TEDxGadong Conference Sought to Bring Out Leadership Qualities in Youth (BruDirect (Brunei))

The TEDxGadong Conference was held last Saturday evening at the iCentre in Anggerek Desa and saw five influential speakers discuss ‘Inspirational Leadership’ in front of a full-house.

The first speaker, Dato Paduka Haji Jemat bin Haji Ampal, former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, and current Restaurateur, said, “We are very fortunate for having a good foundation in the country,” laying the essence of a belief where successes can be made from the opportunities presenting themselves in daily life.

His talk on Business Development 101 resonated well with the crowd, with “his transition from government to entrepreneurship made me see the possibility in following his footsteps,” said Awangku Syafi Bakar, a politics student from the University of York.

The second speaker, Iswandy Ahmad delved not in the importance of your ideas, but how you convey them.

“People watch, but they rarely listen,” he said, highlighting how story telling is underutilised in inspiring people with leadership skills.

Different stories affect people differently and this could not have been more true when Kuhan Pathy, a multi-award winning young Malaysian leader took the stage. His journey was that which every inspiring leader hopes to emulate, finding success upon breaking norms, redefining what’s already been done and making them better.

“Leaders innovate and add value,” he said before adding “We succeed by taking the path least taken.”

The fourth speaker, Mohd Nuriskandar bin Mohd Hasnan, is the President of the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Guild Alumni Association, and from his position on the importance of the alumnus of UBD, we see why leaving a legacy was a topic close to his heart.

“Everyone is important,” he started, “and everyone can do much better.” But this simple affirmation left a lot of people nodding, showing the many who have been hard on themselves.

The last speaker, Deejay Izan of Pilihan FM fame, talked about the courage to be different. And from the start she was true to her beliefs by having the audience stand up from their seats, do breathing exercises and committing to shout in unison the affirmation “I’m awesome”.

The audience, who for the past four speakers sat in a strict trance of the seriousness in leadership, loosened up in laughter. But she quickly got them back into focus with the less glamorous side of leadership and of being a person of influence. At the end she summed up what matters the most, “Do you believe in you?”

The five speakers could not have been more different from each other but they all had the same outlook on what it takes to be an inspired leader. It is all about the passion. In ourselves, our ideas and our outcomes. Failures or success are a part of us, and embracing them and learning from them is what made the five speakers stand out on stage.

“All our efforts are engineered to shift people’s thinking on the importance of ideas because in the quest of realising the monarch’s vision for 2035, ideas are paramount. All the greatest businesses all started off as ideas after all, said Abdul Malik Omar, the Chairman and Co-Partner of TEDxGadong.

“In addition, we are helping to amplify Bruneian voices and identity in this globally-recognised platform. I see it as our capacity as youths of the country to contribute back to the nation,” the 22-year old former government scholarship student added.

Fadli M Zaini, one of the Co-Partners of TEDxGadong, commented how good of an opportunity it was for those involved in the Youth Leadership Programme to gain experience.

“We get youths huge responsibilities to handle strategic points in the organisations, such as marketing, operations, media, emceeing, IT, and design. It was a fully hands-on experience so whatever challenge arose, we dealt with them together. This has increased their capacity for leadership.”

TEDxGadong is an independently run organisation, which aims to deliver TED-like talks in Brunei Darussalam. The team is looking to expand their nationwide reach in the coming future in the hopes of inspiring more people.

Those who would like to be a part of the TEDxGadong movement can follow their Facebook account for updates on future events and opportunities to take part in this dynamic and growing organisation.

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