You can’t choose what family you are born into. But you can choose what path you take in order to succeed in your life. This resonates with the life experience of Simon Pangihutan Simorangkir. Born to a very humble family, it never fails him to achieve his dream for being an educated figure. He secured scholarships during his undergraduate study in University of Sumatera Utara, and his recent postgraduate study in Zhongnan University of Economic and Law, China. Inspired by his long galvanizing years, he contributes himself in many events for the youth development. Last year, he got an opportunity to join the APEC Edutainment exchange Program 2017. Here is an excerpt of the eyes-opening experience that help him to gain new insight for supporting his social activities.
Hi Indonesia Mengglobal Readers,
Let me introduce myself. My name is Simon, all the way coming from Medan, Indonesia to Wuhan, China. Currently I’m studying at Zhongnan University of Economic and Law, majoring in Master of Business Administration (MBA). During my study there, I got an opportunity to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Edutainment Exchange Program (AEEP) 2017 in Hanoi, Vietnam for almost one week.
It was the Directorate General of Learning and Student Affairs, Indonesia’s Ministry of Education which notified me about the opportunity. Some requisites had to be filled for applying the APEC Edutainment Exchange Program 2017. Thank God I made into second phase of the recruitment process. This was an interview held by the organizer, Korean Ministry of Education, taking place about 25 minutes. I was asked about my education background, organizational experience, Indonesia, and APEC as well. Fortunately I was selected as one of the program’s participants in the end. With full scholarship covering round-trip ticket from Wuhan to Hanoi, accommodation, local transportation, and small amount of stipend, finally I made a memorable journey to Vietnam.
The aim of AEEP 20017 was to nurture future APEC leaders with some capabilities such as creativity and cooperation by providing future educational model in which international delegates were encouraged to define a problem and try to address it through various decision-making and problem-solving tools. The theme of the program was “Social Entrepreneurship as a Tool to Solve Social Problems in APEC region”. All participants were endorsed to be sensitive to social problems around them, and given an opportunity to develop a social-business plan through cooperation with each other to seek for a solution.
As one of the participants, I was required to be active in the entire on and off-line activities and should be able to demonstrate my global leadership, communication skills and knowledge required for the development of APEC in the 21st century. Those activities were co-hosted by Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Education in collaboration with Socialist Republic of Vietnam’s Ministry of Education. Meanwhile, the training section was organized by the Institute of APEC Collaborative Education (IACE).
Some mentors from KOTO Foundation (Vietnam), WeMade (Korea), Hanoi Open university and Hanoi National University of Education provided me with an insight on the concept of social Enterprise and gave me an understanding the differences between conventional entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship through real cases, project management and survival strategies in building a new enterprise.
A part of the event, I also attended the 13th APEC Future Education Forum that is considered as the largest annual international education forum in the APEC Region. Prominent figures were invited to the event, such as Mr. Yeonghan Choi, representative from Korean Ministry of Education, Mr. Pham Chi Chong, President of Institute of APEC Collaborative Education, Prof. Dong Sun Park, APEC Business Advisory Council, Mr.David Dodwell, Executive Director of APEC Business Advisory Council, business experts, government officials, and others from international organizations.
In this session, one of the panelist Mr. David Dodwell talked about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech which highlighted three important points: global economy is undergoing more profound changes, APEC countries must advance with the trend of times, live up with our responsibility and work together to deliver a bright future for the development and prosperity for the Asia Pacific region, and greater integration to the world in an open economy with higher standards. This session literally motivated all of the audiences, particularly youth participants as they are the future generation for their countries.
Regarding some social problems faced by APEC countries, I and my friend tried to offer business ideas called “Outcast State of Arts (OAS)” in order to eliminate the global homeless issues by providing life-skills and vocational education in arts for the better life in Hanoi, Vietnam and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I believe this business idea will solve the homeless issues globally. OSA also will help many countries to support the economic growth by providing shelters and creating job and opportunities to homeless. Unexpectedly my group’s idea got the prize provided by Erzsebet Szekeres. Erzsébet Szekeres is a Hungarian disability rights activist and social entrepreneur. She has worked to minister to the disabled of Hungary by “training, employing, and housing disabled adults. Last but not least I would like to thank all people who have supported me and Korean Ministry of Education as well for covering my entire expenses for joining the program.