The Young Leaders Conference is a six-day, five-night residential conference hosted by School of Leadership where 300 rural and urban promising young leaders stay and learn together from the wisdom of 50 top social, political, business, and art leaders as well as from the engagement of the country’s foremost facilitators. YLC is an experiential journey geared towards positively engaging the youth over a period of 6 days in a rigorous training program comprising of panel dialogues, thematic exploration sessions, powerful leadership simulations, personal story-telling, capacity building pieces of training and empowering team support.
This year I had the pleasure of attending the 17th Young Leaders’ Conference held in Lahore from 1st to 6th July. The theme of this year was #ITSTIME!
I applied for Asia Foundation’s NEXUS programme, according to which the applicant had to submit an idea that could help in solving the prevailing water-food and energy crises in the country. Luckily my application got accepted and I was sponsored by the Asia Foundation for the conference which covered my entire conference expenses!
Excited, I packed my luggage and headed towards the School of Leadership (SOL) office on 30th June’s morning as I was leaving for Lahore by road with a chunk of SOL team. It was a perfect road-trip from Karachi to Lahore. We left at 8 am in the morning and reached by around 10 am, the other day. It was a mesmerizing experience.It was 26 hours tiring yet an unforgettable journey.
The guys were to stay in Hospitality Inn hotel and girls were to stay in Faletti’s hotel, while all the events were held in Faletti’s Hotels halls. Upon entering the Faletti’s hotel I was welcomed by the polite volunteers who not only guided us to the registration desk but were kind enough to help us carry our luggage too. All the participants were allotted teams and given YLC id card, 2 t-shirts, a bag and a diary.
Participants were divided into groups and each group was allotted a room or suite and after all this process we literally rushed to our rooms and got ready.
Day 01 (officially begins): Wearing my tees and ready to start the day, I entered the hall where there were games laid out for the participants. It was a networking session where everyone played different games and made some new friends.
Soon the inauguration ceremony started, and Shireen Naqvi with Kamran Rizvi, the founders of SOL welcomed us with great zeal.
Kamran Rizvi and Shireen Naqvi – Inauguration ceremony.
We had lunch and then back to back sessions with evening tea and dinner in between. The day finally ended at 12 at night.
Day 02 – Officially the first morning of YLC in Faletti’s. We were woken up at 7 by sharp knocks on doors by the YFs and were told to reach the breakfast hall by 8 am. The day started at 8:30 am and the theme of the day was: Context Setting –Pakistan: Philosophy, Psychology, Possibilities. We had some creative challenges that day. The first one was Sooper Hai Pakistan in which every team had to prepare and present a unique video highlighting the positive image of Pakistan.
Later in the evening there was a puzzle challenge where every team were given two verses of Allama Iqbal all jumbled up, and we had to put them together correctly in shortest possible time.
The thrill of the day reached its peak when Shuja Haider arrived to rock the show! He shared his life story with the audience also rocked the stage with his magical voice.
The prominent speakers for the day were: Justice Nasira Iqbal, Faisal Sherjan (Director NIC Lahore), Yusuf Hussain (CEO IGNITE), Junaid Iqbal (CEO Careem Pakistan), Dr. Umer Saif (Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board). Day 03 – The highlights of the day were: “Generation Z” – A panel discussion, “You are fired” – an activity to see which skill set are market-demand and which are outdated, “IlmPossible: Take A Child To School” and “The Chopstick Challenge” – where we had to eat our dinner with chopsticks only! The day ended by an amazing session of Umair Jaliawala where he explained the importance of overcoming failure to the participants.
Day 04-The theme of the day was all about promoting cultural diversity. Day 4 offered us something truly exciting – the field trips! The participants were free to choose from 4 places presented.Thrilled, we all lined up to get tickets for our chosen places. I chose to visit The Walled City of Lahore. This was the day we had to leave Flatties and move to The Chandbagh School to spend our last two days there. After few sessions and lunch in between, we bid farewell to Flatties and headed to our trips.
Part pants who visited Walled city of Lahore. (Wazir Khan Mosque)
After spending pleasing times in our trips, we left for the Chandbagh school located in Mureedki. We reached Chandbagh at 8 pm. We hurried to our allotted houses and dorms and got ready for The Cultural Night where everyone represented their culture. Believe me, the diversity was mesmerizing!
Cultural Night – Day 04
Cultural Night – Day 04
Day 05 – The day started with Yoga. Lovely weather, lush green fields of Chandbagh and yoga –tell me a better combo! Next, we had something exciting waiting for us – DIY breakfast! We were presented raw stuff and prepared our own breakfasts out of it.
Day 06 – The Last day! Day 6 was all about good byes. The day started with a throw-back by Umair Jalilawala. We revisited the last 5 days, made posters about our experiences and bid farewells. Waqar Ali, one of the trainers at SOL introduced Social Action Plans according to which every participant has to create one in order to attain YLC certification.
We left Chandbagh in the evening and came back to Flatties from where everyone left for their destinations and with all of this, #YLC2018 FINALLY came to an end!
They say YLC is a life-changing experience and now that I have attended it, I can assure you it certainly is! If you have any queries while applying for YLC next year, hit me up!
And hey here’s the official video of YLC 2018, Enjoy!
Authored By Muneeba Anwar
“Muneeba Anwar is a Built-In-Geek ; Tech Enthusiast who finds solace in reading and writing about latest technologies. She keeps a close eye on happenings in the world of technology and absolutely love to write on tech-related and geeky stuff. You can reach her out at firstname.lastname@example.org”