas about the city's future.

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From affordable housing to youth employment; urban agriculture to rural revitalisation; elderly care to early childhood development, there is vast potential for businesses that create both social and financial value.


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The Hong Kong Young Leaders Programme has been designed as a platform to inspire a new generation of Hong Kong leaders and set a new precedent for how they build new ideas and concepts.

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Through the YLP, participants develop the ambition, curiosity, and sense of purpose required to excel in their organisations, and are inspired to demonstrate the importance of empathy in leadership.

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The HKYLP encourages a well-rounded understanding of major world trends and how they impact Hong Kong, and builds a greater appreciation for communication and cooperation across sectors, industries and socio-economic backgrounds.


GIFT Learning Methodology

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Leading companies and organisations have benefited from GIFT’s approach to leadership development. 

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Leo Chan, Electrical and Mechanical Services Department of the HKSAR Government

“From the business sector to civil society, these diverse backgrounds...enable different ideas to blossom, dialogue to occur, and ultimately, cooperation and collaboration to take place”

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Margaret Fung, MTR Corporation

“The experience was unlike traditional executive training and I can definitely leverage what I have learned in my career development.”

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Yiksing Yeung, China Light and Power

"The programme has been an incredible journey of self-discovery...inspiring us to take on more leading and engaging roles in our daily lives - with our families, workplace and society at large."

Module One—Encouraging Dynamic Thinking

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Module One invites participants to speak openly about how they understand Hong Kong and its future, through candid discussion, debate and role play exercises.


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Module One invites participants to think critically about Hong Kong's place in China, the Asia-Pacific, and the wider world. How will the city's changing relationship with China affect its position as a regional hub and global financial sector? How will Hong Kong compete against other world cities and overcome internal challenges like rising inequality and population pressures?


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GIFT's programmes are facilitated by a diverse, dedicated team, with expertise in business, civil society and project management. 

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Chandran Nair is GIFT’s founder and CEO, and has been based in Hong Kong for over 25 years, advising both business and government.

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Mentors (such as Christoph Ganswindt, Hong Kong Jockey Club, pictured above) help participants as they develop innovative new concepts and ideas for Hong Kong's future.

Prominent Guest Speakers

Here are a few of the many prominent guest speakers that have contributed to GIFT programmes:

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Zoher Abdoolcarim—Asia Editor, TIME International

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Anson Chan—Former Chief Secretary, Hong Kong SAR Government

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Ronnie Chan—Chairman, Hang Lung Group; Co-Chairman, Asia Society

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David Eldon—Former Chairman, HSBC Asia-Pacific; Non-Executive Chairman, HSBC Middle East

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Christine Ip—CEO and Managing Director, United Overseas Bank Hong Kong

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Mark Tucker—Group Chief Executive and President, AIA Group

Module Two—Creating New Business Models

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In Module Two, rigorous field-based learning alongside intensive business planning sessions encourage participants to stretch themselves and truly “think outside the box.” Over one week, participants collaborate to produce a robust business plan based on their analysis of the field project, including a full set of recommendations in business strategy, sales and marketing, governance, finance and social impact.


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Participants meet with government, community and business leaders to gain greater understanding of the social, political and economic landscape in-country. They learn the need to be flexible and pragmatic in their approach to problem-solving. 

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Participants gain direct exposure to issues shaping the future and are encouraged to “connect the dots” from the global level to the local and practical levels. Field-work builds empathy and an appreciation of the impacts their decisions have on others.


Innovative Business Models with Real Social Impact

At the core of each programme's business plan is an original business model which presents participants with a demanding conceptual challenge. 

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The YLP culminates in a public forum, where participants present highlights of their analysis and business proposal to an audience of key project stakeholders often including business leaders, potential investors, community representatives and government officials. 


Vist GIFT's past programmes!

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The inaugural Young Leaders Programme in 2015 was attended by young professionals from some of Hong Kong’s most prominent companies and NGOs, as well as the civil service. Participants applied their leadership skills in an experiential context to produce a business plan to develop 30-50 community-based sports hubs throughout Hong Kong. 


Visit GIFT’s past programmes!

Explore some of GIFT's other programmes in Asia!