Savvy welcomes students from all tertiary institutions throughout New Zealand, including Asia Savvy alumni and friends as well as new undergraduate and post-graduate students. Our conference and other networking events provide the opportunity for students to connect by sharing ideas and experiences.


Students engage in an informal learning environment with professional speakers from industry and experts from academia and the public/NGO sectors,. Speakers discuss key issues and challenges relevant to the conference topic, sharing their stories, insights and knowledge from on-the-ground experience in Asia.


Applicants submit a 300 word essay to secure a place at the conference. Prizes are awarded for best essays along with the chance to be published in our conference e-book. The conference provides ample opportunity for students to engage in lively discussions and share ideas and experiences.

Asia Savvy Symposium: Building cross-cultural competencies, 19 September 2020

Thanks to all speakers, sponsors and attendees for making this year’s symposium a successful event!


Are you keen on increasing your leadership potential by being Asia-Savvy AND…

  • Learning from and interacting with experts from academia, industry, government and NGO sectors in lively discussions and workshops.
  • Networking with like-minded students in discussions and workshops.
  • Having the opportunity to have your essay published.

About this year’s symposium and Our People

Discover the importance of building cross-cultural knowledge.

Develop skills to succeed in a connected yet diverse world.

Join us for two hours of learning and networking with like-minded students at our remote Asia Savvy symposium. Discover the importance of building cross-cultural knowledge and learn skills to succeed in a connected and culturally diverse world.

Date: Saturday, 19 September 2020
Time: 10 am to 12pm
Venue: Online Zoom – link will be sent 48 hours prior
Register here:

Essay submission is not necessary to register for this event. However, if you wish to be considered for the two best essay prizes – either an iPad or three one-on-one career meetings with experts from industry please submit your 300-word essay or opinion piece here:  A selection of best essays will be published. Close off for essay submission is 9 September. 

Learn about:

  • relevance of cross-cultural differences and how they impact our future global careers
  • the key skills needed to succeed in this global and inter-connected world
  • personal skills, work habits and strategies that have helped our panellists succeed
  • what these cross-cultural experts wished they had known earlier in their journeys

Already registered – If you have already registered and submitted an essay, you do not need to re-register. You will be sent a zoom link 48 hours prior.




Natasha Hamilton-Hart, Director,
New Zealand Asia Institute  and Marie Landingin, Asia Savvy Committee Lead


Panel discussion: Showcasing success stories
Engage directly with people who have worked and lived across different cultures and gained valuable experience in their respective fields. Our panellists will offer valuable insights based on their own giving tips on personal skills, habits and strategies that helped them build the relevant competencies.


  • Ziena Jalil, Independent Consultant
  • Olivia Shen, Marketing Manager-Asia, Triumph & Disaster Ltd
  • Jerry Clode, The Solution
  • BoBae Wilson, Asia New Zealand Foundation
11.10am Break
11.25am Workshop: Cultural intelligence learning
Learn about the ‘whats’, ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of cross-cultural competencies, giving examples on how to use these skills effectively.
Antje Fiedler, The University of Auckland Business School
11.40am Optional breakout session: Cross-cultural storytelling
Students share their own stories with their peers.
12pm Prize-winner announcements

For more details, contact Dinah Towle

Sponsored by:



Meet the committee for the 2020 Asia Savvy Symposium.


This student-led conference is organised and supported by the New Zealand Asia Institute of the University of Auckland. It aims to attract a dynamic group of students from New Zealand universities nationwide. This presents attractive sponsorship opportunities for business and organisations whose participation would enhance the event.


The Asia Savvy Ambassador Programme provides students with the opportunity to act as liaisons between Asia Savvy and their respective universities.