The Asian community of the Global Leadership Academy (GLAC Asia and the Pacific) belongs to a global network of professionals. Its members came together as a regional hub to form an action community with the aim to foster partnerships, co-create solutions and enable collective action towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030. They are characterized by their strong local knowledge, technical grounding and experience in an extremely diverse region ranging from Afghanistan to the Pacific Island States.
Afghanistan, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam
Under the leadership of our first ambassador Gaurav Sharma a foundation was laid to form GLAC Asia and the Pacific as a regional community within the global GLAC Network and to mobilize participation. The GLAC ambassador role started out as a solo one that did not have the option of a technical advisory support structure. One key lesson we took forward is that such a broad and diverse region as Asia and the Pacific has to be represented by a team rather than a single individual. That is how regional leads for South Asia and South East Asia evolved in 2021, the sub-regional identity footprint for GLAC Asia and the Pacific being much more focused in South Asia and South East Asia.
Ms Mome Saleem is the GLAC regional lead for South Asia. Mome is one of our members who successfully participated in the Unveil the Hidden Presence - Trafficking in Women and Children Lab. Mome is also a member of the Global Diplomacy Lab. and developed and co-hosts the South Asia Leader's Dialogue. As a regional lead for GLAC South Asia she takes care of 49 regional members from 8 countries namely: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Academically an Anthropologist and a practicing policy researcher and program manager, Mome Saleem has been working in the development sector -local and international think tanks- for the last 14 years. She is the Founding Executive Director of Institute of Urbanism - a think tank focused on studying urbanization and its impacts on human life and environment. She is also working as a technical and planning specialist (Consultant) for Generation Unlimited program for youth development at UNICEF since November 2019. Previously, she has been associated with (2015-2019) German Green Foundation, Heinrich-Boell-Stiftung (hbs) and Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom as Program Coordinator. She has been associated with Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) as Senior Research Associate and coordinator from 2009-2015. Her research interest revolves around resource equity, climate change, peace and security and gender issues. She has worked and published on related subjects.
Mr Gaurav Sharma served as the GLAC regional ambassador for the Asia and the Pacific region up to 2020. Gaurav is one of our members who successfully participated in the Transforming Leadership Lab implemented by the Global Leadership Academy and the Asian Development Bank. He also participated in the Global Diplomacy Lab.
Gaurav is currently the Advisor on Artificial Intelligence (AI) with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ – India) and an Affiliate to 'TheFutureSociety.org'. He has worked as a consultant and policy advisor in information technology, international relations and in global development institutions. He is a facilitator for the “Youth Climate Leaders” (YCL) in South Asia, the founder of the Indo-Swiss Future Leaders Forum (ISFLF) and the Policy Advisor for a Drone Consortium in India (Saubika Consortium). Gaurav Sharma is the recipient of the German Chancellor Fellowship for year 2015-2016, by the Alexander von-Humboldt Foundation. He is also the recipient of the ‘Young Leader’ in the ‘Crans Montana Forum’, class of 2014-2017. Currently, he is a Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Asia Division in Berlin. Gaurav was the Political Advisor at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, New Delhi, from 2012 to 2015. From 2011 to 2012 he was a Research Assistant at the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi.
Mr Saamdu Chetri, joined the Global Leadership Academy while participating in the Global Wellbeing Lab. As an active member of GLAC Asia and the Pacific he co-hosted the South Asia Leader's Dialogue in 2021. A PhD in commerce, a pilgrim of love and compassion, was born in a cowshed in remote Bhutan. After working for 25 years in the private and development sectors, and five years in the first democratically elected Prime Minister's Office as Head of Good Governance, he instituted the GNH Centre, as one of its founding members and headed it for five years. In his 35 years of life’s working journey, he has been teaching, consulting and speaking at various international and national occasions on various topics, including in the House of Commons in the British Parliament, Senators of Philippines, among others, and dozens of universities and colleges in the world including India. He has many interviews with all kinds of media and wrote three books with several contributions to many books. Since Dec 2017, he is employed by IIT Kharagpur, India, as a teacher and his mindfulness journey continue.
Mr Manjunath Sadashiva joined the Global Leadership Academy as a member of the Transformation Thinkers facilitated by Bertelmann’s Foundation, Germany which subsequently got subsumed under the Global Leadership Academy Network. As an active member of GLAC Asia and the Pacific he co-hosted the South Asia Leader's Dialogue in 2021.
Manjunath Sadashiva is a citizen of India currently residing in Romania. He is an evaluation specialist assisting client-organizations with evaluation research design, instrumentation and data analysis, results-based management including Theory of Change. In his past stints, he has worked as an Associate Consultant and Visiting faculty on urban governance at Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Programme Consultant on participatory governance at CIVICUS, South Africa, Director of CMCA India and Joint Director at Public Affairs Centre in Bangalore. He possesses a doctorate degree in politics from the Technical University of Dortmund in Germany. Besides, he also has a Master’s degree in Psychology from Bangalore University, a post graduate diploma in urban management from I H S Rotterdam and a second post graduate diploma in regional development planning and management from Technical University of Dortmund in Germany.
Ms ElsaMarie D’Silva joined the Global Leadrership Academy as a member of the Global Diplomacy Lab. In 2020 she developed and co-hosted the format Voices from GLAC a capacity development program honing GLAC Members’ skills in the art of storytelling and public speaking. ElsaMarie also intitiated the Gender Alliance, which started in 2018 as a global community of practice to accelerate gender equality across networks.
ElsaMarie is the Founder of Red Dot Foundation (India) and President of Red Dot Foundation Global (USA). Its platform Safecity, crowdsources personal experiences of sexual violence and abuse in public spaces. Since Safecity started in Dec 2012, it has become the largest crowd map on the issue in India and abroad. She is listed as one of BBC Hindi’s 100 Women and has won several awards including Government of India Niti Aayog’s #WomenTransformingIndia award and The Digital Woman Award in Social Impact by SheThePeople. In 2017, she was awarded the Global Leadership Award by Vital Voices in the presence of Secretary Hillary Clinton. Her work has been recognised by the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations through the Intercultural Innovation Award, SDG Action Festival and the UN Foundation at the Solutions Summit 2016.
Prior to Safecity, she was in the aviation industry for 20 years where she worked with Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines. Her last portfolio was Vice President Network Planning & Charters where she oversaw the planning and implementation of 500 daily flights.
Every voice is valuable and every action matters! We believe in collective work, commitment and will power to bring about change and co create solutions for the challenges faced by the region.
The regional community of GLAC Asia and the Pacific consists of 110+ members spread across 22 countries situated in South and East Asia, ASEAN nation states, Central Asia and all the way to the Cook Islands. The dynamic nature of the Asia and Pacific Region is reflected in the diverse cultures, time zones as well as distinct and area specific developmental challenges. These distinctions have also influenced the work of GLAC members who are driven to bring positive change in their respective field of work. Similar yet different is what defines the community hence emphasis has been laid to constitute a flexible and participatory governance structure for GLAC Asia and the Pacific community.
In a survey among members of GLAC Asia and the Pacific, conduted in 2020 and supported by interviews with individual members, the following points were decided upon for future development of the regional community:
- Three themes identified per year for workshops, actionable ideas etc.
- Give preference to experts from within the community
- Put a team together to find problems in the region that can be jointly addressed by the Asia- Pacific GLAC members... including writing jointly to the governments of the countries concerned
The following set of primary goals has been raised often to have a better mandate for GLAC Asia and the Pacific region
- Flow of more information within the region
- Theme based workshops / dialogue
- Jointly address challenges
- Time based engagement encouraging greater participation and financial assistance towards curating smaller more effective sub-regional cohorts
As next steps for 2021 and beyond we identified:
- Finalization of governance structure draft, designing a roles and responsibility set for the sub-regional teams
- An open discussion to appoint three or more sub-regional coordinators+ core team as volunteers who are willing to devote 2 hours per week for a duration of 12 months
- Monthly virtual / face to face meetings with introduction of new members and agenda-based discussions
- Encouragement and support to drive new member participation and limiting active member participation and giving more space to new agenda and themes
As of early 2022 we still need to decide upon:
- How to divide the sub-regions
- Who will take what responsibilities?
- What is the content of the ambassadorial programme and the goal -> to speak with one voice as GLAC Asia and the Pacific?
- Do we need someone to represent the region to GLAC Global?
We believe that change will come through work, commitment and will power to collectively tackle the issues facing the continent, and every action, every voice is of precious value.
GLAC Asia and the Pacific created the South Asian Leader's Dialogue as an open forum for cross-cutting issues facing the continent. In 2021 urbanism was selected as the annual topic, rethinking urban spaces for a happy, sustainable and inclusive future. The South Asian Leader's Dialogue was created as a space for inspiration, peer-support and leadership. The format is explicitly not limited for members of GLAC Asia and the Pacific.
Members of GLAC Asia and the Pacific are connected via exclusive social media groups and provided with an online platform that offers safe spaces for learning, exchange and collaboration built on trust and equality among them.
Furthermore members of GLAC Asia and the Pacific frequently participate actively in formats organized by the wider GLAC Network like the GLAC Dialogue Forum.