The Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations
The Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR) is a non-profit organization under the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences. HPAIR currently holds two annual conferences that bring together international students and eminent individuals in the fields of academia, politics and business - the Harvard Conference and the Asia Conference. Established in 1991 with the goal of enabling distinguished students to participate in an open forum on Asian international issues, HPAIR also promotes long-term relationships among these future leaders and connects them with current leaders in the world.
HPAIR is an organization run entirely by undergraduate students. HPAIR's Asia Conference is Harvard University's largest annual student event in Asia. Since its founding in 1991, HPAIR has held over 20 conferences in locations ranging from Mumbai to Kuala Lumpur, Currently, HPAIR holds two annual conferences: the Harvard Conference and the Asia Conference.
The Harvard Conference was first held in 2008 on the Harvard University campus. Each year, around 300 international students and young professionals come together at the Harvard Conference to explore pertinent issues concerning the Asia region, including foreign policy, public health, environmental issues, media and entrepreneurship. Attendees have the opportunity to discuss these issues in-depth through plenary sessions, panels, seminars, and case studies.
Harvard Conference in Previous Years
|2016||Navigating the Future in the Age of Innovation|
|2015||Asia’s Blueprint for Growth: Building an Inclusive Future|
|2014||The Many Faces of Asia: Shaping Identities in a Dynamic World|
|2013||East Meets West: Sustainable Development in the 21st Century|
|2012||Cross-Cultural Connections: Weaving New Silk Roads|
|2011||Looking Back, Forging Ahead: Asia in Pursuit of a Vibrant Future|
|2010||Asia Ascendant: Seizing New Heights|
|2009||Linking Minds: Asia in the 21st Century|
|2008||Cosmopolitan Asia: Diversity and Disparity|
The HPAIR Asia Conference is a 5-day academic program in mid-August in an Asian city. The conference integrates the contents of the academic and business world to create a hybrid structure. Delegates benefit from gaining a broader exposure to issues spanning multiple arenas, including political, social, economic, cultural, and business.
The Asia Conference started off in 1992 in Taipei, back then known as the Academic Conference. Bringing together a diverse group of speakers and about 300 graduate and undergraduate students from across the world, the Academic Conference takes the form of six workshops that explore, through research and discussion, issues ranging from environmentalism to cultural trends.
In 2004, HPAIR started the Business Conference, which invited many prominent figures from the world of business, government and law to discuss their understanding of Asia and its place in the global economy with more than 300 business students and young professionals. As of 2012, HPAIR has merged the Academic Conference and the Business Conference into a single conference, the Asia Conference, which brings together 600 pre-eminent young professionals from around the world. The most recent 2017 Asia Conference was co-organized by the University of Sydney, held from August 17-21 in Sydney, Australia.
Asia Conference in Previous Years
|Year||City||Theme||Joint Host University|
|2017||Sydney, Australia||Aspire||The University of Sydney|
|2016||Hong Kong SAR, China||Empower||The Chinese University of Hong Kong|
|2015||Manila, Philippines||Confronting Asia's Development Challenges Through Innovation||De La Salle University|
|2014||Tokyo, Japan||Reflection and Progression: Fostering Mutual Growth||Keio University|
|2013||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||Extending Horizons: Charting Asia's Flourishing Future||American University in Dubai |
|2012||Taipei, Taiwan||Challenges and Prospects: Envisioning Global Transformations||National Chengchi University |
|2011||Seoul, Korea||At the Crossroads: Decisions in a Dynamic Asia||Yonsei University |
|2010||Singapore||Sustaining Momentum: Ten Years into the Asian Century||Singapore Management University |
|2009||Seoul, Korea||Evolving Asia: Path-ways in the Global Era (Academic Conference)||Sungkyunkwan University |
|2009||Tokyo, Japan||Braving New Frontiers: Tomorrow’s Ventures Today (Business Conference)||Waseda University |
|2008||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Beyond Borders: Asia on the World Stage (Academic Conference)||Universiti Malaya|
|2008||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Emerging into Focus: Asia Incorporated (Business Conference)|
|2007||Beijing, China||Engaging Asia: Discourse and Dialogue (Academic Conference)||Students in Beijing |
|2007||Hong Kong, China||Engaging Asia: Competition and Collaboration (Business Conference)||University of Hong Kong |
|2006||Singapore||Redefining Asia: Visions and Realities||National University of Singapore|
|2006||Mumbai, India||Harvard College Asian Business Forum|
|2005||Tokyo, Japan||Futuring Asia: Contemporary Challenges and Emerging Realities||University of Tokyo |
|2004||Shanghai, China||The Once and Future Asia: Expanding Horizons, Historic Transitions|
|2003||Seoul, Korea||Integration and Innovation: Finding Common Ground for a Dynamic Asia||Sookmyung Women's University |
|2002||Sydney, Australia||Traditions and Transformations: New Perspectives of Progress|
|2001||Singapore||Asia and the Knowledge Economy: Opportunities for Progress|
|2000||Beijing, China||Diversity and Convergence: Resolving Asia's Role in the Global Community|
|1999||Hong Kong, China||Asia at the Crossroads: Rising to the Challenges of Reform||The Chinese University of Hong Kong|
|1998||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Asia in Transition: Beyond the Miracle|
|1997||Bangkok, Thailand||Building Nations, Building Communities|
|1996||Seoul, Korea||The Challenges of Globalization: Creating Common Ground in the 21st Century||Seoul National University |
|1995||Jakarta, Indonesia||Sustaining the Miracle: Challenges Facing Asian Development|
|1994||Manila, Philippines||Economic Cooperation for the Pacific Century|
|1993||British Hong Kong||A Free Trade Area for the Pacific Century|
|1992||Taipei, Taiwan||International Trade and Investment|
HPAIR conferences are often led by a diverse group of speakers prominent in various areas of society.
Conferences have drawn many top-tier political leaders such as former President of the Republic of Korea Kim Dae-jung, Crown Prince of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah, Finance Minister of the Republic of the Philippines Dr. Jesus P. Estanislao, and President of Singapore S. R. Nathan. The former Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea and the current Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon  has spoken at an HPAIR conference.
Many speakers also hail from influential international organizations, like the United Nations or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Speakers from ASEAN include the current Secretary-General of ASEAN Surin Pitsuwan and the former Secretary-General of ASEAN Ong Keng Yong.
HPAIR often invites speakers who are successful in the world of business, like the Chairman and CEO of Ayala Corporation Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (Harvard '81 / HBS '87), CEO of Haier Zhang Ruimin, Chairman of Prudential Asia Victor Fung and President of Goldman Sachs Asia Philip D. Murphy.
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