News & Events - A-JIS Learner Initiates Global Challenge in Education

A-JIS Learner Initiates Global Challenge in Education

A-JIS, G12 Learner, Tran Hoang Long, flew to Singapore last weekend having been selected to present at the International Youth Leadership and Innovation Forum (IYLIF) #IYLIF2017 at the country’s impressive Lifelong Learning Institute.  Long was one of around twenty young people selected from a large number of applicants globally.  Speakers were selected based on their message and their determination to take action linked to their topic.

Many of the young Global Ambassadors made wonderful speeches with important messages on appropriate use of technology, values, bullying, and educational change.However, our Long also brought a challenge and a call to action for all schools and communities globally to take on.   

The presentation follows on from last year’s work by A-JIS MYP learners who arrived at the questions Long presented the audience:



‘What sort of education do young people really need and how do schools provide that sort of education?’

They arrived at a collective answer of: ‘We need an education that enables us to maximise our chances of being successful and happy now and in the unknown future’.

After defining what our youth meant by happiness and success (‘Genuine ‘happiness’ is to be found in taking meaningful action to help others, our communities and our environments – ‘So success’ then relies on how good we are at doing things that generate happiness for others and ourselves.’), Long went on to invite all schools to use a process we have developed to help communities bring change to their schools through deep reflection on a series of ‘big’ questions. The process hopes to help communities develop the trust, communication and collaboration to ask themselves difficult questions about their approach to education.  In Long’s words:

‘Doing so, school communities can identify a shared vision. For them to be able to discover their own ways to improve (and) more importantly, to bring their communities together in an atmosphere of trust and collaboration.’

Long went to on to introduce the idea of a website that logged schools’ experiences so they could share the ideas. The website would gradually build to contain

‘Not only thousands of ideas and feedback for schools and community improvement, but also inspiring stories of young people leading their communities and using their power for good.’

His message went on to point out what his group would like to give:

‘In a time of great changes, to make small ones in ourselves and by ourselves for ourselves in our education, communities and our environments is perhaps, the best thing we can do?’

The group, currently made of Long, Yuniba Katsuo and Allen Chang all of G12 is mentored by A-JIS Manager of Operations, Robert Thorn who was also invited to the forum as a panellist.  When the question was asked, ‘are people ready yet for the changes necessary in education’ he replied, ‘I believe people are and have always been ready for the change – the problem lies in the barriers that prevents such a change…  We believe that the answer lies in the community making the changes together to shift the direction education has been allowed to follow.  By starting with positive, universal human values and by focusing on what young people really need for success and happiness, communities can draw on their own cultural values to build an appropriate direction for their schools.’  Before doing that, of course, we all have to be able to understand our values, question what we want from education and how our schools can go about providing that approach.’

In supporting Long’s message, he went on to say:

What Long has presented is an invitation to be part of a movement where questions help communities move through a paradigm shift in education – to refocus on helping young people take wise action and not just learn to pass exams.

We need to give our young people not only a voice but also an enablement to take action towards ensuring a better society and a liveable environment for all.

After the Forum Long said:

‘My experience of participating in IYLIF was, overall, positive. Writing a speech is always an intimate process for me and it was interesting to bring together that intimacy along with the objectively important message of transforming education. The organizers are professional speakers and taught me a lot about the panache of speech deliverance. I had a great opportunity to build connections with a new set of passionate youths (perhaps similar to myself) by talking with them or hearing them talk. And if anything, Singapore was an amazing experience.  I would like to thank the school as well as Mr. Thorn for introducing and sending me to this forum)

Robert Thorn said: ‘It was a great opportunity for our project and us.  IYLIF are an amazingly caring organisation and the effort put into helping our young people prepare themselves was tremendous all through the two boot camps, the prep day in Singapore and at the conference itself.’

During the conference, Long and other Global Ambassadors presented alongside speakers such as, World Champion of Public Speaking (and the author of ‘Mastering Leadership the Mousetrap Way’), Manoj Vasudevan and Global speaker and internationally renowned expert of Business Creativity, Change and Global Business, Fredrik Haren whose book “The Idea Book” was included in “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time”.

IYLIF is the creation of Sindu Sreebhavan, Founder of As Many Minds – ‘a platform to bring out the creativity, innovation, confidence and communication of millions of young minds around the world’


As Many Minds:

Lifelong Learning Institute, Singapore:

You can see the action and more photos here:

IYLIF Facebook:

Manoj Vasudevan

Fredrik Haren:

Transforming Education Globally – our website will be officially launched in later this month (Sept 2017) but you can preview it here.

Bonus Can You Walk and Talk?  Try it with Singapore’s Prime Minister