Each November, a small group of Furman students travels to one of the 21 member economies that are part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC. There they attend sessions of the prestigious APEC CEO Summit, featuring heads of state, and of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), whose members advise the heads of state on business concerns. These students serve as citizen diplomats to the annual concurrent APEC Voices of the Future program, where young people discuss the role of youth in furthering the goals of APEC.
APEC will be hosted virtually by New Zealand this year. In March of 2022, the Riley Institute will begin accepting applications for APEC 2022, which will be held in Thailand.
Each trip requires flexibility, as things change quickly and each host country offers different types of experiences. While no two trips are the same, past students have gotten to:
- Attend sessions featuring presidents, prime ministers, and chancellors from the member economies
- Engage in conversations with CEOs of international companies such as Caterpillar, Alibaba Group, and Eurasia Group
- Meet with the U.S. Ambassador and tour the U.S. Embassy
- Participate in “culture night” with peers from the member economies
- Interview government officials, trade ministers, and business executives
- Present the U.S. view of that year’s APEC theme to an international gathering of their peers