In the UK, young people receive negative coverage in the news as we pay for higher education, manage multiple zero-hour contracts, and see our peers in America feel the violent brunt of political decisions in their classrooms on the right to bear arms. Young people are some of the most innovative, creative, and influential stakeholders, who are invested in the progression of our planet.
Meanwhile, young Brits are advised to buy less avocado toast to afford mortgages. All around the world, young people live the policy and political decisions of the current establishment and are best placed to address gaps and issues and provide solutions through their own networks. When listened to, they are key to implementing improvements because they are already 5 to 10 years ahead of their political representatives in identifying issues and making global impact. Take a look at the Forbes 30 under 30 list or see how a Snapchat from young mum and reality star, Kylie Jenner directly impacted the share value of Snapchat.
Leadership is not what it used to be.
Last year, ‘Future Leaders Connect’ ran for the first time as a nine-day residential program designed by the British Council to promote political and policy leadership amongst ‘Future Leaders’. 50 members met in the UK for nine days of activities, travelling from Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tunisia, USA, and across the UK to be part of the global network, learn policy skills, and visit Parliament, No.10 Downing Street, Lambeth Palace, and the BBC to meet and learn from experts in policy and politics, including The Elders.
For the #FutureLeadersConnect in 2017, the hallmark of a future leader was being less preoccupied with being out in front and more to do with being actively engaged in a chosen discipline. It’s important to recognise the fluidity of leadership and power, particularly how to fill spaces to take responsibility and strategically ride the tides of leadership, as opposed to trying to force management opportunities. Leadership is an opportunity; and it’s open to you.
2018 is the Year of Young People, one of the Scottish Government’s programme of themed years with activities and events focussed on participation, education, health and wellbeing, equality and discrimination, enterprise and regeneration, and culture for those aged 8 to 26. Enabling environments are being created for young people to shine; so, explore the opportunities that arise and put yourself forward for them. One option is to apply for Future Leaders Connect 2018.
Don’t doubt yourself, apply and remember; leadership is not what it used to be.