On Aug 24, 2007, I got invitation for the Yong Leaders Forum of National Committee of US-China Relations. I will become 2007 Fellow of the Forum and participant in the YLF activities in 2007 in China and 2008 in U.S. I am very excited about it.

I have been longing to be able to join this forum for a long time. I heard about the Young Leaders Forum from Haisong, during my first lunch with NCUCR delegation. I wrote immediately after I know the program:

NCUCR Programs

I heard about the Young Leaders Forum from Bo Shao and today from Haisong again. Both of them are members of the committee. Every year, the program choose 14 young (under 40) professionals from China and 14 from American and hold seminars in U.S. and China alternatively. Today’s group comes from the other program, Public Intellectuals Program. It offers opportunities of new generations of China specialist to talk with key persons in China.

One question I often asked was, “Does it really make any impact for spending money and effort on just several people?” I tend to think any program need to cover at least 1,000 people to be significant. In Shanghai, for example, a program reaching out to 10,000 people even didn’t make too much impact… It seems I was using the point of view of a marketing manager.

Recently, I found I was wrong. If a program can impact even one person, it makes difference. It is not quantitatively significant, but qualitatively significant. It made positive impact to participants, and they can make impact for people around them. I feel the personal connection with the bigger scope of Sino-American relationship, so does my readers.

This idea made me even more confident about my Coffee Bean program. 7 persons are a small group, but when we do it right, it is helping the country to get stronger. They are the future leaders of China.

The Schedule

This year, the Young Leaders Forum will choose about more than 10 participants in U.S. and another 10 or more from China, and the alumni may also join this year’s forum. It happens from Nov 28, to Dec 2, 2007 (I think this is public information, isn’t it?), in Nanjing, China. The theme for this year is Meeting the Challenge. I don’t know the location of the U.S. trip yet of the next year yet (because I guess some readers may ask).

What I am Looking Forward to

I am excited to participant and cannot wait to Nov. The past participants are saying highly about the program. This is what I expect personally.

  • Getting New Perspectives. Just as I truly believe to put the six blind men in the Blind men and the Elephant story can help everyone to understand elephant better, to mix young people from U.S. and China together and share their different perspective help everyone to have a better understanding of the world.
  • Difference and Conflicts. I would expect there are different opinions or even conflicting ideas. I believe there must be many such cases. I don’t worry about it. Actually, I see it as the success indicator of the forum. It means it does provide the opportunity for people to access oppinions that they may not previously see.
  • Meeting new Friends. I understand the value of talented people. They contribute more insight and thoughts much more than average people. I would be happy to know the 40 new people in the current or alumni of the program