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Nicholas Schiavo and Shreya Nayak travelled to the UK to join this year's cohort of 50 young policy leaders from around the globe at Future Leaders Connect. There they participated in sessions and workshops on tactics of policy making, the use and misuse of data and influencing for change at the Møller Institute, University of Cambridge and met with Members of Parliament and Lords to share their policy visions at the UK Houses of Parliament. They were also hosted at 10 Downing Street and BBC World Service, and took part in panel discussions with The Elders. Highlights included Shreya speaking on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour about Gender Equality and Nicholas being selected to speak about Human Rights onstage with members of The Elders.
They both shared their experiences, read Shreya's insight directly below, and scroll down past the photos to read Nick's story.
November 2018 marked the congregation of 50 young global policy leaders at the British Council’s Future Leaders Connect (FLC) Summit in the United Kingdom. As the inaugural Canadian delegation in this global leadership program, I was both humbled and resolute in creating a policy strategy to increase gender inclusion in the workforce through financial and digital literacy for millennials.
After my experience in Mexico City, which you can read about Here, it was of no surprise that the UK Summit blew beyond our expectations. A few of my favorite highlights of the FLC Summit included: a comprehensive advanced policy and leadership course at the University of Cambridge, a week of experiential learning with global policy leaders and politicians at the UK Parliament, and of course, no trip to London is complete without gracing the many famous English pubs!
As reflections from the FLC Summit and numerous discussions with successful policy leaders and global influencers, I want to share 3 fundamental principles that will prove useful to any young leader determined to make a difference in today’s world.
1. Put People at the Heart of Policy – People are the engine of our economy, of art, culture, and breakthrough innovations globally. As young leaders we have a moral responsibility to take a human-centered approach to policy-making which will ensure that we solve real problems of real people. As we did with Treehouse Innovation Executives at Cambridge, challenge yourself to embrace human-centered design that puts people at the heart of your solutions.
2. Pursue Inclusive Methods of Collaboration – Bringing stakeholders of all backgrounds to the table is indispensable in the policy-making process. Not only does inclusive collaboration empower people by giving them a voice, it also enables policy-makers to create better solutions for more people. People-driven policy is only effective if it is inclusive, and in countries with large youth populations – we as young people must get involved in shaping policies that will inevitably affect us in the future.
3. View Leadership as a Service – “If service is beneath you, leadership is beyond you.” This famous quote is a reminder that every leader needs a purpose. Find yours, and lead with integrity. As global citizens many of us will have different policy ideas, the one constant is that leadership, ultimately is a service and an ethical call to duty - if we view it as such, there is nothing we can’t accomplish.
Through the Future Leaders Connect I’ve learned that leadership is also a journey; one in which you will encounter obstacles, opportunities, failures, victories – and most importantly friends, like the 49 I met, who will challenge you, inspire you, and help you grow – in the end, that in itself makes everything worth it.