By Daniel Chen
2nd year Bachelor of Journalism student

With mayors, deputy mayors and government leaders from more than 100 cities attending, the 2015 Asia Pacific Cities Summit & Mayors Forum 5-8 July at Brisbane’s Convention and Exhibition Centre was undoubtedly the pinnacle of professional business and leadership conferences in the Asia-Pacific.

I was fortunate enough to represent Griffith University as an intern at the APCS Media Centre and participate in the event as a delegate from the 6th till 8th of July. My main responsibilities as a media centre intern were handing out media accreditation to journalists, guiding media personnel to speeches and sitting in numerous concurrent sessions.

The main themes for the 2015 APCS were Global Cities, Future Cities, Digital Cities and Cities For People which spanned the threemain days of the summit and featuring world-renowned speakers, presentations and trade shows.

Each day started off with an inspirational presentation from the APCS keynote speakers namely, Lord Sebastian Coe, Former Chairman of 2012 London Olympics Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games; SY Lau, Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent and President of its Online Media Group in Beijing; Randi Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media.

The Young Professionals’ Forum- Urban Challenges for Future Cities, sponsored and facilitated by Griffith University, was also a vibrant part of the summit, which provided professional development opportunities for university students, private and public sector leaders from the Asia-Pacific aged between 18 to 30 years old.

Professor Paul Burton, Acting Director of Griffith University’s Urban Research Program said this year’s Young Professionals’ Forum was the largest and the best one to date with 106 participants (of which 26 were Griffith University students). He said the forum was about finding solutions to challenges facing cities in the Asia-Pacific region now and into the future. On the final day of the forum, four outstanding young professionals presented the accumulated findings and recommendations to the whole APCS conference.

Lecturers from Griffith University held nothing back as they work-shopped and presented their research, experience and knowledge to the attentive young professionals. In the Harnessing digital possibilities in the cities session, Dr David Tuffley said future employment in IT related careers were in high demand. Therefore, mastering new media as technology progresses would be a great skill to hone.

I believe this internship experience has helped me acquire more knowledge on how Brisbane is economically integrating with the Asia-Pacific region and the potential innovations that future cities need.

The connections I have gained from interning at the summit will be beneficial when I graduate and enter the media industry. Overall, I would like to thank Griffith University and Rowland for this great opportunity. It was a great honour to be part of the 2015 Asia Pacific Cities Summit & Mayors Forum.