Young leaders competed to change the world in 5 minutes


Nine young people from India had just five minutes to explain why their policy idea could make the world a better place.

Winners will now travel to the UK to undergo advanced leadership training at the University of Cambridge and meet with Members of the UK Houses of Parliament.

Contestants and winners will also become part of a global network of emerging policy leaders.

New Delhi: Nine young people from India had just five minutes to persuade a panel of judges on why their policy idea could make the world a better place.

The winners have won places on Future Leaders Connect, a major initiative run by the British Council – the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

Four winners from each participating country will travel to the UK to meet the heads of policy organisations, British MPs and global leaders.

Each competitor at the event at Shiv Nadar University on 7th August gave a five-minute speech explaining why their policy idea could improve the world and demonstrate that they are the leader that could make it happen.

The judging panel included Rupamanjari Ghosh- Vice Chancellor Shiv Nadar University, Tom Birtwistle – British Council Director North India, Professor Partha Mukhopadhyay – Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research and Sunny Sen – Editor, Corporate and Policy, FactorDaily were the judges and the event was watched by an audience of young people at the Shiv Nadar University and broadcasted online on British Council’s youtube channel.

Competitors also took questions from both the expert panel and audience members.

Almost ~450 of applicants from India had applied to become a member of the global network of emerging policy leaders this year, and two to four competitors were chosen from each country.

Competitors will join other winners from around the world to take part in a nine-day advanced policy and leadership development opportunity, including two days spent with politicians in the UK Houses of Parliament, where they will put forward their policy ideas on combating some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Eleven other countries are taking part in the British Council’s Future Leaders Connect: Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Tunisia the USA and UK.

Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of the British Council said, “An international outlook is vital for future leaders of all countries to understand and overcome the challenges our changing world presents.Through Future Leaders Connect we will help a new generation to understand practical policy development by putting them in contact with the leaders of today and helping them to develop the skills and international contacts they need to make positive change.”

Mr. Tom Birtwistle, Director North India – British Council said, ‘Future Leaders Connect is British Council’s global initiative designed to nurture tomorrow’s world leaders. It aims to connect young people with intent and ideas to address some of the most pressing global issues. We’ve worked in India for 70 years now and been inspired by India every day of that time – by the creativity, optimism and innovation of its young people and students. Its young people have the drive, insights and ideas to shape a better tomorrow. Congratulations to the four Indian winners. I wish them well as they present their ideas alongside their global counterparts.”

Dr. Rupamanjari Ghosh, Vice Chancellor, Shiv Nadar University said, “At Shiv Nadar University, our mission is to develop and educate the path-shapers of tomorrow, who can shoulder the challenges of globally responsible and ethical leadership in the 21st Century. It was a delight to host the selection event of British Council’s second Indian edition of this programme. As a jury member, it was inspiring for me to witness the presentations made by the nine young visionaries of our country, pitching their ideas to find innovative solutions to key global issues.”

Future Leaders Connect is a long-term network of emerging policy leaders made up of exceptional individuals aged 18-35 from around the world. Members of the network are given the opportunity to develop their policy making expertise, make valuable connections and gain the skills to have real impact.

British Council research (Trust Pays) found that people who have had involvement in cultural relations – arts, education and English language activities – with the UK have greater trust in people from the UK.