New Delhi: Four delegates from India are among 50 young people participating in the British Council’s prestigious Future Leaders Connect programme in the UK this month. Hasiba Begum, Kajri Babbar, Shambhavi Singh and Shreya Juneja were selected from 11 shortlisted finalists from India. Winners were selected through a competitive process organised by the British Council and chosen based on the applicant’s vision for improving their country and the world through policymaking, and their potential to become future senior leaders.
The British Council’s Future Leaders Connect programme provides advanced policy and leadership development training, networking opportunities with prominent leaders and visits to famous UK institutions to build a distinguished network of emerging policy leaders from around the world.
Barbara Wickham OBE, Director, British Council India, said: “Future Leaders Connect showcases British Council’s commitment to developing future leaders and connecting potential leaders from across the globe through thought-provoking ideas. This is a platform for young leaders to demonstrate their policy knowledge and senior leadership potential and be a part of a global network that aims to solve real-world problems. The intensive work done by the four young Indian women leaders on issues related to health and gender inclusion reflects their firm commitment to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems in the social sphere. We hope their time and interactions in the UK help them turn their ideas into reality”.
This year’s winning entries from India advocated policy reforms in the fields of mental health, gender, inclusion of women at workplace, public health, maternal and childcare.
Future Leaders Connect delegates from across the world have previously debated peace and education with former UN Secretaries-General Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon and have presented their policy ideas at 10 Downing Street, the British Prime Minister’s residence. This year, delegates on the ten-day programme received advanced leadership training at the Møller Institute, University of Cambridge, where they participated in a Cambridge College Union debate and met lawmakers at the Inner Temple. In London, they attended networking events at the UK’s Houses of Parliament and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.
After the programme, the delegates from India will be part of a connected global network of emerging policy leaders made up of 150 exceptional individuals aged 18-35 from around the world including. peers from Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Tunisia, USA, plus the four nations of the UK: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Through this network, they will build valuable connections, develop their policy-making expertise, and gain the skills to have a national and international impact.
A specially designed British Council free online course titled ‘Ideas for a Better World: Leading Change Through Policymaking’, following the syllabus of the Future Leaders Connect programme, saw over 15,000 sign-ups from people around the world when it launched earlier this year. The free course featuring speakers from the United Nations, the UK House of Lords and The Elders will run again from 25 November and is open for registration now.