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AUS holds second Student Leadership Conference
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah, and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), the second AUS Student Leadership Conference (ASLC13) was held at the AUS Main Auditorium today, Wednesday, April 17, 2013.
The theme of the conference is civic leadership and social responsibility. The main objective of ASLC13 is to facilitate an exchange of ideas across a diverse group of experts and students who share the passion of civic leadership. ASLC13 intends to allow students to cultivate useful contacts and networks, and instill greater confidence in students to bring forth the immense leadership potential present in the region.
The opening of the conference was attended by Sheikh Khalid Bin Saqr Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Public Works Department, as well as senior AUS officials.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Acting AUS Chancellor Dr. Thomas Hochstettler welcomed the guests and the delegates to the conference, and discussed various aspects of leadership.
"By coming together here today to participate in the AUS Student Leadership Conference of 2013, you, our students have a wonderful opportunity to expand and deepen your understanding of the true meaning of leadership in the highest sense of that word, namely, civic leadership," said Dr. Thomas Hochstettler.
"Civic leadership entails cultivating in oneself a certain generosity of spirit and imposes upon those of us who have the privilege of an advanced education the imperative of giving back to our community. During the course of this conference, you will hear from experts and practitioners who have demonstrated their generosity of spirit and in whose lives we witness superb examples of how to respond to that imperative to give back," he added.
Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, AUS Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, also spoke at the opening ceremony. "The Office of Student Affairs organizes the AUS Student Leadership Conference biennially with the motive to inspire and educate students about crucial aspects of leadership," she said. "This year the conference theme is focused on civic leadership and social responsibility with the intention to create a sense of the importance to giving back to our communities. We believe true satisfaction in life comes when one can positively affect and make a difference. We are confident that today's speakers have greatly benefited AUS students and conference attendees to lead better communities and become active global citizens," she added.
Following the opening remarks, His Excellency Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Nuaimi, the Official Environmental Advisor to the Ajman Government, also known as "the Green Sheikh," delivered one of four keynote addresses. His address was entitled "Young Leaders for Challenging Future." "Always be different from others. Don't mimic everybody," said Sheikh Abdul Aziz, addressing the students. "You are not just a human being. You have a legacy to make. Sustainability is not about technology. It's about your heritage and identity," he added.
The second keynote speaker was Dr. Rashid Alleem, Director General of Sharjah Department of Seaports and Customs and Sharjah Free Zones Authority. His talk was entitled "Leading in Tomorrow's World." He also spoke about his projects, including the Alleem Foundation, which works with individuals and innovative organizations to improve social, economic and environmental living conditions worldwide.
The third keynote speaker was Richard Brandt, Director at the Iacocca Institute, with his talk entitled "Civic, Social Responsibility and Ethical Leadership." Brandt discussed perceptions towards civic and social responsibility, in addition to the many business projects he has been involved in.
The fourth keynote speaker was Marwan Al Serkal CEO, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority-Shurooq and CEO of Al Qasba Development Authority, with his talk entitled "Shurooq Support to Social Responsibility". Al Serkal spoke on the nature of leadership. "Be authentic to yourself. Everyone has the qualities to become a leader," he said.
The talks were followed by a question and answer session.
In the afternoon, Richard Brandt held a workshop entitled "Ethical Issues in Six Countries," followed by the Convey Leadership presentations, part of a competition where students were given the opportunity to demonstrate a concept of leadership through a structure, 3D illustration, poster, photograph, painting, sketch, video, or a case study analysis. The day concluded with the distribution of awards for the Convey Leadership Competition and a closing ceremony.
The conference was organized by the Office of Student Affairs' Student Leadership Program. The first student leadership conference was held in 2011 with the theme of ethical leadership and citizenship.