The conference has been designed to provide you the flexibility and convenience of attending either in-person or virtually. Truly the best of both worlds! Week one is virtual for all (April 15, 17, and 19). Live-streamed presentations and discussions allow all presenters and attendees to participate without leaving home. In the second week, choose to join us in-person or continue attending sessions virtually. The live content sessions will be streamed to those who are remote. Week 2 begins with the Meetup Dinner Wednesday, April 25 and ends with the Closing Session on Friday, April 26.
It's a flexible and inclusive experience, ensuring everyone can benefit from valuable knowledge-sharing and networking opportunities. See you there!
All content sessions offered at our conference will be available online to virtual attendees. In case you miss some, they will be recorded and available for 3 months. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to consider "Reinvention 5.0." You can learn so much with such a small investment. These sessions begin 30 minutes later than our webinars normally begin.
Of course, there is so much more to an in-person conference than content sessions. To experience what southern India has to offer, come to Trivandrum, Kerala, India. Registering for the In-Person conference includes all of the Content Sessions offered virtually, plus the Meetup Dinner, Reception and Cultural Performance. We also offer two cultural tours as Optional Extras. Many people from India are attending, eager to talk with you about career development practices in other parts of the Asia Pacific region. Notice that the first in-person event which is included in registration is the Meetup Dinner on Wednesday evening -- your opportunity to get acquainted with others attending the conference and to find lunch partners for the rest of the conference. Dr. Brian Hutchison, our first keynote speaker, will be with us for the full conference and available to talk with you about his presentations.
Two Professional Development Institutes (PDIs) are offered which are not included in the basic registration. They are available both virtually and in-person. The first PDI by Dr. Brian Hutchison is called Human-centric Career Design: A Devotion to Worker Welfare through Career Development on Wednesday, April 24. The second PDI will be held on Saturday, April 27 and is called The Science of Leading Others Through Change. You may register for these PDIs when you register for the conference, or send an email later to add them to your registration. The other Optional Extras are tours, which are only available in-person.
The conference will be held in TechnoPark, which is about 10 kilometers northeast of the center of Trivandrum. There are many elegant hotels in Trivandrum. A short sample of hotels with ratings and prices (in USD) selected from Booking.com include:
The hotel closest to TechnoPark is the Ginger Hotel. It is a 3-star hotel (clean and comfortable, but not elegant) and charges 3500 Rupees per night ($38) for a “Deluxe” room. It is walking distance to the conference from the Ginger Hotel.
APCDA's annual conference is fast approaching, and this time, the spotlight falls on India. A nation steeped in history, culture, and innovation, India has emerged as a great destination for individuals across the Asia Pacific region to gather, learn, and network. As a member of the organizing team, it's my pleasure to introduce you to the charm of India and why it's the perfect locale for next year's conference.
The conference will take place in Technopark, Trivandrum, Kerala's capital city. Trivandrum, also known as Thiruvananthapuram, is a city that seamlessly marries modernity with heritage.
India's unique blend of tradition and progress has always captivated visitors. From the bustling streets of Delhi to the serene backwaters of Kerala, every corner of India offers a distinct experience. Attendees will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a culture that celebrates diversity, spirituality, and intellectual curiosity.
Trivandrum, situated in the southern state of Kerala, is an epitome of India’s cultural richness. The city is a canvas painted with the hues of classical dance forms like Kathakali and Mohiniyattam, which convey stories as old as time itself. Its historical landmarks, such as the Padmanabhaswamy Temple with its intricate carvings and towering Gopuram, stand as a testament to the artistic brilliance of ancient Indian craftsmen.
As you wander through Trivandrum's bustling markets and quiet alleys, you'll find the threads of tradition woven into everyday life. The scent of fragrant spices wafting through the air, the vibrant textiles adorning shopfronts, and the melodious strains of traditional music create an immersive experience that resonates with the essence of India's cultural soul. Other iconic attractions being the Napier Museum, Indian Space Center, and the picturesque Kovalam Beach, amongst many others.
April is one of the most appealing months to visit Trivandrum, as the weather strikes a perfect balance between warmth and comfort. Average daytime temperatures typically range from 25°C to 33°C (77°F to 91°F), offering a delightful warmth without the intense heat that characterizes the peak of summer. This makes it an ideal time for outdoor exploration, beach activities, and sightseeing without feeling overwhelmed by the heat.
Trivandrum International Airport provides exceptional connectivity to major cities in the Asia Pacific region. As a modern airport, it offers top-notch services. Moreover, the city has a well-established transportation network, ensuring convenient and hassle-free mobility.
As you contemplate joining us in Trivandrum, Kerala, consider this not just an event on your calendar, but a chapter in your life's journey. The annual conference is your invitation to step out of your comfort zone and into a world where cultures converge, ideas flourish, and memories are etched. It's a chance to explore India's soul-stirring heritage and Trivandrum's tranquil landscapes, all while connecting with fellow explorers from around the world.
Have you ever gone cruising in a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala? If you haven't, make sure you do. This is easily amongst the most remarkable and unique experiences that Kerala has to offer.
Present day houseboats are huge, slow moving exotic barges used for leisure trips, and are in fact a reworked version of the Kettuvallams of olden times. In Malayalam language Kettu refers to ‘dwelling structures’ ‘Vallam’ means boat. These are boats with a thatched roof cover over wooden hulls. A portion of the Kettuvallam was covered with bamboo and coir to serve as a restroom and kitchen for the crew. Meals were cooked onboard and supplemented with freshly cooked fish from the backwaters. Today, appropriately called houseboats, they have furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, living rooms, kitchenettes and even balconies for angling. Sections of the curved roof of wood or plaited palm leaves open out to provide shade and allow an uninterrupted view of the backwater country.
The houseboats are either poled by local oarsmen or powered by engines. All of them have a crew comprising oarsmen, a cook and a guide. While converting kettuvallams into houseboats, care is taken to use only natural products. Bamboo mats, sticks and wood of the areca nut tree are used for roofing, coir mats and wooden planks for the flooring and wood of coconut trees and coir for beds. Nowadays, Solar panels are preferred for lighting.
While most boats are poled by local oarsmen, some are powered by a 40 HP engine. What is truly magical about a houseboat ride is the breathtaking view of the untouched and otherwise inaccessible rural Kerala that it offers, while you float in a relaxed way right through it. House boats are available at Trivandrum, Kollam, Kottayam, Allappuzha, and Ernakulam. Please contact District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) for more info.
For a shorter experience, motor boats and kayaks are also available for viewing local villages and wildlife in the waterways near the ocean, at places like Kuttanad, Munroe Island, Asramam Adventure Park, Akkulan Adventure Park, Kakkathuruthu, Sambranikodi, and Poovar Island. Visit Kerala Tourism for more information.
The mountain ranges in Kerala are known as “the Kashmir of South India.” In addition to the beautiful mountain scenery, cooler temperatures, and multitude of accommodations, the area is covered with tea and spice plantations and nature reserves.
Wanayad is located 700 to 2000 meters above sea level in northern part of Kerala (north east of Kozikode). Wanayad Wildlife Sanctuary is rich in flora and faura. It was established in 1973 to conserve and protect the biological heritage of the region, which includes elephants, tigers, leopards and egrets and offers tourists camping sites, trekking, waterfalls, caves, bird watching, plants and trees. Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is the biggest wildlife area in the Malabar region of Kerala. It offers an elephant safari to view the animals, which include elephants, deer, tiger etc. Edakkal Cave was formed by the splitting of a huge rock, resulting in a rich pictographic gallery.
Munnar is a hill station located directly east of Kochi and approximately 1,700 meters above sea level. It is known for its sprawling tea and spice plantations, a lake surrounded by rolling hills, misty mountains, virgin forests, waterfalls, and hiking trails. You may also enjoy the flower garden and botanical garden where you will see different variety of plants and herbs. Boating is available at Mattupetty Dam and Kundala Dam and allows you to enjoy the stunning scenery. Enjoy tea tasting sessions, trekking, and breathtaking views.
At Munnar Farm Spices, see these spices growing: Pepper, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Ginger, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Clove, Coffee, Allspice, Cocoa, Vanila, Curry leaf, Chilly (photo shows nutmeg).
Located about 100 kilometer south of Munnar and about 300 kilometers from Trivandrum is town of Thekkady, the Periyar Tigar Reserve, and elephant reserve, and Periyar National Park. Surrounded by plantations for coffee, tea, and spices, Thekkady offers a rustic atmosphere, sophisticated tourist facilities, and a wide variety of things to see and do. Boating on Periyar Lake, a very large reservoir, is a great way to spot elephants, tigers, Indian bison, and various species of birds. Tourist facilities in the Periyar Tiger Reserve are described here.
Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, just 32 kilometers from Trivandrum, is in the Sahyadri mountain range and covers a total area of 128 km2 (49 sq mi). The diversity of its flora makes the sanctuary an ideal gene pool preserve. Mammals include tiger, leopard, sloth bear, elephant, sambar, barking deer, bonnet macaque, Nilgiri langur and Nilgiri tahr. 176 Species of birds, 30 species of reptiles, 17 species of amphibians and 40 species of fishes have also been found and a Crocodile Rehabilitation and Research Centre and Neyyar Elephant Rehabilitation Centre complex are within the area.
Varkala Beach: Located about 45 kilometers north of Trivandrum. Varkala Beach is renowned for its stunning cliffs and a unique cliff-side pathway that offers panoramic views of the Arabian Sea. It is known for its vibrant beachside shacks and yoga and Ayurveda centers. It is also known for a mineral springs with curative properties. It is believed that when you dip to the holy waters at this beach will eliminate body impurities and all the sins of the soul. The Janardhanaswamy Temple, a 2000 year old shrine, stands on a cliff overlooking the beach. The Sivagiri Mutt, founded by the great religious reformer and philosopher Sree Narayana Guru (1856 - 1928) is also close by. Sree Narayana Guru propagated the ideology: "one caste, one religion and one God", in a society torn by the taboos of caste system. The Samadhi (the final resting place) of the Guru here attracts thousands of devotees every year.
It is directly west of the Trivandrum airport. Shankumugham Beach features features a large sculpture of a mermaid and is a great place to watch the sunset.
Kovalam Beach is located 16 kilometers south of Trivandrum. It is known for its crescent-shaped shoreline, pristine waters, and a range of water sports and activities. Lighthouse Beach, Hawa Beach, and Samudra Beach are the three main parts of Kovalam Beach. There are many shops and restaurants along the shore. Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and Ayurvedic massages in the beachside resorts.
Chowara Beach is a serene and less crowded beach located about 10 kilometers south of Kovalam. It offers a tranquil atmosphere, making it a perfect spot for relaxation and enjoying the natural beauty of the area.
Poovar is a beautiful, secluded beach located around 30 kilometers south of Trivandrum. It's known for its estuary where the Neyyar River meets the Arabian Sea, which includes Poovar Lake and many islands. You can rent a houseboat or ride a powerboat to explore the backwaters, fishing villages, estuaries, and mangroves filled with a wide variety of birds. The friendly fishing community residing in the village is unique because of its customs, cultures and traditions.
Kochi is the heart of Kerala also known as Queen of Arabian Sea. Kochi is a paradise for tourists where you can experience the glimpse of pre-historic, historic and modern era. The city is the financial capital of Kerala with booming IT industry and other trading endeavors.
Kochi was the first European colony occupied by Portuguese, Dutch and British respectively, and made it a Princely state. It was considered to be the center for spice trade during that period. Greeks, Romans, Jews, Syrians, Arabs and Chinese were the main traders of spices. On your Kochi tour take time to visit and experience the historical and cultural wonders of the city. A must visit to the Indo-European style of architecture are the old churches and temples like Santa Cruz Basilica, Church of Saint Francis, Vallarpadam Church, Kadamottom Church, St. Antony’s Shrine, Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple, Ernakulathappan Temple, Ettumanoor Shiva Temple, and Poornathrayesa Temple. If you are a nature lover visit the following: Cherai Beach, Vypeen Island, Fort Kochi Beach, Kodanad elephant Training Centre, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, and Marine Drive. If you are interested in the colonial period include these places in your itinerary: Mattancherry Jews Street, Fort Kochi, Willington Island, Bolgatty Palace, Dutch Palace, Bastion Bungalow, VOC Gate, and David Hall etc.
Napier Museum - Art & History
Napier Museum, in the center of Thiruvananthapuram City, is one of the oldest art and natural history museums in India and is famed for its collection of artistic, cultural and antique objects. In 1873, Lord Napier, the then Governor General of Madras, commissioned the museum. A British architect blended native and British architecture to form the Indo-Saracenic structure. The building is red with stained glass windows and huge towers. In 1880, the then King of Travancore, Ayilyam Thirunal opened the museum to the public.
The museum stands in the center of a public garden which also houses the oldest zoo in India. Visit one of the landmarks of Trivandrum. While enjoying the museum, you can also explore the zoo and the garden.
Carnatic music originated in southern India in the 9th century. Kerala has a rich tradition of Carnatic music. Carnatic music owes its name to the Sanskrit term Karnātaka Sangītam which denotes “traditional” or “codified” music. It is one of two main subgenres of Indian classical music that evolved from ancient Hindu texts and traditions, particularly the Samaveda. The other subgenre being Hindustani music, which emerged as a distinct form because of Persian or Islamic influences from Northern India.
The main emphasis in Carnatic music is on vocal music; most compositions are written to be sung, and even when played on instruments, they are meant to be performed in gāyaki (singing) style. Carnatic music is taught and learned through compositions. It is performed by a small ensemble of musicians usually accompanied by violin, mridangam and tambura. Some performers use ghatam, kanjira, morsing, venu flute, veena and chitraeena. This YouTube video can intoduce you to Carnatic Singing: https://youtu.be/spRQEectgB8
We are hoping to host a Carnatic ensemble during the reception at our 2024 conference in Kerala, India!
Kathakali is a classical form of Indian dance. It is ancient and classical in nature and holds centuries of tradition and culture. It is not simply a dance-drama but an act of devotion featuring the universal struggle between good and evil.
Kathakali is based on Hinduism and evolved from temple art forms in the 17th century. It is a highly charged powerful drama that combines devotion, drama, dance, music, costumes and make up to produce one of the most impressive forms of sacred theatre in the world. Kathakali brought humanity into Hinduism to express emotions that go beyond words. The temple rituals, first performed in secret, evolved into a vibrant drama that embraces the essence of what it is to be human.
Kathikali is traditionally performed by male dancers. The pomp and magnificence of Kathakali is partly due to its décor, part of which is the kireetam (huge ornamental headgear) and the kanchukam (over sized jackets), and a long skirt worn over a thick padding of cushions. The artists completely immerse themselves and the audience into the story they're describing.
Margi is an organization in Trivandrum that revived Kathakali and performs both in Trivandrum and internationally.
1. Shree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Trivandrum: widely considered the world's richest Hindu temple. The temple is built in an intricate fusion of the Kerala style and the Dravidian style of architecture, featuring high walls, and a 16th-century gopura. The principal deity is Padmanabhaswamy (Vishnu), the tutelary deity of the Travancore royal family. The tour includes information about the architecture and Hindu beliefs related to the deities represented.
2. Kanakakunnu Palace, Thirvandrum: One of the last architectural vestiges of the colonial era, it was built by a Travancore king around 1900 with a Kerala style facade. Inside you will see massive crystal chandeliers and an array of exquisite pieces of royal furniture – a testimony to the lavish lifestyle of the Thirunal kings who had a penchant for music and art. It is set on the crest of a small hill lush with meadows, grooves and flowering shrubs.
3. Kerala Arts & Crafts Village: Numerous shops displaying handicrafts using wood, paper quills, clay, coconut husk, terracotta, thread, jute, dry flowers, glass arts, paintings, ivory, bronze, etc. Staff/Artists explain the art works and the materials used.
4. Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu: A coastal town in the state of Tamil Nadu on India's southern tip. Visit the Gandhi Memorial, Bagavathi Amman Temple (dedicated to a consort of Shiva), Our Lady of Ransom Church (a center of Indian Catholicism), Padmanabhapuram Palace, Suchindram Shree Thanumalayan Swamy Temple, Thiruvalluvar Statue, and Sunset Point.
5. Athirapally Falls: Witness the spectacular Athirapally Falls, often referred to as the "Niagara of India." These majestic waterfalls surrounded by lush greenery are a treat for nature lovers.
13. Weaving Workshop: This cooperative includes 32 handloom artisans. These artisans preserve the beauty of handcrafted textiles, passing the craft of weaving on a hand loom from mother to daughter.
14. Space Exploration Tour: visit the VSSC Space Museum, Rocket Launch Center, and Space University, Asia’s only university dedicated to space research.
by Linda Reardon
Initially when a friend first suggested a trip to India, I wasn’t sure, but I was curious and definitely fascinated. It took a couple of conversations with friends to highlight the fact that a trip like that could be a once in a lifetime chance and I that should be making the most of every opportunity to explore this beautiful world. India, of all places, held so much mystical intrigue and of course being the home to some of the most incredible romantic monuments, I felt the pull to see them for myself and with that I jumped in and decided to go for it. I have never regretted that decision and the trip was incredible, offering a life changing perspective for me.
With so many amazing places to travel and see in India, it is hard to contain the words to narrow the focus enough to describe a single destination, but I will do my best to describe, in a nutshell, how I experienced the beautiful destination of Kerala.
Arriving in Kerala felt like a stark contrast to my travels leading me there. Being in the land of extremities, I had experienced many beautiful sights, such as the Taj Mahal and also explored the Golden City of Jaisalmer. The road trip into Kerala allowed a few beautiful stops along the way. Driving closer to Kerala, there was a notable change, in atmosphere, sights, pace and feel. It was like driving into the tropics, and it had a holiday destination feel to it. Lots of visible water, coastline and the interesting backwaters of the lakes and rivers as well as the most beautiful mountain sightings. Hills covered in lush, green tea trees, palm and nut trees, everything in Kerala seemed to offer beautiful vistas, at every angle.
The plan was to spend a couple of lazy days and nights slowly cruising the Kerala backwaters of Alleppey. For two nights we stayed on a houseboat (see pics). The cruise was tropical, calm, and provided a delightful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of traveling the land. While I won’t highlight any cruise in particular, there were many to choose from and all offer similar deals to escape, a quick Google will locate them for you.
Most of the houseboats on the Periyar River are classed as “Luxury Houseboats.” They were beautiful, provided clean and comfortable beds and with everything you might need on a houseboat. The food onboard was prepared by a chef and was tropical, fresh, and next level delicious! As with all of my travels through India, there was a great selection of veg and non-veg to choose from. Kerala offered many beautiful seafood and fish options; the delicious seafood curries were second to none.
In addition to the cruise, we joined a Spice Trail walk and I highly recommend this if you are interested in seeing spices and incredible trees while hearing some very interesting commentary on these. The gentle, tropical breeze is the perfect accompaniment to cool the walk, and it wafts the sweet and spicey aromas of the trees and plants through the air as you walk. These pictures show Kerala's backwaters from the houseboat in the morning and evening.
by Renee Friedman
India is a place in which one could spend two years or two weeks and still feel it is a country of unfolding mysteries. It is a continent of 16 states, each with its own distinct language, governance, culture and flavor. Traditionally, the south of India tends to be a more easy going place to travel than the north. Kerala is the southernmost tip. The food is delicious and differently spiced than the north, with coconut being a key ingredient- vegetarian and meat options abound. Palm trees, explorations of the culture and political structure, wildlife, nature and beaches await you. This is a place to come to relax and have a slight reprieve from the hustle and bustle of other parts of India.
Kerala is a socialist state. As a result, education is free to everyone-regardless of caste or gender. It’s the only state with a 97% literacy rate and a place where technically no one goes hungry or homeless. I’m not sure the United States could make the same claim. The official language is Malayalam (surya and chandra are words for sun and moon) but almost everyone speaks English as well; making the traveling such a pleasant undertaking. There is not the blatant evidence of poverty we might see in certain other parts of India.
What drew me to Kerala was multi-fold. There was the chance for a yoga retreat coupled with study of Ayurveda science for which the region is famous. Ayurvedic herbal remedies and massage are easily obtainable and so enjoyable. I still remember the soothing effects of the massage and the advice on Ayurvedic cures. As I picnicked on the shore of the ashram, I could hear resounding roars carried across the river from the lion park. I eagerly experienced the boats rides down river past fascinating architecture, through stunning nature viewing magnificent wildlife. Afterwards, I anticipated heading towards the picturesque sandy beaches of Kovalam where I could sprawl and relax on the sands of the Arabian Sea or partake in any number of water sports.
I was traveling for a few months with a friend and when it was time for me to return to Canada and my quotidian obligations, she was so delighted with Kerala’s magic, she cancelled her return flight and stayed on for several more months to study Malayalam and south Indian cooking. I hope this tourist mecca similarly inspires you.
Again this year, APCDA has contracted with Whova to provide the software for our conference. Because this conference is Hybrid, we need a really good Mobile App so that in-person attendees can participate equally with virtual attendees. ALL questions for presenters, whether you are in the room or remote, should be submitted by typing them into Whova. Whova provides both a Web App and a Mobile App to make this easy. We expect In-person Attendees to use the Mobile App and Virtual Attendees to use the Web App, although they may want to use both so they can easily submit questions to the presenter while watching the session in full screen mode.
Here are instructions for using this new software.
All survivors of the 2023 September NiV outbreak at Kozhikode have completed their double incubation period (42 days), which means that the Kozhikode outbreak can be formally declared as over. Ms. George said it was indeed a matter of pride for the State’s health system that it had managed to find the index case during the outbreak itself and that all containment measures that had been adopted were successful. Credit was also due to the health system for having managed to keep the mortality down and bring down the case fatality rate to 33.3%, instead of the usual 70-90%.
The virus is most often spread by fruit bats and it can spread through direct or indirect contact. "People can become infected if they have close contact with an infected animal or body fluids such as, for example, the fruit bat saliva on fruit, and a person eats the fruit." it's a reminder of how habitat destruction has led to animals transmitting diseases to humans.
By Grace Koamesah
We have two kinds of contests at this year’s conference, the Leaderboard and the Fun Fact Contest. For each contest, we will pick 3 winners to receive valuable prizes. Every winner has the liberty to choose one prize from the list as their reward.
About Fun Fact Contest
The Fun Fact contest is called a Photo Contest in Whova – you can access this contest in Win a Prize, or under the Photos feature. The purpose of this contest is to give you an opportunity to think of and share with us something interesting that could make you a person that others remember after the conference is over. Your Fun Fact could be related to your life, career experience, local career services, APCDA, or about your country – any fact that you would like to share with others. Photos are encouraged.
Since you will be meeting other new or known fellow attendees during the conference, revealing some fun facts about yourself can be a great icebreaker. It may be when you share these interesting tidbits of information that you become more human. It doesn’t have to be funny, just interesting. Just share a good secret. We all have secret longings, fears, and dreams.
Here are a few examples,
All of the fun facts shared by attendees will be immediately available for other attendees to read and vote on. The top three winners will be announced and recognized on May 26, 2023 during the conference closing. Post your Fun Facts early to other attendees can vote on them – and can reach out to you if they are inspired by what you post.
To see more detailed instructions, click on View photo contest. To join in the competition, click on Upload Photo. Choose a picture you’d like to post, decorate it with a photo frame if you want, and write your description in the caption box. Click on “Post” once you’re ready for it.
Leaderboard is a scoreboard that bases your score on how active you are in using the Whova App. The more engaged you are in this conference, the more points you gain. To get to the top of the leaderboard is to collect as many points as you possibly can in Whova.
You can access this contest from the Win a Prize feature in Whova, then choose the Leaderboard. You will then see the current rankings, and also your own scores at the moment. There is also a list of things that you can do to get more points. Some examples are completing the session feedback survey, add a topic or social group in Community, share an article, add sessions to personal agenda, complete your profile, etc.