YLC 2012: Future leaders gather to ‘dream the unseen’

Published: July 2, 2012

The participants of the Young Leaders’ Conference 2012 danced in groups before the beginning of the inauguration ceremony on Sunday at the Pearl Continental Hotel. The event will last for six days and a diverse bunch of young people from all over the country will take part in it. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

The participants of the Young Leaders’ Conference 2012 danced in groups before the beginning of the inauguration ceremony on Sunday at the Pearl Continental Hotel. The event will last for six days and a diverse bunch of young people from all over the country will take part in it. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS The participants of the Young Leaders’ Conference 2012 danced in groups before the beginning of the inauguration ceremony on Sunday at the Pearl Continental Hotel. The event will last for six days and a diverse bunch of young people from all over the country will take part in it. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

KARACHI: After over a decade of igniting hope and inspiring the youth to bring a change, the Young Leaders’ Conference (YLC) embarked on a new journey on Sunday at the Pearl Continental Hotel, where the inauguration ceremony for the annual event was held.

Around 300 young and energetic participants between the ages of 18 and 24 will take part in the conference, which has the slogan “dreaming the unseen, believing in the unknown and achieving the impossible.” Young people from various parts of the country will stay together for a six-day period.

The conference focuses on those segments of society which need restructuring, such as the environment, corporate community, the economy and most important of all, the political sphere. Motivational speakers, trainers and experts from various fields will be present at the conference and try to nurture the participants’ leadership skills.

Even though the CEO of the School of Leadership, Shireen Naqvi, appeared satisfied with the 11-year journey of YLC, she felt that it was not even the beginning of the change she had envisioned. “By 2020, you will definitely be able to gauge the transformation that these young leaders will bring to all sections of the society,” she told The Express Tribune.

“Participants from all ethnic and religious backgrounds, the poorest and the richest, will be paired with each other for the span of this conference.” Naqvi explained that a total of 20 such groups have been made. Each of these has 15 participants and a supervisor who has participated in an earlier conference.

While sharing experiences from previous conferences, Naqvi recalled that once, a student from a renowned private school approached her on the first day to complain about living with a group member from a less privileged background. But by the end of the conference, both of them were seen sobbing at the thought of departure.

The provincial youth affairs minister, Faisal Sabzwari, who was the chief guest of the inauguration ceremony, lauded the effort to mentor the future leaders. “We did not have such kind of opportunities when we were young,” he said. Sabzwari added that most of his generation learnt through the experience of bumping into a series of obstacles. He advised the participants to treasure these moments. “It is indeed a great time when all government and non-government stakeholders are ready to invest in our youth,” he said. “For you, we politicians might not be examples of good mentors, but still I request you to avoid repeating those behaviours which you find unpleasant.”

About 19 organisations are supporting this year’s conference, including Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit, which aims to strengthen civil society and promote human rights in various countries. One of its resident representatives, Olaf Kellerhoff, said that his organisation, which is based in Germany, fully supports the endeavour of enabling the youth to take responsibility for themselves and their communities. “Making the youth learn about the choices in life while simultaneously honing their decision-making power is central to the liberal beliefs that Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung upholds,” said Kellerhoff.

Aminullah, a student at Institute of Management Sciences in Peshawar, decided to become part of the conference after hearing about it for years. “I want to know what it means to become ‘liberal’ in life.” Komal Masood, a student from the Institute of Business Management Karachi, was of the view that if change has to come in Pakistan, the youth will have to play a major role. “I believe that during out six-day stay here, we will enable ourselves to make the proposed changes,” she said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Mirza
    Jul 2, 2012 - 9:12AM

    My very best to these youngsters and the organizers. This is one of the best news that I have read regarding Pakistan in a long time. Please be careful of the reactionaries and terrorists, who have waged a war on the mainstream Pakistanis. BTW, how does none participate in this program including as a mentor?

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  • omar
    Jul 2, 2012 - 9:23AM

    what a GREAT starting :D

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  • thames fisher
    Jul 2, 2012 - 1:08PM

    God Bless You all and future of Pakistan

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  • Lobster
    Jul 2, 2012 - 3:09PM

    Yes that’s the best strategy to solve the problems of country we need to dance!

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  • Jul 2, 2012 - 11:01PM

    1000 died in this city … and what a joke this is … seriously , the youth of this country is so delusional ..

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  • ali
    Jul 3, 2012 - 1:23AM

    These so called conferences are nothing but avenues of minting money from kids.

    Just some food dancing and fun, there goes your 30-60,000 participation fee.

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  • zainab
    Jul 3, 2012 - 10:53AM

    @ Ali
    I am sure you haven’t experienced being to any such conference. There is a procedure how you get to YLC. You go to companies and ask for sponsors. This allows the youth to step out of their cocoon and interact with professionals and companies in Pakistan.

    YLC is all about enlightenment. We dance just so that we can get out the oozing energy out of ourselves and the amazing facilitators help us to direct that energy in a way that is best for our country.

    Please stop criticizing on every good thing happening in our country. Please STOP it, for once and start thinking of the great impact it is doing on young minds.

    I myself am a YLCian, and can say that for sure..

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  • danish
    Jul 3, 2012 - 8:55PM

    the young leader started the ceremony with dancing even before the inaugration of the event. what they will do next? i dont know where these aimless youth is heading.
    probably to contest in dance india dance.

    note: the event should be showcased with the title, the youth of elite of Pakistan.

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  • Ali
    Jul 4, 2012 - 6:03AM

    @zainab,

    Not bashing every good thing happening in the country, just highlighting some facts.

    I have had the misfortune of attending these entertainment dramas, some by your prestigious SOL and others too. The trainers have their “REPLAY” presentations which they do everywhere, and its just fun and games (not that I dint enjoy them). But looking back at it, I clearly see and feel the kind of unaccounted exploitation happening at the hands of your LEADERS, trainers and all other fancy titles given.

    I wonder how many kids without corporate “source” or from very poor back grounds have been selected. NONE, I’m sure.

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  • Syed Tahir Ali
    Jul 5, 2012 - 11:57AM

    Instead of criticizing others we all should try to add value to make it a better Pakistan for our kids. These guys are doing a wonderful job but if anyone can do it better than these people then come up and improve their ways and methods.

    When we’ll stop fighting with each other and start supporting and adding value in a constructive and positive way?

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