HPAIR Asia Conference 2019 at Nazarbayev University

The Harvard College Project for Asian and International Relations 2019 Asia Conference (HPAIR 2019 Asia Conference) started today at Nazarbayev University.

HPAIR Asia Conference 2019 is a five-day international youth conference held since 1991 in the largest cities of Asia (43 conferences in 12 different countries), which for the first time in history takes place in Central Asia. More than 500 delegates from more than 40 countries came to Nur Sultan to participate in this prestigious international event.

The conference is organized by the non-profit organization HPAIR at Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences in cooperation with Nazarbayev University. The aim of the conference is to create a discussion platform for the exchange of experience between students and young professionals to discuss and study the most important economic, political and social problems facing Asia.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Passion for change”, which will include discussions in six different areas: global markets and economics; art, media and culture; social policy and social justice; energy and environmental sustainability; governance and geopolitics; and science and technology.

Among the speakers of this conference are heads of international companies, well-known influencers, public figures in various fields, including the president of UNICEF Korea, Dr. Song Sang-hyon, former Indian Foreign Minister Nirupama Rao, former head of Standard Chartered Bank’s global markets for the Middle East and North Africa, Daniel Azzi, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Rae Kwon Chung, senior partner at McKinsey & Company and director of the McKinsey World Institute, Jonathan Watzel, chief technical officer of the World Bank Group, Leslie Goe, partner at Bain & Company Southeast Asia, based in Singapore, Till Westring, director of the International Monetary Fund’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Chikahisa Sumi, chairman of the Indonesian Institute of Infrastructure and former Indonesian Minister of Finance, Chatib Basri, a television presenter, professional moderator and journalist with news organizations such as CNN in Washington, ABC News in New York, Channel News Asia in Istanbul and Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin, Ali Aslan and others.

The conference organizers have prepared a number of thematic evening events as well as a large-scale case competition to entertain the conference participants. Specifically, these events include an international night (I-Night) and a carnival of cultures and traditions (I-Carnival). I-Night is a holiday of international cultures, where unique musical, theatrical and dance performances of delegates from different countries will be demonstrated. I-Carnival is a traditional HPAIR event, which will be in the form of an international fair, where visitors will be able to taste traditional dishes and buy national souvenirs presented by the conference delegates. I-Night and I-Carnival symbolize the cultural diversity of the world, contributing to the strengthening of cooperation between representatives of different peoples of the world.  In addition to the traditional cultural festivals, the HPAIR Asia Conference 2019 Organizing Committee is planning to hold an event called Kazakhstan Night, where guests will be introduced to Kazakh culture, traditions, history and music.

 The competition in the format of an Impact Challenge case championship will allow the participants of the conference to immerse themselves in the ecosystem of international companies and organizations by solving the problems they provide.  These problems will be practical case studies from different fields, from social policy, industry, business and international relations. This is a unique and invaluable opportunity for the participants to connect with each other, to brainstorm and collaborate.  Participants of the Impact Challenge case championship will bring all their ideas and experience to solve real-world problems and challenges facing the Central Asian region, CIS Countries, and the world. Thus, Impact Challenge is an opportunity to find potential and innovative solutions at the global level through the eyes of young people.

 Sponsors of HPAIR Asia Conference 2019, who supported the initiative of students to hold this prestigious international conference in Kazakhstan, include such organizations as Kazzinc LLP, Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), Chevron and Microsoft.