In celebration of The Earthshot Prize in Singapore, Common Purpose, in partnership with Temasek Foundation and American Express, held the first Asian Young Leaders for Climate and the Environment (AYLCE) programme from 5-10 November 2023. American Express also marked the occasion with the launch of the new American Express Leadership Academy in Asia.
AYLCE is a transformative initiative that brings together more than 50 young leaders from diverse backgrounds across Asia and empowers and equips them to address climate change and drive impact to address our planet’s challenges. The American Express Leadership Academy was created to develop experienced non-profit leaders and provide them with the skills to innovate and inspire their organisations and better support their communities.
These two groups came together to participate in a series of events, programmes and activities powered by Common Purpose and enhanced by the partners and networks of both the Temasek Foundation and American Express.
AYLCE was designed to nurture the next generation of leaders who will champion environmental sustainability and climate action. Participants gained valuable insights, knowledge, and skills in addition to engaging in immersive learning experiences, collaborative projects, and mentorship opportunities, enabling them to develop innovative solutions and strategies to combat climate change. The programme also provides a platform for them to connect, exchange ideas, and amplify their impact on a regional scale.
In addition, participants were given access to the global American Express Leadership curriculum focused on developing resilient leadership through workshop sessions led by world-class facilitators. They benefitted from panel discussions with government officials, C-suite executives and philanthropic leaders, in addition to compelling content and hands-on training in communication and storytelling. Alumni from the American Express Leadership Academy also acted as peer mentors to the AYCLE participants.
Furthermore, AYLCE participants accessed exclusive Earthshot Week events, where they interacted with the 2023 Earthshot Prize finalists, renowned environmentalists, and other thought leaders. This unique opportunity gave them valuable insights and inspiration, encouraging them to think boldly and act decisively in the fight against climate change.
Commenting on the partnership, Ms Adirupa Sengupta, Group Chief Executive at Common Purpose, said, “We are proud to join forces with Temasek Foundation and American Express to launch the Asian Young Leaders for Climate and the Environment programme. This initiative not only signifies our commitment to fostering young talent but also exemplifies the collaborative spirit necessary to tackle the urgent climate challenges our world faces.”
Mr Lim Hock Chuan, Head of Programmes at Temasek Foundation, said, “We need new climate leaders to champion bold new ideas and secure our planet’s future. By supporting this programme, Temasek Foundation aims to connect youth leaders with and get them to learn from climate change experts and organisations. Together with them, we can step up with ideas and tools to innovate on climate solutions and take action to make our communities more sustainable.”
Ms Madge Thomas, President, American Express Foundation said, "At American Express, we back resilient changemakers to become leaders on issues like environmental sustainability and within their communities. We have a longstanding partnership with Common Purpose, to build leadership skills and values within the non-profit sector through the American Express Leadership Academy.
We are excited to re-launch the American Express Leadership Academy in Asia and offer its global curriculum to 50 Asian Young Leaders to become resilient changemakers in creating a sustainable future.”
During the week, participants had the opportunity to hear from inspirational leaders and engage with organisations including Accenture, Albright Stonebridge Group, Animal Concerns Research & Education Society, Arup, Bloomberg, Boeing, Council on Energy, Environment and Water, Mandai Nature, Nanomatics, National Environment Agency, Nurama, Petalicious, PUB, Schneider Electric, The John Dykes Company, Tropical Marine Science Institute, XDG Labs, YouTube, and Zerrin.
AYLCE ran throughout Earthshot Week. The week saw global leaders, businesses, and investors convening in Singapore to explore exciting opportunities with The Prize’s finalists, aimed at scaling their solutions and bringing about tangible action to repair the planet. Climate outreach community events were also organised in the lead-up to and during Earthshot Week to raise awareness and drive public engagement around pressing climate challenges.
Througoutthe week, AYLCE participants worked as groups to come up with innovative ideas to tackle climate and environmental issues in their communities. This included solutions such as repurposing medical waste from glass to sand, creating an educational toolkit for elementary school children to combat marine plastic pollution, and curating a fashion show with upcycled sustainable fashion for Singaporean and Vietnamese youth with special needs. With the support of $1000 USD and mentors, groups will now implement these ideas into their communities.