Charles Sutton; Reflections on the Asian Investment Conference
I wanted to post a brief message reflecting on my experience with Project Firefly in Hong Kong. I also wanted to encourage anyone interested to participate in the upcoming Project Firefly essay writing competition.
The trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I had never been to Hong Kong, or anywhere in Asia, before. It is something of a cliché but the density and the level of activity are overwhelming. I arrived on a Sunday night and the streets and restaurants around my hotel were packed—far different from Minnesota.
The conference itself was also a terrific experience. We had the opportunity to listen to speakers like Zhu Min, Austin Goolsbee, Glenn Stevens, and Dr. James Bullard speak about the state of the global economy. In addition, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Wolfgang Munchau, Robert Kaplan, and Evan Bayh spoke about current issues in politics and geopolitical conflict.
The conference was an excellent networking opportunity. I was recently given the chance to have lunch with a Board Member from a large American company, who I had met in Hong Kong. Additionally, I have kept in touch with Professor Simon Evenett—one of the organizers of Project Firefly—who has put me in touch with some important organizations in my field of interest.
Finally, the best part of the trip was the time spent casually discussing current events with my fellow finalists. Whenever I meet young, intellectually curious, like-minded individuals, I always find myself in interesting discussions and debates—Project Firefly was no exception. I recently had lunch with one of my fellow finalists in New York, and I hope to keep in touch with both of them.
I strongly encourage anyone interested to submit essays for the current competition. Project Firefly and Credit Suisse offer a great opportunity for young people interested in current events and thought leadership.