Investing in Oneself is Investing in the Future Generation

I first had an encounter with the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow in the Philippines on July 6, 2017 exactly 30 days before my departure to the United States for the 10-month Fellowship at Michigan State University in Economic Development. The Humphrey alumni in the Philippines gave us a platform, this early, to present in a public forum our advocacies and program plan for the fellowship. I was asked to present and talk about one of the pillars of the investment plan in the autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) then in my capacity as executive director of the Regional Economic Zone Authority.

Aleem Guiapal (second row, 6th from left) at Start Up Weekend Michigan State Innovation 2018

This is not just a send-off talk but a venue to get things done. The Humphrey Alumni Philippines, under the leadership of Atty Arnel Banas (University of Washington and Deputy Secretary of the Senate of the Philippines), engaged institutions such as the Department of Trade and Industry and ASEAN Integration expert Professor Frederico Macaranas of the Asian Institute of Management. 

Outstanding men and women of the HHH Alumni Philippines 2019 Get Together (influencers, judges, CEOs, development leaders, policy experts, award winning journalists and writers, law makers, executives, law enforcers) name it…amazing leaders!

The platform is not just a talk or forum. The alumni engage law makers, in particular, the author of the Philippines Halal Act of. 2008 Senator Cynthia Villar and other leaders from the judiciary, Philippine National Police, Office of the President and representatives both from the public and the private sectors. This is just my story in the pipeline. Imagine the outstanding men and women of the Humphrey alumni and outstanding leaders from the Balkans and other parts of the globe. Our cohort (2017-2018) represents the world’s emerging leaders, 155 of them from 97 countries.

I just came from Dubai to give a talk at the Global Islamic Microfinance Forum and met the founder of the biggest Islamic microfinance in the world, Muhammad Amjad Saqib. His organizations have helped more than two million families. Guess what? He was a Humphrey Fellow at American University 1983 from Pakistan.  

Aleem Guiapal at the 2018 Global Islamic Microfinance Forum Dubai with Muhammad Amjad Saqib (HHH Fellow in 1983 at American University) 

I remembered the workshop on Negotiation in Washington DC, when we were mentored by Shanta Nagendran (Malaysia), a world-renowned consultant and trainer and a Humphrey alumni.

This is the kind of investment of time and resources by the Humphrey Fellows, it has a multiplier effect. This makes investment in oneself an investment for the future generation.

Aleem Guiapal with youth leaders from Panpacific University February 21, 2019

Our time spent in the US is not just lodged in building our expertise but also in sharing our experiences. I benefited most in my talks at the universities and schools. I measure success based on how others could benefit from my learnings and experiences.

I was given a new portfolio when I arrived back in the Philippines, this time as assistant secretary at the Office of the Regional Governor. And given the transition and limitations in the bureaucracy, I continue to engage the younger generation, youth leaders and entrepreneurs through a mentoring program. Part of which sharing business models and strategies is learned from the Michigan State Innovation Start Up Weekend. The Humphrey Fellowship certificate signed by the US President is one thing, but making the most out of it to the benefit of the future generation is another and best part! Since I came home, I continue to engage emerging leaders and entrepreneurs from across the globe. From the Bangsamoro region, to Malaysia, Egypt, Dubai and other regions in the Philippines.  #GoGreen #Spartans # Ikonnect

Aleem Guiapal giving a talk at Panpacific University February 21, 2019: Leadership is About Problem Solving. ICE. Innovate. Create. Explore.

Panelists at the 2018 World Youth Forum Egypt Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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