The 2012 Asia 21 Fellows’ Public Service Trip to Bhutan

As part of their commitment to public service—the hallmark of the Asia 21 Initiative—last week, a group of Asia 21 Young Leaders (representing the classes of 2009, 2011, and 2012) spent a week in Bhutan, carrying out public service activities relating to their areas of expertise.

The primary purpose of the trip was to introduce the infant warmer/incubator by Embrace Global—winner of the 2012 Asia Society-Bank of America Merrill Lynch Asia 21 Young Leaders Public Service Award —to the Health Secretary and medical practitioners in the country, in an effort to stem infant mortality due to hypothermia. The hospital was presented with a set of baby warmers for testing and feedback. Further follow-up is in the works.

The young leaders also conducted a series of 3-day workshops on leadership for managers of Bhutanese civil society organizations, including the Tarayana Foundation, Loden Foundation, Draktsho Foundation, Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy and the Gross National Happiness Centre. NASA Engineer Adam Gilmore was in high demand and conducted presentations on space travel to hundreds of very enthusiastic students in the capital city of Thimpu. The Asia 21 young leaders also had opportunities to meet with the Secretary of Economic Affairs, the Gross National Happiness Commission, the World Bank, as well as entrepreneurs and investors across various sectors in Bhutan.

All-in-all, the young leaders conducted the trip in the truest spirit of the Asia 21 Initiative and they succeeded in sharing what they already know, learning a whole lot more about Bhutan, and exploring ways to create synergies between Asia 21 and Bhutanese youths in addressing shared challenges.

Check out photos from the trip here:



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