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Undergraduate represents Canada at APEC Summit


Five young Canadians network with international business and political leaders.

By Caitlyn Spencer

A University of Calgary student had the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper – and countless business and political leaders – last weekend as part of Global Vision’s Junior Team Canada at the 2011 APEC Summit in Hawaii.

“Prime Minister Harper has placed a real emphasis on actively engaging Canadian youth in the branding and selling of our country,” says Arlen Adolphus, a second year in political science and economics. “He has always been supportive of our youth initiatives in Global Vision, so it was a real privilege to speak to him about how we have been representing our country.”

Adolphus is no stranger to meeting formidable figures. His attendance at the summit was the culmination of a year’s work, beginning with his participation in a leadership conference in March of 2010. Following this, Adolphus was selected as the high school representative for Alberta at the 2010 G8 and G20 Youth Summits in Muskoka and Toronto, ON.

Following the summits, Adolphus began fundraising for a Global Vision trade mission to China and Malaysia. Each member on the 50 person team succeeded in raising the $5,500 necessary, and traveled to five top cities in China, including Beijing and Hong Kong, to meet with government leaders and high profile business executives.

Adolphus continued work with Global Vision through the year, and was chosen as one of Global Vision’s top five members to be part of the APEC summit. Adolphus is the only Western Canadian member of Junior Team Canada (JTC) for 2011, alongside two youth delegates from Ontario, one from Newfoundland, and one from Nunavut.

Besides getting to meet with Prime Minister Harper and sitting in on speeches by world leaders such as President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao, members of JTC connected with industry leaders from all over the Asia Pacific region, promoting Canada as a place of exceptional opportunity for investment.

“Through partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, our team developed a strategy for engagement with foreign officials and business leaders to promote and retain investment in Canada and trade negotiation,” Adolphus says.

Adolphus finds that working with Global Vision directly ties in with his studies. “I’ve always been a strong believer in the combination of formal and informal learning,” he says. “It gives me a wide perspective when I learn the theory in class, and then discover what happens in the real world.”

Though the summit is over, Adolphus and the rest of Junior Team Canada are still hard at work. “Our mission never ends,” he says. “We are continually creating opportunities for more youth across Canada to get involved.”

See how you can get involved with Global Vision. The next Global Leaders Centre will take place in Calgary in 2012, and will host delegates from all four Western provinces. To see a video of Adolphus and his teammates talking to Hawaiian media, click here.