12th aflbs header

Cover Story

Potential and purpose in millennial leadership at the 12th AFLBS

AE Team | Nov. 30, 2017

With the theme “Filipino Youth, Global Leaders: We Drive Change for a Better World,” the 12th Aboitiz Future Leaders Business Summit (AFLBS) summit gathered 90 students (56 from Luzon, 24 from the Visayas, and 10 from Mindanao) for a four-day youth conference on business and leadership, the Aboitiz Way. For the first time since 2006, AFLBS was held in two cities, Cebu and Manila.

The students are currently pursuing degrees in Engineering (Civil, Chemical, Industrial, Electrical, and Mechanical), Economics, Finance/Accountancy, and Psychology—all of them carrying the potential to create a positive difference as a youth leader here or offshore.

What began as a three-day gathering of Cebu’s brightest student leaders, with the vision of preparing them for the corporate world, Aboitiz Future Leaders Business Summit has grown to become an annual phenomenon that brings together top-ranking students from the country’s top universities.




Author and entrepreneur Jonathan Yabut was the keynote speaker for this year’s summit. Known as the winner of the first season of the television show “The Apprentice Asia”, he later worked as AirAsia Chief of Staff, reporting directly to Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes. Jonathan is now a motivational speaker on leadership, the “Generation Y” workforce, and office productivity for various companies in the region.




The AFLBS is known to bring in inspiring leaders as keynote speakers who share the stories behind their success in their respective fields. Past guests include Kenneth Cobonpue and Paul Rivera (2016), Rebecca Bustamante (2015), Chieffy Caligdong and Krie Reyes-Lopez (2014), Bianca Gonzalez and Maria Ressa (2013), Gang Badoy (2012), Bam Aquino (2011), Efren Peñaflorida (2010), and Grace Padaca (2009).




In addition to the plenary session in which Jonathan spoke, the program included breakout sessions in which the delegates were able to learn more about the Aboitiz Group directly from heads of business units. It likewise gave them a glimpse into the world of business, corporate life, social responsibility, and nation-building.



republic cement aflbs




The summit became an avenue for all of us to learn great things that we can use in order to become great leaders in our field and in society and in order to drive change to make the world better…One message that really struck me was this: ‘A person must not forget that while advancing careers, the society must also progress.’

–Kurt Adrian Dela Peña, Delegate, 12th AFLBS




You millennials are also acknowledged as being able to present far more creative and innovative solutions to problems than any other generation before you. You are the most ethnically diverse generation and therefore tend to be tolerant of differences. Your generation intuitively understands technology as it has always been a part of your life, growing up in an electronics-filled environment that enables online and social media communication with anyone, anywhere in the globe, 24/7. With these distinctive characteristics, you millennials already have what it takes to become global leaders,

–Erramon I. Aboitiz, President & CEO, Aboitiz Equity Ventures.



Here is the VIDEO featuring the key moments of the 12th AFLBS:

Watch highlights from the 12th AFLBS

Related story:

Tales of the 12th AFLBS by the summit’s Core Team