BINUS University was invited by Common Purpose to send our students’ delegates to join the Global Leadership Forum Asia Pacific 2020 last October. There were 44 students from BINUS Global Class, exchange students, and full-degree international students represented BINUS University in the event. 

Wais, our international student from Jordan, wrote an interesting recap of the event. 

Written by: Wais Ibrahim, BINUS University International, Computer Science ’19, Jordan.

Have you thought of becoming a global leader? The Global Leadership Forum (GLF) is a plethora of organizations that are dedicated to growing the number of competitive leaders in our society. Having been invited to the GLF Asia Pacific 2020, I was able to experience the inspiring stories of several leaders from all across Asia. These stories were not only motivating, I took several new insights from each unique speaker’s diverse background and career. Here is some of what I was able to take away. 

The stories were started by a winner of Masterchef Australia. This was a deeply engaging story about a special ops soldier in Singapore that transferred roles to becoming a winner of Masterchef and today runs his own restaurant that fulfilled his dream. This was a strong reminder to me that everyone is skilled in diverse areas and that no one is forced to seclude their abilities on just one activity. Rather, everyone is capable of excelling in a multitude of their own passions. Another lesson sprung from how the restaurant attained its success and product-market fit. The restaurant emphasized differentiating its service early from the competition. By identifying where the restaurant stands to separate itself from others and the venture into branding, loyal customers began to grow. While he’s known as a jack of all trades, he identifies as that but a master of his own cuisine. Next, we all learned about how Ed tackles challenges as a general manager at UberEats Australia. 

For UberEats, Melbourne was one of the first cities to launch outside of North America. While adapting to the new situation brought to rise from Covid-19, UberEats had numerous challenges to overcome. Each city was affected differently, drivers had no jobs because users avoided leaving their home, while the food business delivery went booming because the food was required without leaving. I was given insights on how to manage the difference and change, like having to communicate with engineering teams in San Francisco and their local team in Australia to implement new software changes that accommodate the new environmental circumstance. Usually, we think of non-profits as the only organizations who prioritize paying it forward, however, Ed demonstrated the ability to contribute back within the private sector. UberEats launched 50,000 free rides for non-profit organizations to deliver food to homeless areas to contribute to during difficult times.

By leveraging the company’s core competencies, they can tremendously offer help in unique ways that other organizations can’t easily replicate. This was a great eye-opener to see the potential that specific for-profit software can also contribute to efforts towards charity and the wellness of others. It was near this time that a question was prompted, ‘How do you know you’re adapting correctly?’, to which he responded, ‘Heading into covid19, we did much planning on the future of business and delivery. Started work on grocery delivery, and then shipped when it mattered. To some extent, it was an acceleration of the features we were working on’. The last session was an inspiring one led by Rana Flowers, head of UNICEF in Vietnam. 

All participants were told how Rana Flowers climbed the career ladder until reaching a leadership role with strong influence such that she was able to changes policies in the police force for rape occurrences and a multitude of other accomplishments. Whilst focused on changing the world positively, she was a successful mother and spoke about her knowledge and experience covering the struggles, biases, and stigmas associated with being a woman in leadership. At last, she announced to all student participants,’ identify the contributions that you want to make towards society and change the world’. We finally closed off the sessions with a message from Malaysian political leader, ‘Find the purpose that you love and have passion for it.’

This event was a profound one and many insights were gained, from a short time. It’s been a great privilege to gain these insights from some of the world’s most important contributors to society. From being reminded that each person has unique strengths and talents, to understand how some of the most influential people tackle and grow as individuals, I’m grateful to BINUS for having granted me the participation to gain this new knowledge.