Sydney skyline at dusk

Sydney hosts prestigious Harvard conference

18 July 2017

The Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations 2017 Asia conference is being held in Sydney from August 17-21. Over 600 delegates from over 70 countries will be coming to our shores to attend this unique event.

As our international community becomes more globalised and commercialised, the boundary between business and other aspects of society is increasingly fluid.

Since 1992, the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR) has sought to capture this phenomenon by bringing together students from around the world to better understand the different perspectives of national destinies in order to impact the future of international relations.

What is HPAIR?

HPAIR is a student-run organisation of the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The organisation attracts a growing pool of international students from leading universities, as well as renowned academics, business professionals and political leaders to engage in educational dialogue at its annual conferences.

Every year, thousands of applications are received and delegates are individually screened and interviewed before the best and brightest are selected to attend. The result? A conference made up of top-performing students who are keen to gain broader exposure to issues spanning multiple areas, including: political, social, economic, cultural and business.

Mitchell Hunter is a University of Sydney alumnus and Executive Director of this year’s conference. He attended the 2015 HPAIR Asia conference held in Manila.

“It was nothing short of life changing,” Mitchell said. ”The experience provided me with many valuable lessons, renewed ambitions, and great friends from around the world who I still keep in touch with today.”

This event welcomes more than a hundred top academics, business leaders and policy makers from around the world. From keynote addresses to panel discussions and seminars, experts come together to talk about some of the most pressing issues facing our world.

Eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, former Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd and Anne Krueger, the First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, are just a few of the event’s previous notable speakers.

HPAIR in Sydney

The University of Sydney has joined HPAIR as this year’s partner university, after students at the University won the rights to host the prestigious youth event through a competitive international bidding process which saw high quality submissions from universities across Asia and the Middle East.

The five-day program will provide delegates with the opportunity to engage and network with leading figures from across a diverse sector of industries and professions at the state-of-the-art International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour.

Among the distinguished lineup of speakers are Rohan Mahadevan, CEO of Paypal Asia Pacific; Brad Bass, Nobel Peace Prize Winner; and Ong Keng Yong, Former Secretary-General of ASEAN.

On campus during day three of the event, delegates will hear from some of the University’s leading academics and alumni, as well as industry experts, during a range of interest-specific panels.

The Sydney student committee was recently awarded $20,000 of funding for the conference as part of the Australian Government’s Enabling Growth and Innovation Program, which has allowed the committee to expand the conference scholarship program to the largest in the club’s 26-year history. The project is one of the only student-led initiatives to receive funding and one of just 14 nationally.

The Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations 2017 Asia Conference will be held from 17-21 August in Sydney. Find out more on their website.