Two-week New Generation Seminar for rising young leaders from the U.S. and Asia Pacific will focus on middle class issues
HONOLULU (Oct. 25, 2012) -- Eleven young leaders from nine countries have arrived at the East-West Center to begin this year’s New Generation Seminar. The group will travel together to four different U.S. cities to meet with experts on the seminar theme: “The Making of the Middle Class: Successes of the Past, Challenges for the Future.”
After gathering at the EWC in Honolulu for briefings and discussions, the group will travel to Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC for field study. The program is supported by funding from the Freeman Foundation.
Participants in this year’s New Generation Seminar include:
- Batzandan Jalbasuren Amabagai, Member, the State Great Hural (Parliament) of Mongolia
- John Christopher Hipkins, Member of Parliament for Rimutaka, New Zealand
- Lap Chi (Eric) Lam, Central Standing Committee Member, Democratic Party, and Elected Member, Kwai Tsing District Council, Hong Kong
- Michael Lazo, Division Chief and Presidential Staff Officer VI, Office of the President of the Philippines
- Soe Nandar Linn, Research Associate, Myanmar Development Resource Institute, Burma
- Husein Elnino Mohamad Mohi, Member of Parliament representing the Province of Gorontalo, Indonesia
- Jessica Monroe, Director, State Government Affairs, Johnson & Johnson, Louisiana
- William Quirk III, Director of Communications and Education, University Council, American Federation of Teachers, California
- Miguel Queah, Founder and Chairperson, Universal Team for Social Action and Help, Assam, India
- Kiesha Haughton Smoots, Director, Central Region Small Business Development Center, Maryland
- Tadashi Uezato, Secretary-General, Democratic Party of Japan, Okinawa Chapter
About the New Generation Seminar:
Each year the East-West Center invites rising young leaders from the United States and Asia Pacific to participate in this intensive two-week educational, dialogue and study travel program. Now in its 25th year, the program is developed around a thematic focus and provides participants with an opportunity to strengthen their understanding of Asia Pacific-U.S. developments and challenges, build a regional network and to become leaders with a more international perspective. In discussions with East-West Center researchers, other experts and one another, participants are introduced to key regional policy issues such as international relations, security, economics, population, health and environment. The second week involves field travel to either the United States or Asia Pacific for exploration of the program theme.
About the 2012 NGS theme: “The Making of the Middle Class: Successes of the Past, Challenges for the Future.”
The promise of the rise of Asia for the global economy is the expansion of a middle class that can fuel consumption and stable growth, offsetting the decreased spending in Western countries. Yet even as growth remains strong, there are concerns that support for middle class development remains a poorly understood and implemented area of public policy.
The American middle class has long been a mainstay of the nation’s economy, and its consumption has been a driver of global trade. A hallmark of America’s success story, it has now become a focus of a national debate that in many respects is echoed in other parts of the world, including Asia. Discussions of the U.S. national experience provide useful lessons for developing nations, as well as for developed economies, which are trying to maintain middle class jobs and lifestyles in the new global economy.
Through meetings and visits in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Washington, DC, the 2012 NGS will provide participants with an opportunity to explore how the American middle class was created and what challenges America is facing today in maintaining a robust middle class. Participants will discuss and experience differing perspectives on the roles of government, industry, unions and education so that they can think critically about effective policymaking to foster a strong middle class and promote sustainable economic growth and social and political stability.