Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) launched its sixth Youth Leadership Summit on July 11, 2019, at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka.
The summit brought together 370 university students and young professionals, competitively selected from over 1800 applications, along with reputed speakers, for three days of dialogue on pressing issues that affect young people, according to a press release issued in this regard.
Themed “Strength in Unity: Shaping the Future”, the first day of the Summit featured a mix of plenaries and sessions on issues ranging from inclusive leadership for a diverse world to transcending different identities. Delegates were also offered the opportunity to network and share ideas on how youth can shape the future.
“Strength in Unity as a theme is especially relevant in the current context when the world is fractured along ideological, religious, and cultural lines,” said British High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson, while speaking in the opening ceremony. “This Summit focuses on building skills of youth and instilling in them values of tolerance and inclusiveness, both of which are critical for the practice of leadership,” he added.
“In a world where more than 42 percent of its population is below the age of 25, BYLC believes that it is critical to engage our youth in conversations around collaborative leadership and taking ownership of societal problems,” said Ejaj Ahmad, founder and president of BYLC. “Leadership is a learned skill; it can be exercised by anyone, regardless of age, position, gender, or socio-economic status. The only thing young people need to exercise leadership is heart and ability,” he added.
“A society based on justice and acceptance is one that will thrive and not just survive”, said Shaheen Anam, Executive Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), at a panel titled ‘Transcending our different identities.’ “We should empower the youth and instill in them the values of inclusiveness and the ability to accept different opinions, as well as encourage them to promote tolerance and non-violence,” she added.
UK aid and Manusher Jonno Foundation are the sponsors of the Youth Leadership Summit this year.