Published: 07th January 2021
The Davos of Harvard: Students organise one of the largest virtual conferences with world leaders
The conference will host over 1400 delegates globally and donate a generous portion of its profits to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation philanthropic partners in Boston.
Numerous Fortune 500 business executives, former heads of state, celebrities, billionaires, and the Director General of the World Health Organisation will descend onto Harvard University (virtually) for the HPAIR conference on January 15th to 18th. Sudents will lead the virtual conference, which will host over 1400 delegates globally and donate a generous portion of its profits to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation philanthropic partners BOSTON.
The Harvard College Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR), a Harvard University based student organisation which operates the largest student-run conference in Asia, today announced its final keynote lineup in anticipation for the 2021 Harvard College HPAIR conference. In attendance are Kevin Sneader (Global Managing Partner of McKinsey & Co.), Abhisit Vejjajiva (former Prime Minister of Thailand), Dr. Tedros Adhanom (Director-General of the World Health Organization), Lan Yang (Chairperson of Sun Media Group, colloquially 'The Oprah of China'), Lesly Goh (former Chief Technology Officer of The World Bank), André Hoffmann (Vice-Chairman of Roche Pharmaceuticals), Tim Draper (renowned venture capitalist), and Adam Cheyer (inventor of Siri) among 35 other global leaders.
"The mission of HPAIR is to democratise information by connecting the world leaders of today with the future leaders of tomorrow," said Zeel Patel, Co-President of HPAIR and Harvard junior. "In these peculiar times, we believe that mission is more important than ever," Patel added. "HPAIR is unique and showcases the special spirit, motivation and culture of the impressive students at Harvard University, and their deep care for the global society. It is emerging as 'The Davos of Harvard for young global talents," said Martin Roll, HPAIR Board Member, and renowned global strategy and Asia expert.
The virtual conference will host 1400+ delegates hailing from 61 different countries around the world over January 15th to 18th, with programming available across 24 hours to ensure equal access from all time zones. "The theme of the conference Embracing Change is about remaining resilient in the face of adversity, and it has been delightful to work closely with Zeel and the rest of his team as they're making a difference for young leaders globally," said Lesly Goh, HPAIR Board Member and former Chief Technology Officer of The World Bank.
"Since the beginning, our focus has been on ensuring people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to attend HPAIR and this year we've been able to leverage the virtual format to drive that vision forward," described Eric Lin, fellow Co-President of HPAIR and Harvard junior.
"With our generous financial aid program, which provides scholarships to hundreds of low-income delegates, and our commitment to publishing session recordings afterwards, we hope to share the insights of our speakers to as many people as possible," Lin added. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in private executive masterclasses led by speakers in small groups.
The leadership team of HPAIR organised the conference fully remotely as Harvard College shifted to virtual instruction, all while balancing full-time studies. "This is a testament to the hard work of our 40 Harvard undergraduates and the 30 members of our Asia-based team in Taipei. It has been a pleasure to lead them, and we couldn't be more proud," added Patel. Applications for HPAIR will close on January 10th.
The Harvard College Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR) is a 30 year old organisation founded to create a forum of exchange for young professionals and world leaders to discuss and learn about the most important economic, political, and social issues facing the globe.
The mission is to connect the top leaders of today with the future leaders of tomorrow in a dynamic forum of exchange. Since 1991, HPAIR has organised 43 conferences in 15 different host countries, touching the lives of more than 10,000 students and young professionals. HPAIR hosts two student-led conferences a year, one on Harvard's campus and one in the Asia-Pacific. Prospective host cities in Asia must undergo an intensive, six-month bidding process. The Harvard Conference in January 2021 will be held virtually, and the Asia Conference in 2021 will be held in Taipei.