About Us


The Asia Savvy conference explores the potential that Asia holds for ‘Asia-savvy” graduates. We strive to give valuable insights into New Zealand’s future with Asia to build Asia-savviness that helps students succeed in shaping their futures.

The conference provides a forum for debate, discussion and learning about New Zealand’s ever closer ties with Asia, especially as they are relevant to graduates and businesses, both in New Zealand and in Asia.

While we bring students together to discuss current issues, we also provide a forum for interaction with businesses and other thought leaders with interests in Asia. New Zealand is now recognising a new generation of young leaders, most notably, those who are “Asia-savvy”. We seek to deliver value by capitalising on this. Instead of taking a top-down approach, where “experts” are invited to lecture our participants, we are emphasising a process that is focused on students, in which a conversation is held between those students and experts to encourage the dissemination of knowledge among this generation of Asia savvy young leaders. Our innovative concept is designed to maximise the value that is captured within our Asia-savvy students.

The Asia Savvy conference is the largest annual student-led conference held in New Zealand inviting tertiary students nationwide. Since 2011, we have hosted a growing pool of students from the seven universities nationwide. All these students have one thing in common – an understanding of the importance Asia will play in their futures and the benefit of building a toolkit to ensure they are suitably Asia-ready.

Our events draw on experts from academia, business, government and the NGO sectors to engage our students in thought provoking discussions on how to better engage with Asia.

Asia savvy events have the following goals:

  • Connect – fostering long term relationships with like-minded students
  • Learn – interacting with and learning from some of today’s leaders in academia, business and government.
  • Contribute – being part of a dynamic forum for exchange between students

Students are required to submit an essay to secure a place at our popular annual conference. The best essays are awarded prizes and a selection will be published by New Zealand Asia Institute, adding a student dimension to debates about how we can better engage with Asia.

Asia Savvy events are supported by the New Zealand Asia Institute based in the University of Auckland Business School. Deepika Jindal provides project management support to Asia Savvy events for New Zealand Asia Institute. For more information about Asia Savvy, contact Dinah Towle, Asia Savvy Adviser: d.towle@auckland.ac.nz 


New Zealand Asia Institute undertakes research that promotes engagement with Asia, provides a forum for informed debate and offers a bridge to Asia-related expertise and research within the University of Auckland.

The Institute was established in 1995 as a response to the growing importance of Asia to New Zealand politically, economically and culturally.

The concept behind Asia Savvy fitted in with one of New Zealand Asia Institute’s goals – to development graduates, knowledge and ideas that enhance New Zealand’s understanding of, and ability to engage productively, with Asia.

For more information about New Zealand Asia Institute: www.nzai.auckland.ac.nz