ASEAN CSR Fellowship Batch 2017: Programme Wrap-Up

From Singapore to Indonesia to Myanmar to the Philippines--the 2017 ASEAN CSR Fellowship programme has come to an end.


This inaugural programme was a year-long journey that took young women and men as fellows around ASEAN. They spent a week every quarter in each of the 4 selected countries, attending a series of study tours to learn from top business leaders, government officials, academics and civil society practitioners.This cohort of 15 selected individuals come from the private sector, government and civil society. Through the programme, they were equipped with both theoretical and practical concepts in sustainability and responsible business.


With the help of mentors, the fellows developed and kick-started their individual Capstone Projects – a long-term CSR project with measurable outcomes to be implemented in their home countries. They presented these at the ASEAN Business & Investment Summit 2017.

This was the first run of the ASEAN CSR Fellowship. For this year, the program sought to train the participants to be the next generation of ambassadors for responsible business in South East Asia, raising their awareness of the private sector’s role in addressing key regional and national issues in anti-corruption, environmental degradation, poverty and human rights.

The programme is supported by the Government of Sweden and other partner institutions.  




The beginning of the program is an online course conducted by the University of Nottingham. Prior to the country visits, the fellows had an online introduction to the basics of corporate responsibility and sustainability by the Nottingham Business School's International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility.



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Theme: Making CSR Work: Addressing Governance & Human Rights Issues

In Singapore, the fellows attended introductory sessions as initiation into the program. They learned about CSR 2.0, a movement to redefine the meaning of CSR, shifting from a focus on corporate philanthropy and volunteerism, tobecoming socially responsible businesses. They also dwelled on core topics such as human rights and anti-corruption, focusing on the issues of migrant labor as a case study.



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Theme: Opportunities and Challenges in the ASEAN Economic Community: The Business Case for CSR

The second leg of the program was spent in Jakarta, the home city of the ASEAN Secretariat, which the fellows visited in order to expose themselves to the work of ASEAN and the issues that it tries to address, which are relevant to responsible business practices. The fellows also learned had an in-depth look into sustainability through supply chain management, sustainable reporting and environmental management.



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Theme: Role of Business in Sustainable Development: Learning from Myanmar

The fellows had a very fruitful visit to an emerging ASEAN member state, Myanmar, for an in-depth perspective onhow businesses can support sustainable development. Amidst economic and political transition, Myanmar serves as a great source of insight into development issues that are relevant to creating a healthy business environment that also ensures the wellbeing of people and the planet.



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Theme: Becoming Better Managers + Recognition of Fellows

For the last stop of the study tours, the fellows were taken to the place where the ASEAN CSR Network was born: the capital city of the Philippines. In Manila, the fellows honed their skills in leadership and management, as well as in communications. They were also exposed to some of the best CSR practices by leading practitioners from top companies in the Philippines. After the presentation of their Capstone Projects, the programme ended with a graduation ceremony, which recognized the fellows’ participation, growth, and hard work throughout their year-long Fellowship.



Indeed, CSR is at the helm of discussions on equipping the business community to be ready for the increasingly complex issues facing ASEAN. As CSR moves beyond corporate philanthropy and volunteerism, it is essential to create a new breed of private and public sector leaders that would not only look at how businesses can grow, but also at how businesses can run responsibly and meaningfully while making positive social impact. Certainly, the fellows of the 2017 ASEAN CSR Fellowship are ready to take on this challenge and become ambassadors for good business, armed with the new-found knowledge and fresh perspectives they gained through the programme.



For more information about the ASEAN CSR Fellowship 2017, click here.

Apply for the ASEAN CSR Fellowship 2018 here.