I have been very fortunate to be part of this Youth Engagement Summit 2009. When I submitted my entry to AirAsia via twitter, humbly, I was quite confident of winning the pass. But with no further expectations, busy schedule took over. Then, upon my routine of checking Facebook before going to bed, I was thrilled to see my nick in the list to this amazing event on Friday night. Immediately, like many other winners, I submitted my leave application and my boss thought that this is an interesting event, approved it instantly as he was online that midnight itself. Firstly, I thank God for the inspiring motto, then the Airasia team for this great opportunity and not forgetting my understanding employer.
How it started:
AA giving away passes thru their blog.”All you need to do is to tell us, if you could change one thing in your lifetime, what would it be, and who will it be for? Yourself, your community, or your country? And how will you contribute to it?”
I replied: “I would educate the world with one motto – God first,World Next,Myself Last. Attract others by example in self practice”
Who am I meeting:
Sir Bob Geldof , Founder of Live Aid & Live8
Biz Stone, Co-Founder of Twitter
Randi Zuckerberg, Director of Market Development at Facebook
Amitabh Bachchan, Bollywood megastar & TV host (he cancelled and was replaced by Narain, India F1 driver and Donald Trump Live via satelite)
Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, Former Managing Director of the World Bank
Dato’ Seri Tony Fernandes, Malaysian entrepreuner & founder of AirAsia
Nando Parrado, the ultimate survivor & inspiritional speaker
Garry Kasparov, Russian living legend of chess
Lorraine Hahn, noted former presenter for CNN & CNBC
Long Yongtu, Former Vice Minister of Trade in China
Yashwant Sina, Finance Minister of India (1998 – 2002)
David Magliano, Director of Marketing for London 2012
Day1 – 16 Nov 2009
I never expect it could be this interesting and my journey starts here. I reached PICC at 7.40am to collect my pass. Then we were informed there was breakfast, but no sign of it. I was waiting among the large crowd mostly in groups and I was alone. After roaming alone, I decided to wait near the AA booth as my heels were not friendly and I’m still half awake.
I was speaking to God within me to let me connect with the rest of the winners since that they were mentioning “see you” to all the winners but I do not seem to see any. And soon enough, 3 winners from AA came over to introduce themselves after observing this lonely girl in black who potentially could be one of the winners since that most of others came in groups. And later during lunch co-incidently (the ballroom was big) we sat with a few other winners too.
1st day speaker was Biz Stone (co-founder of twitter whom also said the Happiest mistake is the best kind) and good looking too, Dr Mamphele (amazing woman), Narain Karthikeyan (very down to earth) and Sir Bob Geldof (I am still wondering how did he organize the amazing concerts that was huge and for good cause). He said that one language that the whole world understand is not English, but music.
So looking forward to the 2nd day after the 1st amazing day….just by staying in the hall empowers you with the powerful positive energy around. Day 2 gets better…
Day2 – 17 Nov 2009
On the 2nd day, it started of with Garry Kasparov, Russian living legend of chess. He reminded me that the road to success is the most enjoyable because when he won the world championship, someone felt sorry for him and told him that the happiest day of his life has just passed. But he worked hard to retain the title for 20 years.
Next was the person that many are looking forward to hear from, Mr Donald Trump live via Satelite from Trump tower. His speech was indeed direct and fun. He started with “a group of folks called me because somebody canceled on you people. Not a nice thing to do, I dont know who canceled but never a nice thing to do”…:) He shared words on success and concluded that he will be in person if YES invite him next year.
Randi Zuckerberg, Director of Market Development at Facebook, she is very sweet and no doubt facebook does makes the world smaller and connected. An audience even asked if she is single, and she laughed and replied “fortunately for me, but unfortunately for you, I have just celebrated my 1st year wedding anniversary.”
Then we have David Magliano, Director of Marketing for London 2012. It was interesting to see and know the insight and strategy of winning the bid and after going to 3 olympics, I hope that London 2012 could be my 4th.
Then there was a forum discussion with Long Yongtu, Former Vice Minister of Trade in China and Yashwant Sina, Finance Minister of India (1998 – 2002) and Mr Long does not know what FB is when audience asked why did China banned FB, and Mr Yashwant said he does not has FB acc but India does not ban FB. Audience laughed and cheered.
And our very own favourite Dato’ Seri Tony Fernandes, Malaysian entrepreuner & founder of AirAsia started by giving away 2 free tickets to London for whoever that first get onto the stage with something in red. A girl ran but tripped before the stairs and another guy jumped on stage. Both received though. He entertained us with his speech about how he bought AA for RM1 that kept the audience laughing. He also mentioned of our very own championship, Asean Basketball League (ABL) which is currently running across the ASEAN countries. (pic above)
Lastly, Nando Parrado, the ultimate survivor & inspiritional speaker. His speech put me to tears and it is a miracle that he survived 72 days in Andes mountain but lost his sister and mother to the plane crash. His father thought he lost the entirely family, but was happy to have him home and told him not to make the same mistake he did. What mistake was that? The father said, he never told his mum so many things because he thought she has plenty of time for it later. I believed his talk moved many to tears. So now his turn to tell us:
“Achieve your dreams, go forward, make mistakes, but don’t forget to tell your family that you love them.” – Nando Parrado
That wrapped the YES 2009 event and I couldn’t thank AirAsia enough for this memorable and inspiring experience.
Photos of the events are shared on: