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A network of young, aspiring future changemakers.
The Asian Undergraduate Summit (AUS) is a student-led, student-run international conference by the National University of Singapore (NUS) University Scholars Programme (USP). The Summit aims to bring together undergraduates of diverse disciplines from Asia, and provide them with the opportunity to engage in meaningful academic, cultural and social exchange.

The overarching theme of “Leadership in a Complex World” forms the macro-vision of the summit in promoting progressive leadership development for the youths of today, trailblazers of tomorrow, and thrive in what business experts call the “Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) World”.

Through this Summit, participants can look forward to a rich cross-cultural exchange as they meet and share insights with participants from top universities all around Asia. The participation of their respective overseas leg during the summit also provide participants the opportunity to learn in a distinct cultural setting, and to appreciate how these differences shape experiences.

The Asian-centric focus of the summit also aims to form robust partnership between regional future change-makers, encouraging deeper collaborations to initiate actions in tackling issues faced by the region and even the world.

Through panel discussions with experts from both the public and private sector, participants are provided new insights on emerging social phenomenon, as well as gaining the requisite knowledge that assist them in engaging more critically with these issues.

Staying true to the empowering leaders of tomorrow, AUS 2017 also aims to provide participants with more tools to face future challenges. As such, the Design Thinking Methodology is imparted to all participants, enabling them more options to better conceptualize and articulate ideas, as they sought to empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test solutions for their target problem.

AUS 2017 is also proudly supported by Temasek Foundation Connects. Temasek Foundation Connects is a Singapore-based non-profit philanthropic organisation that funds and supports programmes, which seek to build bridges and partnerships, and promote dialogue and mutual understanding across international communities and markets. Together with Temasek Foundation Connects, AUS 2017 aims to foster great collaboration and cooperation within the Asian region, and to build a brighter future for one and all.

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Leadership in a Complex World: Disruptive Change in Everyday Life

Not long ago, food delivery options were limited to fast food from chain establishments such as Macdonald’s and Pizza Hut. In less than five years, disruptive change has transformed the entire food delivery industry and, by extension, our eating habits. Services like UberEats and Foodpanda now connect customers to numerous food establishments, from top restaurants to local hawker stalls, on one integrated online platform.

This transformation has also significantly impacted work in the food delivery industry. With Ubereats, anyone with a car or a motorbike can deliver food to consumers. We see employment opportunities becoming increasingly flexible and open to the layman. In the taxi industry, we see Uber and Grab providing commitment-free employment to drivers, who work on an ad-hoc and contract-less basis.

From the perspective of consumers, the popularisation of taxi-booking applications complements the traditional, flag-a-cab system, significantly altering our consumption patterns. With the introduction of platforms like Carousell and Lazada, online shopping is no longer exclusively limited to large online merchants. Buying and selling online is now an irreplaceable part of our lives.

These are commonplace examples of how our everyday life – the way we eat, consume, work, learn, play and communicate has significantly transformed in the past decade. Today, disruptive change is so prevalent in Asia, the rising centre stage in the global arena, with many Asian countries involved in key transnational socio-economic and political change. But more often than not, millennials are perceived to be passive receivers of change in everyday life, failing to realise the broader implications of disruptive change.

AUS 2017 aims to provide a platform for undergraduates to explore how different aspects of everyday life have been disrupted and situate them in light of broader interrelated trends. The Summit will enable participants to critically assess the implications of disruptive change on specific stakeholders and communities in society.

The incorporation of a Skills Track will equip participants with essential tools to facilitate ideation, guiding them to conceptualise user-centric prototypes of their solutions as deliverables of the summit.