2024-2026 Vietnam Entrepreneurial Diplomacy Program

Network 20/20 is looking for curious, travel-savvy who will travel to Vietnam as a part of our Entrepreneurial Diplomacy Program from November 9 to 18 for on-the-ground research to gain a holistic understanding of the country, where it is in the comprehensive strategic relationship with the United States, and how the country navigates its balancing act between China and the United States.

Listen to the info session to understand better the program and application process



Why Vietnam?

In September 2023, the United States and Vietnam upgraded their relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, opening the door to accelerated cooperation, particularly in the economic and people-to-people realms. Areas of growth include high-quality digital and physical infrastructure development, just energy transition, sustainable and smart agriculture, and broader and sustained participation in regional and global supply chains, in addition to Science and Technology cooperation with an emphasis on semi-conductors.  
The reason for the “double upgrade,” which skipped the “Strategic Partnership” step, is a shared concern over China. Yet, Vietnam also has a Strategic Comprehensive Partnership with China and must strategically navigate the geopolitical gauntlet between both powers. 

Program Goals

This research project is designed to answer two main questions: 

  • A year after the signing of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, where has progress been made and where has it yet to be made? And how might the two countries comprehensively cooperate in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship?  
  • How will Vietnam navigate its balancing act between China and the United States? How does economic development play into the balancing act and how will grassroots economic growth impact those dynamics? 
  • Specifically, through the project the group will develop an understanding of the biggest areas of need within the upgraded partnership, focusing specifically on areas that touch on entrepreneurship with an emphasis on innovation and climate change adaptation. In addition, the program and its participants will create connections and share knowledge that will strengthen the growth of Vietnam’s economic and start-up ecosystem. 

    What Makes Network 20/20’s Trips Unique?

    Network 20/20’s programs abroad allow for unparalleled insight into a country. We strive for balance in our meetings to create as accurate a picture as possible of the realities facing the people with whom we meet. We do extensive research prior to the in-country portion of the program, giving us excellent access and a foundation of knowledge. We believe in the necessity of listening to those we meet and approaching each country and its people without agenda. Lastly, we select a group of participants whose diverse professional and personal experiences will uncover fresh insights about Vietnam outside of typical policy circles.

    When and Where Will We Go? 

    The trip will span the country North to South and include stops in Hanoi, Da Nang, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, and potentially Can Tho City in the Mekong Delta region. Tentative travel dates are November 9 – 18, 2024.

    What Does It Mean to Participate?  

    Participants are an essential part of the program, attending on-the-ground meetings in Vietnam and participating in pre-trip preparation as well as post-trip follow up. The participants who are selected will: 

  • Invaluable opportunity to network with leaders in business, academia, civil society, and media as well as with U.S. and Vietnam government officials and entrepreneurs
  • Enhance experience in qualitative research, network-building, and policy advocacy applicable to a variety of professions
  • Generate change in the policy conversation surrounding Vietnam
  • Form strong ties with other Vietnam Trip Delegates and Fellows
  • Foster the people-to-people relationship between Vietnam and the United States
  • Enjoy a well-designed trip which is a combination of sightseeing, cultural activities, and meetings with Vietnamese people across sectors.
  • Take part in 2-3 pre-trip orientation programs, covering logistics, cultural expectations, and briefings on topics germane to the trip. 
  • Receive a Briefing Book that covers trip essentials including substantive information about Vietnam. 
  • Spend approximately 10 days in Vietnam, traveling throughout the country and conducting interviews with business leaders, entrepreneurs, local leaders, academics, government officials, and others.
  • Participate in post-trip workshop sessions to develop and catalyze program outcomes.

    What Does It Cost?

    The total trip cost is $5,250 for Network 20/20’s members and $5,750 for Network 20/20’s non-members not including airfare. The fees cover trip planning, single-occupancy in four- and five-star hotels, all meals, in-country transportation, and guides/translators.   

    APPLY BEFORE 11:59 PM ET, FRIDAY, MAY 31, 2024.



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