Dreaming Bigger Dreams for the Philippines

That is the title of the contributed article for the Freeman newspaper. It was generally about my reflections in this year's 8th Aboitiz Future Leaders Business Summit 2013 (AFLBS). This was my 2nd time attending the event and the first time I witnessed the case study sessions. Partly because a couple of my student friends participated in the event and I wanted to see how they will stack up against the best and brightest in the country (shout out to Aboitiz Group-friends with delegates Rhyle and Mariejo!).

I only attended the 2nd day this year compared to the 1st day last year. This is because I solely wanted to listen to the 2 inspirational speakers Maria Ressa and Bianca Gonzalez for the event. And I really learned and perhaps even re-learned a lot of stuff from them. Add to that, after witnessing the preparations of the delegates and their group presentations to the Aboitiz Group Executives, I was truly inspired by what I saw from the various teams as well as their final group learning game.

I was infected by their enthusiasm and have re-learned that Leadership is not about taking credit; it is about taking responsibility. It is not about imposing a belief, but working with others to shape best ideas, best practices and best outcomes. And in this case -shaping a better Philippines! Kudos to all the delegates for this year~!



See below for the full content:
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Dreaming Bigger Dreams for the Philippines
‘If you’re going through hell, keep going.’ ~Winston Churchill

We’d like to think that making positive life changes or even trying to help someone is a straight line from beginning to where we want to go.

But life has taught us differently.

Experience shows us that you can start a new habit and things go great for a while, and then life (be it people, government, system or whatever) gets in the way. Things get messy. Things fall apart. We have a few bad days, or a huge project to work on at work, or relationship problems, or a family crisis, or we get sick.

We tend to give up, because when things get in the way and we mess up on our habits, it’s a little discouraging, even depressing. But it doesn’t have to be.

The hardest part of bringing about significant change in your life is disrupting your routines and changing your outlook. Every new way of doing things that you discover will either unlock a better way or show you that the way you’ve been doing things is pretty good after all, either way, it’s a victory.

For the second time, this year’s theme for the 8th Aboitiz Future Leaders Business Summit (AFLBS) is still “Significantly changing my Philippines“. And the participating students this year, armed with courage, pride and idealism are very much excited to make positive changes in their respective communities.

About AFLBS:
About 90 of the top students in the country (from Luzon, Visayas & Mindanao), recently participated in a series of activities which includes plenary discussions, games and teambuilding exercises that simulate real work and business situations as well as to prepare them to become the future leaders for their role in nation-building, inspire them to develop a renewed faith in the country, and motivate them to respond to the everyday call of leadership.

“We all have a part to play in nation-building and it’s very encouraging to see the youth aspiring to contribute to it. But for them to shape our nation towards a better future, we need to shape their mindsets first. This is what we wish to accomplish through this summit,” said Xavier ‘Txabi’ Aboitiz, Chief HR & Quality Office of the Aboitiz Group.

Speakers this year came from Aboitiz Equity Ventures, VECO, City Savings Bank, Aboitizland, Hedcor, Union Bank of the Philippines, Aboitiz Foundation with varied topics such as Financial, Marketing, & Reputation Management and many more.

Also present were Maria Ressa, CEO of Rappler.com and Bianca Gonzalez, TV host & recognized voice of the youth who gave their inspirational messages to these young minds.

Inspiration:
Here are some thoughts from some of the delegates:
"Joining the Aboitiz Future Leaders Business Summit was definitely one of the best decisions I made. Aside from learning about practical business know-how, I discovered how influential the youth (hey, that’s us!) has become in this day and age. Moreover, I got to meet a lot of new friends – leaders in their own right, and the future catalysts of change in the Philippines." - Corrine Francesca C. Reyes, BS Business Administration and Accountancy from UP Diliman

"For a first timer, it was a sweet one. Considering that it was my first time to attend a leadership summit like that, the event taught me many things & let me realized something very big for myself. First time to talk to an executive (I even texted my mom to ask what to do!). I remember this sweet line from one of the speakers 'To get something you never had. You need to do something you never did.' I should not be afraid to try new things but before the summit I told myself that 'mali ata tong pinasok ko', but the main point is, right from the very start, when I decided to continue the application; they already taught me to find Better Ways for myself. It’s clear now, we should not be afraid to take actions, to step out from our comfort zones, and find better ways of doing things. 'Natatakot ako kasi first time ko nga', yes it is my first time but my co-future leaders helped me to conquer that fear, especially my group 2fuse, which always remind me to find a way and stand out. There is always an element of surprise for every 'first time' experiences. Last August 15-18, I was able to experience one of the most unforgettable and memorable days of my life. I’m proud to tell the world that I am a Future Leader, consistently finding better ways in everything that I do and continuously finding better ways to significantly change the Philippines." -J Em Alcaide, BS Economics UPLB

One thing I got from this coverage was a reminder of what I too could do. Just watching these student leaders work, and share, I suddenly found myself being infected with their enthusiasm.
Amidst all the challenges, problems and crisis is currently facing, I realized that it costs nothing to speak out, but remaining silent could cost us everything. I believe we are at a point in our generation when NATION BUILDING is no longer a chosen endeavor or privilege of the few, but rather it has become a necessity.

For if we do nothing, most of our corrupt elders will leave us with NOTHING; and in order to make this work, or make a significant impact to significantly change the Philippines, we need to do something together.
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for more info., quotable quotes, photos, you may visit the official AFLBS Fb Page! :)

Lastly, you cant be just an ant who wants to be build an anthill; hence, you need others to do something significant. :3

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Vernon Joseph Go is a Corporate Mad Hatter passionate about Intrapreneurship by creating Inclusive Businesses through the Intrapreneurship Hub through creating more Intrapreneurs who will become changemakers within business institutions by bridging purpose and profit. Subscribe to my blog via Email HERE!