ASEAN CSR Fellowship 2018

ASEAN CSR Fellowship 2017  


The ASEAN CSR Fellowship seeks to build up the next generation of ambassadors for responsible business in Southeast Asia, harnessing the potential of the private sector in addressing key regional issues in anti-corruption, environmental degradation and human rights. The Fellowship is part of ACN’s ongoing efforts to help practitioners re-define CSR, away from its misconception that it is just corporate philanthropy and volunteerism, towards the business responsibility to look beyond their bottom line and consider the social and environmental implications of their activities. The attention is shifted from how businesses spend money (charity) to how the money is made.

A small team of high-potential individuals will be selected from business, government and civil society, to be equipped with in-depth theoretical and practical concepts in responsible business. The year-long journey will take Fellows to 3 countries across ASEAN, spending 5 days each in Singapore/Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam. Covering the full spectrum of ASEAN member states with varying levels of economic development, the Fellowship starts at the heart of ASEAN’s business activity in Singapore/Malaysia, before heading to the emerging economy of Myanmar and the manufacturing hub of Vietnam. Each week spent in the different countries will feature a series of study tours to meet top business leaders, government representatives, academics and civil society practitioners. Modules will also feature deep-dive topics, delving into difficult issues such as the rights of migrant workers, labour standards in the garment industry and responsible investment. The learning objective is to build an understanding of CSR as it applies across ASEAN, comparing the different experiences in the 3 countries visited.

As ASEAN continues to face a variety of complex national and regional issues, the Fellowship hopes to deepen cross-border perspectives, and unite a new generation of CSR leaders in our common goal towards regional sustainable development.

“Let us face the facts: The old model is broken. We need to create a new one – a new model for dynamic growth. Growth that is equitable…growth that can be sustained within planetary boundaries…growth that will benefit current and future generations”

- Ban Ki Moon, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations.

“We resolve to consolidate our Community, building upon and deepening the integration process to realise a rules-based, people- oriented, people-centred ASEAN Community, where our peoples enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms, higher quality of life and the benefits of community building, reinforcing our sense of togetherness and common identity.”

- ASEAN Community Vision 2025


Conversations with 'giants' in CSR

Throughout the programme, Fellows will be connected to top industry, government and civil society leaders who are champions of CSR – an invaluable opportunity to build a professional network for years to come.

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Benefit from an alumni network

Upon graduation, Fellows will join an alumni network of past and present Fellows, and maintain constant contact through informal and formal meetups, sharing resources and online platforms. By nurturing an alumni of leading CSR practitioners, the Fellowship aims to sow seeds for the transformation of the business landscape in Southeast Asia into one that recognises not just profits, but also people and the planet.

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Benefit from workshops with candid discussions

In 2017, ACN conducted workshops for the Fellowship covering topics on:

  • Sustainability reporting
  • CSR buzzwords and trends
  • Supply chain mapping
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Dilemmas in ethical decision-making
  • Crony-capitalism and responsible public procurement

Similar workshops will be held for the 2018 programme.


The ASEAN CSR Fellowship is kindly supported by:

Sweden    Foreign and Commonwealth Office Logo.svg




Duration & Locations

3 weeks over a 1-year duration

The ASEAN CSR Fellowship is not a full-time fellowship. Fellows will remain in their occupations throughout the year while participating in the program modules.

The fellowship is comprised of 3 modules. Fellows will meet 3 times a year in the following countries:

  • Online course: Feb 2018
  • Module 1: Singapore/Malaysia (5 days, 5-9 Mar 2018)
  • Module 2: Vietnam (5 days, 2-6 Jul 2018)
  • Module 3: Myanmar (5 days, 5-9 Oct 2018)

Size of Cohort

 15-30 fellows

(Subject to quality of applications received)

Application Criteria
  • National citizen of any of the 10 ASEAN member states
  • Mid-career professionals in business, government, civil society or other relevant sectors, with a demonstrable passion in, and commitment to, advancing a career in CSR.
  • 25 to 45 years old
  • Strong command of the English language, as the course will be taught only in English


Course fees: SGD 5,000 (excluding flights and accomodation)

Scholarships are available and will be offered to top applicants


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Modules Dates Location
Online Feb 2018 "Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability in Practice" by Nottingham University Business School
Module 1 5-9 Mar 2018
(5 days)
Module 2 2-6 Jul 2018
(5 days)
Module 3 5-9 Oct 2018
(5 days)


Topics covered

The following main topics will be covered over the 3 modules through classroom sessions, workshops, site visits and talks:

The business case for CSR – Why should businesses even bother?

What is the business case for responsible business?

In today's changing landscape, are there increasing demands from external stakeholders - consumers, investors, employees, media - for ethical business?

What are the international standards which can serve as guides for stakeholders to act?

Human rights

What are the key human rights issues caused by business activity in this region? (e.g. poor labour standards, forced labour, poor treatment of migrant workers, land-grabbing, contamination of community resources, marginalization of vulnerable groups such as indigenous groups, women and children)

Which industries are most susceptible to lapses in human rights?

How do problems like forced labour practices inadvertently enter the supply chain? 

Corporate governance

How can we dispel the myth that corruption is part of the business culture in this region?

How can businesses improve compliance systems and uphold business integrity amid pressures?

Environmental sustainability

What are the key challenges and opportunities in environmental protection by the private sector?

What are the best practices in Sustainability Reporting?

The private sector’s role in supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) What role do businesses have to play in sustainable development, if this is commonly seen as a responsibility of governments and civil society? How can businesses help to address some of ASEAN's key issues?

The ASEAN landscape

Gain insight into the work of ASEAN and its ongoing efforts to tackle regional issues


Introduction of key CSR tools and concepts ISO 26000, GRI Guidelines, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Please click here for the Fellowship held in 2017, which will give you a good understanding of how the 2018 programme will be conducted.



Partial scholarships funded by the Governments of Sweden and UK will be offered to top applicants, with a particular preference for applicants from the less developed countries in ASEAN.

Fellows will have to bear the cost of 3 return flights on their own, while all other components of the programme will be covered by the partial scholarship.

The number of scholarships offered will depend on the quality of applications received, though up to 15 scholarships were offered in 2017.

Applicants should state if they are keen to be considered for the scholarship, as stated in the application guidelines.


Total course fees are SGD 5,000 (excluding flight and accomodation)

The full cost of the programme is as follows:

Course fees: SGD 5,000
Flights*: SGD 400 x 3 times a year = SGD 1,200 (estimated)
Accommodation*: SGD 100 per night x 6 nights x 3 countries = SGD 1,800 (estimated)

Total: Approximately SGD 8,000

*Fellows who would like to reduce costs may book their own flights & accommodation


The Fellowship will be conducted with the support of resource persons / institutions in government, business, academic and civil society sectors. Resource contributors of the ASEN CSR Fellowship in 2017 included:

Country Partners

Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS)

Singapore Management University (SMU) – Asian Business & Rule of Law Initiative (ABRLI)

National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School – Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations (CGIO)

Hitachi Asia

Corrupt Practices Investigations Bureau (CPIB)

Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC)

Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME)

Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2)

Ministry of Manpower (MOM)

National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)

Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF)

Singapore Centre for Social Enterprises (raiSE)

DBS Foundation

Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN)

Closing Dinner: Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, former ASEAN Secretary-General



Indonesia Business Links (IBL)

ASEAN Secretariat

ASEAN Foundation

Vale Indonesia

Oxfam Indonesia


Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry


Unilever Foundation


Closing Dinner: Mr. Rafendi Djamin, former representative of Indonesia to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Committee on Human Rights



Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry

Global Compact Network Myanmar

Myanmar Investment Commission

First Myanmar Investment Company


YOMA Strategic Holdings Group

General Electric

Gender Equality Network

Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business

Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute

Best Garment


Closing Dinner: Ms. Khine Khine Nwe, Joint Secretary General of UMFCCI



League of Corporate Foundations (LCF)

SM Foundation

Aboitiz Foundation

Zuellig Family Foundation

Asian Institute of Management (AIM)

Jollibee Group Foundation

San Roque Corporation

ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC)

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)

Philippine Economic Zone Authoirty (PEZA)

Ramon Magsaysay Awards

CEMEX Philippines for Asia

Closing Dinner: H.E. Leo Herrera-Lim, Chair, ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights


Dates Application
15 Dec 2017 Applications close
15 Dec – 31 Jan 2018 Skype Interviews
Selection of candidates
31 Jan 2018

All selected candidates informed

Application guidelines can be found here.


ASEAN CSR Fellows Class of 2017 Profiles