Student Leadership Conference

Last weekend, Uplands hosted the FOBISIA Student Leadership Conference for 2016, which is a conference in which student leaders from international schools all across South-east Asia come together to discuss and learn about the topic of ‘Leadership’, as well as what it really means to be a leader today. This year’s theme was: “Global Teams: Creating Cross-cultural Leadership”. The emphasis on cross-cultural understanding is a very relevant one, given the diversity present in this increasingly globalised and complex world. 

On the first day, we were fortunate enough to be given a speech by the former Danish Ambassador Mr. Poul Hoiness in which we were challenged by the economic principles of free trade and specialisation given the protectionism countries implement as globalization continues to progress. The possible threats to their domestic employment, and thus future economic growth, hinders the elimination of protectionist barriers. Mr. Hoiness also addressed his thoughts on the importance of cross-cultural understanding from his long list of experiences in different countries, believing it is the foundation for relationship-building. 

We were also able to view leadership from a very different point of view thanks to a fascinating presentation by Lieutenant Colonel Steve Tilbrook and Warrant Officer Class 1 Nathan Ahearn of the Australian army. We were able to see leadership in a very different context: one that involves sending young adults into life and death situations. They stressed the importance of remembering that, at the core, leadership is about people. They explained Maslow’s concept of the hierarchy of needs and highlighted the importance of being flexible: a good leader is able to accurately assess the situation at hand and change their leadership style in order to best suit the needs of that particular situation. 

There was also a thoroughly entertaining ice breaker on the first day called “speed-dating”. The goal was to get to know each other better by maintaining a conversation with someone we hadn’t met before for 2 minutes, allowing us to familiarize ourselves with one another and creating a much more relaxing and energetic atmosphere. Building on these new relationships, we were also given multiple group projects which included using a SWOT analysis and the design thinking process in order to solve issues in our respective schools. One of the situations was the public shooting of stray dogs who were assumed to be carrying rabies; another one was how to tackle the daunting long lunch lines - though a seemingly simple issue, it’s one that continues to challenge schools across the world.

Written by Head Girl Jasmin Dalsgaard and Head Boy Fong Yi De, International School of Penang.


Student Leadership 2015, hosted by British International School Ho Chi Minh City.

This year BIS HCMC had the pleasure of hosting the second annual FOBISIA Student Leadership Conference from 18-19 September 2015. Fifty-seven students from sixteen schools took part in what was an incredibly rewarding experience for all of the students and teachers involved. The conference posed some big questions: What are ethics? How can we be ethical leaders? How can we help our team to flourish? What are the dangers of leadership? What type of leader will I be? What motivates my team? Are schools democratic?...for the full article please see here.

Student Leadership 2014, hosted by Tanglin Trust Singapore.

From 12-13 September 2014, Tanglin Trust School hosted the inaugural FOBISIA Student Leadership Conference. Forty Head Boys and Girls from Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Kinabalu and Vietnam flew in and joined Tanglin for a series of interactive workshops to explore the nature of leadership and to discuss the similarities and differences of what student leadership looks like in the region.....for the full article please see here.



The Federation of British International Schools in Asia. (FOBISIA)
39/4 Todsamon Clubhouse Building
M FI, Soi Lasalle 39/1, Sukhumvit 105, Bangna
Bangkok, Thailand 10260   Phone: +66 82 574 1110
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