Three Filipinos Named 2018 ‘Asia 21 Young Leaders’

Three young leaders from the Philippines have been named as part of Asia Society’s Asia 21 Young Leaders Class of 2018 and will join other remarkable accomplished professionals from the Asia Pacific region for the 13th Annual Young Leaders Summit in Manila.

BellasArtes Projects director and founder Jam Acuzar: “Art allows to engage in a less polarizing dialogue.”

Jam Acuzar is founder and director of BellasArtes Projects, a non-profit arts foundation based in the Philippines, where she develops and oversees the foundation’s artist residency program, community projects, and exhibitions in Manila and Bataan. She also leads BellasArtes Outpost, a non-collecting, non-commercial exhibition space opened in 2016 that invites the public to engage with art, architecture, and other creative fields through its programming and art library.

“Leadership to me means being able to communicate a vision, empowering those on your team, being able to pass along your knowledge, and learning from those that work in your organization,” she says.

Xyza Cruz Bacani

Xyza Cruz Bacani is a Filipina photographer based in Hong Kong who uses her work to raise awareness about under-reported stories. Having worked as a second-generation domestic worker in Hong Kong for almost a decade, she is particularly interested in the intersection of labor migration and human rights. She is one of the BBC’s 100 Women of the World 2015, 30 Under 30 Women Photographers 2016, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2016, and a Fujifilm Ambassador.

“Leadership is doing what is right, even when there is no one looking. Leadership encourages us to dream, to maximize our potential, and to prove that all dreams are valid,” says Bacani.

Paul V. Rivera

Paul V. Rivera is the CEO and Co-Founder of Kalibrr, a fast-growing recruitment technology startup that works with region’s top 1,000 employers. Kalibrr is devoted to solving the problem of recruitment and underemployment in the region. Prior to Kalibrr, he was the co-founder and president of Open Access, a technology-focused BPO in Makati that he co-founded and grew to over 1,000 employees in the five years he was running the business.

“Leadership means accomplishing a collective mission that is bigger than one’s self, and that requires buy-in, sacrifice, and investment from everyone involved. Leadership is getting the group to accomplish that goal even if we all don’t get what we want and even if we don’t all agree,” Rivera notes.

The 2018 Class of Asia 21 Young Leaders adds to a dynamic pool of more than 900 influential professionals under the age of 40 from 40 nations who are engaged in thought leadership, dialogue, and meaningful collaborations for positive impact on both local and global levels. Asia 21 seeks to create and foster an unparalleled network of accomplished young professionals from across the Asia Pacific region, representing the new generation of leaders in government, business, arts, media, and the nonprofit sector.

“These young change-makers are already reshaping the most dynamic region on earth,” said Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran. “They are a remarkable and truly diverse group — and Asia 21 provides a platform for these young leaders as they tackle the most vexing challenges in the region, one connection at a time.”

Since the first Summit in 2006, the Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative has encouraged collaborations among the members of the network to help respond to disasters, fight for girls’ education and mobilize youth, contribute to regional diplomatic efforts, and much more. Local Asia 21 chapters have sprouted in some of the toughest parts of Asia, where people are eager for the connections and counsel that the Asia 21 network has provided.

Asia 21 alumni include Foreign Policy managing editor Ravi Agrawal; Siam Commercial Bank Executive Vice President SutapaAmornvivat; One Earth Designs co-founder and CEO Catlin Powers; former captain of the Pakistan national women’s cricket team Sana Mir; former Singaporean MP and founder of Social Innovation Park. Ltd. Penny Low; former Philippines Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Moby Group Chairman SaadMohseni; Academy Award-winning filmmaker SharmeenObaid-Chinoy; Rockefeller Foundation President Rajiv Shah; Bank of America Merrill Lynch Head of Global Equities Distribution SoofianZuberi; and former Deputy Governor of Jakarta Sandiaga Uno.

For more information about the Asia 21 Young Leaders Class of 2018, visit here.

For inquiries, contact Asia Society Press Office at [email protected]

About Asia Society

Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to address a range of challenges facing Asia and the rest of the world.  Asia Society has cultural centers and public buildings in New York, Hong Kong, and Houston, and offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, Tokyo, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Washington, D.C., and Zurich. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, Asia Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration between Asia and the world.