Greetings from Sri Lanka.
The CSC Alumni + weekend events were brilliant. The first Alumni event I have been invited to since my CSC programme in 2006.
Thirty Alumni flew in from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Pacific, UK, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, others joined us from Hong Kong. A number of us stayed for the AELD meeting, some came just for the weekend.
At the close of the event we were asked to sum up the day in one word. Many of us used the same words:
Connections, Challenging, Inspiring, Lessons, Powerful, Provocative, Encouraging, Reconnection, Exciting, Friends, Determination, Ideas, Empowering, Compassion, Connecting.
The Sunday was like a mini Commonwealth Study Conference: there were inputs; we learnt; we were challenged; we shared; we worked together. We laughed, we ate and drunk and we emerged strong friends.
The external inputs were of a very high calibre and the venue was outstanding. Although we all got to Hong Kong ourselves, we definitely would have paid to attend such a first-class programme.
Amongst others, we heard from the Australian Consul General to China on security and trade, diplomacy and regional issues, North Korea and Trump. The Chairman of Swire China and former CEO of airline Cathy Pacific, briefed us on the unheralded changes to the Communist Party and the power of Chinese execution skills. A HASSALL architect detailed the Chinese infrastructure (China poured more concrete in three years than the US did in the 20th Century) and what makes a city great – “a unique cuisine and a football team”.
The progress of many Alumni in their careers was outstanding and certainly fulfilled the promise of their CSC programme identification. We heard a brilliant summary on robotics and artificial intelligence from one Alumni, watched a moving film on modern day slavery sex trafficking and heard about an international campaign by another Alumni. Others helped guide and facilitate the day.
We also spent some time thinking about the future of CSC programmes worldwide and the various Alumni experiences. We discussed what lies at the heart of these events and how to take these forward with a new generation of champions and leaders.
We agreed to work together to include more Alumni from all CSC programmes on similar Alumni events and to meet again. Provisionally London in May, KL in October!
A big thank you to Chris Hartley from Australia who invited us all, organised the speakers, the great venue and the catering.
Thank you and come and see me in beautiful Sri Lanka soon.
CSC Alumni 2006