ASEAN CSR Fellowship 2017

ACN launched its inaugural ASEAN CSR Fellowship on 9 Jan 2017 with 15 Fellows from 8 ASEAN countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam).

This programme aims to deepen cross-border perspectives and build up the next generation of CSR leaders for responsible business in Southeast Asia, harnessing their potential to address key regional issues in business & anti-corruption, business & human rights, and food security & sustainable agriculture. Fellows were selected to participate in a series of study tours to meet business leaders, government officials, academics, and civil society practitioners. 

The programme began in Singapore in Jan 2017, followed by visits to 3 other ASEAN countries in April, July and Sept. All Fellows were partially sponsored with the support of the Government of Sweden, the National Youth Council Singapore and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

ABOUT THE FELLOWSHIP  PROFILES OF THE FELLOWS (CLASS OF 2017)  SINGAPORE    INDONESIA  MYANMAR

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Class of 2017:

  • Aji Paramartha - Senior Manager, People Performance & Culture, KPMG Indonesia (Indonesia)
  • Dini Triyuni - Senior Grant Officer, WWF Indonesia (Indonesia)
  • Selvaraj A/L V Ramasamy - Diplomatic & Administrative Officer (Principal Assistant Secretary), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Malaysia)
  • Lydia Ang - Senior Manager, Group Communications & CSR, Capitaland (Singapore)
  • Michelle Ong - Program Coordinator, MetroBank Foundation (Philippines)
  • Nguyen Dung Tien - Enterprise Advisor, ILO-IFC Joint Programme on Better Work (Vietnam)
  • Nguyen Thi Bich Hien - Project Manager, Ha Long-Cat Ba Alliance Initiative, International Union for Conservation of Nature (Vietnam)
  • Philaiphone Vongpraseuth - Managing Director, Phousy Group Sole (Laos)
  • Pidor Chhay - Business Integrity Senior Programme Officer, Transparency International (Cambodia)
  • Quek Shiyun - Assistant Director, Corporate Giving & Lead, National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (Singapore)
  • Sambath Bun - Assistant to CEO, G Gear Company (Cambodia)
  • Sanva Saephan - General Manager, Business Development, KP Lao (Laos)
  • Vanida Khouangvichit - Private Sector Engagement, Village Focus International (Laos)
  • Vo Ly Hoai Vinh - Sustainability Officer, Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam (Vietnam)
  • Zin Mar Lwin - International Finance Manager, Norwegian People's Aids (Myanmar)

What our Fellows had to say about the ASEAN CSR Fellowship:

 "My key takeaway from this program is that when it comes to doing good and doing well, the work never stops. As a young CSR practitioner, this journey opened my eyes to stark realities - great challenges that we all face, whichever sector we are in, whichever country we are at. But more importantly, what I realized is that the opportunities are greater - way greater - than the challenges, only if we take on a positive and collaborative lens on how we want to see and do things. CSR is not just the business of businesses. It is the business of all of us - the private sector, the government, and the civil society. For CSR to gain more global relevance and become one of the vehicles to attain sustainable development, it has to be collaborative, aggressive, and ever-changing. This is something I definitely want to impress to my colleagues when I get back home - that as CSR practitioners, we must continue to make ourselves relevant, no matter how successful we think our program already are. Innovate if we must and change if necessary. And particularly for Southeast Asia, allow me to borrow the words of Prime Minister Najib Razak in one of his speeches: we need to complete each other, not compete with each other" - Michelle Ong, Metrobank Foundation (Philippines)

 "Since Iā€™m not from the private sector and have very limited background knowledge on how businesses operate in general, this fellowship really provided me with the opportunity to learn about different industries ā€“ not just in theory but also in practice. I realized that CSR really requires cooperation and that multi-stakeholder dialogues is an essential factor to create the common ground." - Vanida Khouangvichit, Village Focus International (Laos)
 "Like other fellows, I return to my home country after each module with a lot of publications in our luggage and ideas in our head. What I appreciate from the fellowship is not only the overview of CSR initiatives in ASEAN, but also the unique chance to witness how things are progressing at the national and local level in the countries that we've been to. This broadens my perspectives and helps in my future engagements in the field." - Dung Tien, IFC-ILO Joint Programme on Better Work (Vietnam)
 "The ASEAN CSR Fellowship has been very useful in helping me gain a deeper understanding of what sustainability and CSR is. Through the various dialogues with high-level business executives, government representatives and subject matter experts, we were able to obtain first-hand accounts of the opportunities and challenges of building a more sustainable and inclusive eco-system. One of the greatest take-aways for me from the programme is that every country faces similar difficulties in engaging companies, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to embark on sustainable business practices. I would look to leverage on the knowledge and contacts acquired from the programme to facilitate, bridge and deepen the CSR participation and involvement of companies in Singapore." - Quek Shiyun, National Volunteer Philanthropy Centre (Singapore)
 "The most important thing I have learned from this Fellowship is a better understanding of the business evolution towards CSR in ASEAN. From my own perspective of environmental management, I have learned a useful approach of approaching environmental issues from a human rights perspective when working with business partners. I think I am now able to provide more practical advice to our business partners about what CSR activities that are relevant to their business value chain." - Thi Bich Hien, International Union for Conservation of Nature (Vietnam)
 "I was exposed to best practices across the region on responsible practices that can definitely be implemented in the organization I am with, or future projects that I plan to take. I also got the chance to meet outstanding people who have done excellent work in the region, inspiring me to embark go further in my journey. Coming from the private sector, meeting different people had also given me completely new perspectives to view various issues and solutions." - Aji Paramartha, KPMG (Indonesia)
 "I would highly recommend the Fellowship to anyone interested. The fellowship opens a huge door of knowledge ā€“ including challenges and opportunities, and inspire a hope that a strong ASEAN can move ahead, despite diverse local contexts. There are also opportunities for mentorship, as alumni can become mentors for the new batch of Fellows." - Vo Ly Vinh, Coca-Cola (Vietnam)