International Huskies

UW Converge Returns to Asia

The premier gathering of the UW’s global community stepped back onto the world stage in Indonesia

On a tropical morning in early August, more than 200 people gathered for the UW Converge summit in Jakarta, Indonesia. The audience of UW alumni, Husky supporters and members of the public were eager to gain expert knowledge and connect with one another.

The annual UW Converge event series has long been the place where the UW’s international alumni and friends gather to learn, network across borders and celebrate Husky Spirit. Since the inaugural Shanghai event in 2015, it has traveled across Asia. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on those travels. After two virtual years and a homecoming event in Seattle, it finally returned to Asia for UW Converge Jakarta 2023.

The summit kicked off with a keynote from UW President Ana Mari Cauce, delivered from Seattle. She welcomed the audience and spoke about the positive impacts the UW is creating through the University’s deep global connections. “Examples are everywhere across the world and throughout Asia,” she said. Among the projects highlighted by Cauce were the UW’s Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), which works closely with industry to push the boundaries of innovation, and the Ocean Nexus Center, which seeks to transform ocean governance for the benefit of everyone. She added that “universities like the University of Washington are especially well-suited to these endeavors, because innovation and discovery go hand in hand with exploring the ethical and human impact of our scientific advances.”

These advances and impacts were central to the theme of this year’s summit. It examined groundbreaking innovations in the world of finance, business and technology, but also looked closely at the impact these breakthroughs have on people. Sessions explored topics ranging from how to navigate investment in an uncertain world and the potential for upheaval posed by artificial intelligence to building personal resilience during times of rapid change.

The sessions offered guests at the summit the chance to hear from leading experts at the UW and from the Husky alumni community. Campus leaders included Denzil Suite, vice president for student life; Ali Mokdad, chief strategy officer for population health; and Frank Hodge, dean of the Foster School of Business. There was a large contingent of alumni speakers such as Jerry Ng, ’86, the founder and chairman of Bank Jago, an institution leading a banking revolution in Indonesia, and Alvin Graylin, ’93, the president of HTC China. A number of dignitaries also spoke, including several ministers from the Indonesian government and the US ambassador to Indonesia, Sung Kim.

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For many, the summit was the highlight of this year’s gathering, but it wasn’t all immersive learning. Celebration and connection are also at the heart of the UW Converge experience. A tour of Jakarta offered an opportunity to explore the rich culture and history of Indonesia. A gala following the summit added plenty of fun and spectacle to the day. Guests were treated to Indonesian hospitality at its best, enjoying fine dining and traditional performances of dance and music. After Jakarta, an optional extension to Bali offered more opportunities to explore and a program that examined the future of philanthropy at the UW.

The conclusion of another exciting UW Converge event was a reminder of the strength of the University’s global community of Huskies. With nine established alumni chapters and more than 25,000 alumni and friends around the world, there are Huskies in every corner of the globe making a positive impact.

UW Converge Jakarta was a perfect example of that impact. The event would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of the Indonesia alumni chapter under the leadership of chapter president Aldrin Tando, ‘91. Their outstanding work brought together an amazing group of speakers for an event that sets a high bar for future hosts.

While the next UW Converge location has not been announced, its legacy of providing unrivaled access and connection to all Huskies who identify as part of the UW’s international community will continue.

Learn More About Past UW Converge Events