Hey AIESEC! We hope that you all enjoyed a fruitful day with high quality of keynote speeches, interactive and advanced technological experience, interesting exhibition zone and lots of social networking opportunities.
Inherited from the successful conference last year in Bangkok, AAAP Conference in Hong Kong had followed the spirit of CONNECT, COLLABORATE and CONTRIBUTE.
First of all, happy birthday to AIESEC in Hong Kong and thank you for about 100 delegates who were from 14 countries to come to join us in the conference and celebrated our 50th Anniversary. We all have had a good time to meet old friends, make new friends, and recover the lost connection. It also provided a good chance for Junior to meet Senior, to build new connections in different generations.
We had shown once again how AP alumni to CONNECT.
This year, the theme of AAAP Conference is Chanceformation, a combination of Chance and Transformation. We introduced different speakers to share their used of technology and how it changed the world. Such as IBM shared the global technology development and innovation, and then we had HSBC to represent Multi-National Company (MNC) and Lai-Yuen as local business group to share how the implementation of technology transformed their traditional businesses around the world and in their communities. Also, we had MoneySQ to share a more practical and down-to-earth case study on how Financial Technology changed the money lending industry in HK.
Last but not least, we invited our alumni to share their stories on the use of technology that impacted their businesses. We hoped that our delegates could feel the power of technology and how it changed our daily life and behavior, and also to explore new chances and opportunities. To enhance our impact, we brought in again the “AIESEC’s Got Talent” and dived in-depth the quality. Alumni from different industries and backgrounds were invited to help the delegates to explore their own selves, brand their own selves, explore their own purposes and make use the data surrounding us for making better decisions.
From understanding the external environment and opportunities, to understand one self’s ability, our ultimate goal is to explore your potential to contribute back to society in an AIESEC way.
We found the shine of alumni in the region to COLLABORATE and help each other.
Same as the conference last year in Bangkok, the conference followed up the discussion of AP alumni’s direction and cooperation. We had invited AAI EB member to elaborate the up-coming AAI direction and the framework of Vision 2020 for alumni, which including alumni engagement; understand stakeholders; build up on a sustainable business model, delegates had shown their passion and support, suggested and brain-stormed different ways to work with each other.
We found our alumni to CONTRIBUTE resources to build the future of the region together.
During the country leaders meeting, we proposed a statement for AAI Vision 2020 “Engage all alumni to create impact globally, consistent with AIESEC values”, which helped to motivate and inspire more local alumni back to AIESEC Alumni family.
Here are the highlights from the discussion of Vision 2020 for Alumni:
- Engagement of alumni
Problem we indicated:
- AP alumni agreed that AAI and local AIESEC alumni should be in the same goal only when AAI is structured and transparent, basis with enough representatives from all regions. However AP alumni didn’t see it from current organization structure therefore caused a high resignation rate from AAI EB in the past 3 years.
Suggestions / solution:
- NAA should be the grass-root and the foundation of RAA and AAI.
- RAAs representative should be the core to found a strong AAI. Which a strong AAI was mandated by NAAs and using RAAs as their deputy (i.e., AP proposed that AAI could be formed by “seats” that nominated by the RAAs whereas the RAA seats are nominated by NAAs in their respective region. And not having a separately elected AAI body which created mismatched objectives and strategies at times).
- Strengthening the NAA via activities, programmes, and RAA strengthens networking opportunities through regional conference.
- Need to reinforce the collaboration between stronger NAAs and young NAAs, leverage the resources to help young NAA to formalize their programmes and activities to be consistent and sustainable.
- The key successful factor is rejuvenation and replenishment: to get the young alumni to come back. It’s not just about giving back but participating in a meaningful way, e.g. mentorship, financial sponsorship, coaching, etc.
- Need to encourage alumni from different locations to join those core activities such as Care Group, AGroup, AlumNite, National Conference and Regional Alumni Conference (RAC), to engage and reconnect them together.
- Need to increase the regional impact; existing alumni delegation could take the lead to bring a new AIESECer friend to join. The main objective to ensure the RAC could have enough representative to bring voice to AAI.
- In the coming 3-5 years, RAA should increase its Acceptance and Representativeness by having more NAAs engagement to collaborate with each other and we expected RAA should play an important role in AAI.
- Understand our stakeholders: Junior AIESEC and Senior AIESEC
Problem we indicated 1:
- There is a gap between Junior AIESEC and Senior AIESEC, where the change of Junior AIESEC makes lots of Senior AIESEC lost their purpose to engage back to AIESEC, especially to NAA.
Suggestion / Solution:
- There are many different roles of alumni, such as Advisors / Mentors, TN takers, Sponsors, etc. However, simply AIESEC alumni are acting as a SUPPORTing role.
- To make use those products from AAI and RAA, such as RAC and AGroup. Since most of the Senior AIESEC had detached for so many years, those products could let them get the feeling first and refresh their old good memories about AIESEC. That could be an incentive or temptation for them to back to AIESEC family.
- Besides attracting back the Senior, we also need to prevent the lost of Junior. Care Group could be a nice product to convert the Junior after their graduation from university and to continue their AIESEC life. Because once we lost them, we may need more than 10 times of resource to find them back.
- Cooperation with LC level is the most down-to-earth and practical solution on keeping Junior and calling back Senior. This is the most important communication channel between Junior to Senior. We found that most of Senior had very high sense of belong with their LC. That is the grass-root of each Senior before they will engage to NAA, RAA or even AAI.
- AAI, RAA and NAA should spend more resources and time to develop the communication to LC (or LAA), AAI or RAA, doesn’t only belongs to previous AI or NC/MC EB members, but also all the AIESEC alumni who those only active in the LC level. This level contain near 70% of potential alumni.
- Give alumni a comfortable way to attach, engage and share. The obstacle of the circulation and the adoption of AlumNet may be because out-of-focus on the targeting strategy. We found that there are many small alumni groups in different social media platforms. And there is one common successful factor to have a bigger group, which is engaged from a daily life communication (easy version) to common platform (complex model). Therefore, we suggest to work on an easy platform to gather the attention and engagement of alumni first, especially those had detached from AIESEC for many years.
Problem we indicated 2:
- NAA seems contest with Junior AIESEC on alumni resources.
- We found that many alumni have a wrong perception that seems AAI belongs to past AI members and NAA belongs to past NC/MC members. As mentioned in previous question, there is about 70% active in LC level. The expansion of NAA created a tense and contest of LC to share alumni contacts and resources.
Suggestion / Solution:
- We suggest a simple business model to solve this problem. That is NAA belongs to both Junior and Senior by shares. The share percentage depends on different member committees. We believe that can also applied to RAA and AAI.
- The most important assumption and philosophy are to build the trust, acceptance and representativeness between Junior and Senior. Therefore the model should balance each party’s interests and benefits.
- MOC will do the pilot of this model in 2017.
- The brief of the model is as the followed:
- NAA’s shareholder (legal ownership) is AIESEC and Alumni. Therefore, the MC and individual Alumni hosts respective amount of shares (in between ⅓ to ½). AIESEC MC is recommended to own more than 50% of shares to ensure alumni will not dilute its voice.
- Alumni body can be either by trust, by funds, by shares or informal parties to subscribe their money for shares or funds, but need to ensure the representativeness and acceptance by the local alumni and capital investment.
- Both AIESEC and Alumni body will have enough number of representatives to sit in NAA according to their shares or agreement. The pilot model will only have MCP from AIESEC and one from each Alumni body to simple all the communication and decision-making.
- In the long run, if more Alumni interest, this model allow more Alumni bodies to invest as a fund to own different proportion of shares of NAA, i.e. MC x (1), Alumni Funds x (N, could be in cities level). This is to ensure NAA is capable to absorb all the alumni from different prospective, interest and area. And to ensure it is sustainable and easy to manage.
- NAA will have its own board by senior alumni and MCP to give advise to NAA and manage NAA, just like a normal company. It can also work with AIESEC’s Board of Advisor Group to make both AIESEC and NAA better.
- NAA will have a management team that managed by young alumni; either full time position or part time position to ensure daily operation is running smooth.
- NAA may share the office with MC as headquarters and in different city may be having virtual group with LC to manage such as AGroup, AlumNite, etc.
- Since NAA belongs to both Junior and Senior (AIESEC and Alumni), they could share all the alumni resources and it makes Junior more willing and easy to look for resources through NAA instead of individual connection.
- Since both Junior and Senior need to invest capital to NAA, it provides a good opportunity for Senior to share company management to Junior with practical experiences.
- Under this structure, NAA could be more efficient to
- Create a self sustain eco-system to run NAA.
- As a hub or knowledge based of AIESEC to protect and inherit of information, best case studies, etc.
- Ensure the sharing of information from AI, AAI, RAA and NAAs in the regions.
- Work with HR agencies / Alumni to provide career consultation to Junior,
- Host conference such as ISUM, National Conference or even Regional Conference to provide sufficient channel to alumni.
- Gather sponsorship, network and TN takers from Senior to Junior, to avoid duplicated effort or inefficient communication.
- Be a platform for Junior and Senior to have regular connection and discussion to understand each other on the direction of AIESEC.
- Create high transparency for both parties to work together and building trust.
- Provide a hub for Senior to invest to Junior on Start up business, i.e. through AIESEC ISUM event.
- The NAA management team not only communicates with local and national alumni, it also sends representative to RAC or AAIC to increase the engagement and provide a stronger voice to the region.
Problem we indicated 3
- Exchange is the most impactful way to create a life changing experience. However it seems that some of Unique Selling Points (USP) were missing out.
- The quantitative exchange KPI drives many member committees to be fulfilled by Volunteer projects and short term internships without life-long impact, e.g. the GE programme.
- The drop of quality of exchange created a vicious circle for losing TN takers that didn’t want to renewal and potential EPs found less interest of not much choice with very keen competition.
- Key learnings through exchange programme for AIESEC members are also undervalued.
Suggestion / Solution:
- To rebuild the brand of AIESEC’s uniqueness, strengthen the quality exchange shall be our goal.
- Alumni, especially those with exchange experience can reinforce the values and key learnings.
- Since the loss of transition of doing high quality of exchange, we suggest to take pilot by LCs / MCs.
- Start with single LC to fully utilize and centralize the resources to have a fast response and result, and also easy to manage.
- Pilot exchanges guided by Alumni can fill in lost processes and enhance learning for AIESEC EB members.
- Emerging markets / countries / selected industries, could be a good starter with potential / favourable factors that to become a pilot to rebuild the exchange quality.
- The whole process of good quality exchange programme, not only a good learning opportunities to Exchange Participants (EP/trainees/ Student Nominee) but also to LC / MC itself.
- Reinforce the USP is the learning skill set from exchange process.
- The skill set learning of TN side:
- negotiation, and
- bargaining for benefit,
- The skill set learning of SN side:
- integration, and
- The skill set learning of TN side:
- AI, as the key stakeholders is to recommend to spend more resources to reorganize, repackage all the exchange process to fulfill the need of current generation instead of just pick the easy task.
- AAI should work with AI on this, and highly recommended to be more open and formalize by standard procedures for Junior to easy to have a big picture of the exchange treasure, although that is not quite possible to simplify the model from the old case studies, especially it need to fit the current reality and business environment.
- Reinventing of exchange product is also important to rebuild the USP. It should be based on the key value of “Life Changing Experience” to both EP and EB.
- To ensure the value from exchange, we proposed a “Global Survey” to cover all year range of university to listen to their wants and needs before reinventing the most relevant product to fit their interest and attract them.
- AI needs to set a standard measurement criteria / checklist for the exchange performance if AI really focus back on exchange quality. This will help to rebuild the confidence to TN takers to provide more opportunities and new cooperation / partnership.
- Sustainable Business Model
Problem we indicated
- AAI has many ideas and projects that launched via AlumNet Platform. However, the low penetration rate of AlumNet makes most of them couldn’t popularize in AP.
- Except AGroup and AlumNite, ISUM is the only AAI programme that launched in AP region.
Suggestion / Solution
- The programme / project should be simple and easy to launch.
- AAI programme / project should not bind with AlumNet. In MoC, alumni launched similar idea / programme that partner with Large HR Company, e.g. Michael Page to help alumni to get career advice and opportunities in AP region.
- It should be tested in pilot countries before the mass launched. Also, it is better to have best practice sharing to its own region or with other Regions.
- It is good to further cascade AIESEC Alumni identity and purpose should be better communicated. Need to state out clearly for the social relevance.
- Since AP believes AAI should support from the grass-root, we support NAAs and RAA should have its own product with its personality / characteristics. Not every project could be suitable for globally rollout.
- AP has run “AIESEC’s Got Talent” in the RAC for two years. We suggest forming a regional alumni professional bureau of speakers who are the expertise on any specific industries or successful business leaders. NAAs can organize a paid forum by inviting specific speakers from the regional bureau to share their insight, experience and idea.
- It will be another income stream for Alumni, NAAs and RAAs.
- Feasible execution plan is the key success factor.
- General Comments to AAI EB Report
- When AAI partner with any Alumni owned companies, it is better to open and share the agreement with RAA leaders. It can avoid conflict of interest.
- AAI’s structure is not formalized as AI, which it was elected by a group of delegation instead of member committees, its acceptance and representative was not strong as AI.
- Therefore, AAI should work with RAA Leaders and share the decision making with RAA to gain the trust from NAAs and Alumni.
- The transformation project should keep going to make AAI better and formalized. AP support the philosophy and believe of AAI, but we don’t support the current structure just because AP challenges not only the integrity but also the general acceptance and wide representativeness, but this condition still have long way to go.
- AP believes that all AAI EB members are doing well to AIESEC alumni all around the world, and believes it will be impossible to get NAA vote for day-to-day management works or decision. However, to avoid dictatorship from the management team, AP suggests AAI to increase and strengthen the communication channel to RAAs and NAAs, especially if the decision impact to the general interest of alumni globally.
- AP highly appreciated AAI to spend more effort and resources to strengthen NAA and build up the strong cooperation with AI, rather than spend money or effort to invest on global programme / project. Programme / Project should be driven by NAAs with practical experience before globally spread out, just like ISUM, AGroup and AlumNite, they started from pilot NAAs.
This is what Asia Pacific alumni CONCERN about the future of AIESEC and how willing we are to make it a better place.
All of the above output was just the started. Appreciated to see if any passionate alumni will show their COMMITMENT. See you all on 20-23 July, 2018, AAAP Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
AIESEC Alumni Asia Pacific – Secretary General cum President
AIESEC Alumni Hong Kong – International Relations Director
30 June 2017