100 young leaders visit Glasgow for the 33sixty leadership programme

Unami Moatswi Chevening Scholar, Botswana

Common Purpose’s 33sixty leadership programme brought together 100 exceptional young leaders from the Commonwealth for a few days of in-depth conversations and leadership training. One out of every three people on this planet lives in the Commonwealth, of whom 60% are young people under 30! That is why the programme is called 33sixty. I was recently selected to be on the programme, and this is my experience.

This year the programme was held in the vibrant city of Glasgow, Scotland, and was hosted by the University of Strathclyde between 11 and 14 April. I attended as a Chevening Scholar from Botswana, just one of a diverse group of young people.

We were given the opportunity to visit a parastatal, a Scottish enterprise, and a non-profit called Young Scotland Enterprise. These visits were about finding out what the organisations do, what their challenges are, and how they thrive to develop partnerships with the two other sectors. The most memorable encounter was meeting Scotland Enterprise CEO Dr Lena Wilson. She’s the youngest and first female CEO for the firm. She has worked and achieved a lot in international development. It was inspiring to know that through hard work, determination and a productive network, we can achieve so much.

The days of interaction and site visits to these organisations lead up to the group presenting solutions to the following challenge: ‘How do we create a step to change the way the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors work together?’

The entire programme was geared towards developing our cultural intelligence, presentation skills, and our ability to work well within teams.

This was a great opportunity indeed, as I was able to work together with scholars and colleagues towards a solution which we presented to a panel that loved our idea! The idea was that our social enterprise called Elitha would work to enhance access to education for vulnerable young people in Eastern Cape, South Africa. How? We would encourage the private sector to send their employees to schools and teach the students practical courses such as accounting, taxation, and human resource development. This means the private sector would be giving back to the community, getting staff trained and being accredited by our enterprise for positive impact. In turn, the public sector would be able to achieve their targets for enrolling and retaining students.

Upon graduating from this programme, we met with the CSC leaders from the Commonwealth. CSC Leaders is a global leadership programme for 100 exceptional senior leaders selected each year from governments, businesses, and NGOs across the 53 countries of the Commonwealth. Some of us have established mentorship relations with these experienced leaders that we hope will last well into the future.

The next step is for us as young leaders to share what we learnt about developing our communities. I hope to venture into becoming an entrepreneur by founding my own social enterprise. This enterprise will tackle the limited participation of women in political leadership. This will be grounded in home-grown research and cross-country knowledge sharing.