100 young leaders from 31 countries across the Commonwealth came together in Glasgow and Edinburgh for a four-day Global Leader Experiences programme. 33Fifty was part of the official educational legacy programme of the Commonwealth Games and was sponsored by: Legacy 2014, Wheatley Group, The Weir Group, De La Rue, University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh, Whitelaws and SPT.
The participants were a mixture of those currently in work or higher education. All are young leaders in their communities and countries, and have their own NGOs, social enterprises and businesses.
As Andy Coxall, Director of Common Purpose Student Experiences remarked: 'They were truly one of the most talented and passionate groups of leaders I've ever had the pleasure of working with. Every single one of them is destined for great things - the future is very bright indeed.'
Over four days they explored the Challenge: 'What role does the youth of the Commonwealth need to play in progress toward low-carbon economies?'
They went on behind the scenes immersion visits to organisations such as Barclays, Whitelee Wind Farm, Green Investment Bank, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation among many others. Supported by Group Mentors from PwC, Comic Relief, British Red Cross, Wheatley Group and The Weir Group they developed innovative and implementable projects in response to the Challenge. These projects were Scotland-related but are eventually scalable for the Commonwealth as a whole. They included:
- Generation Green - educational programmes that support young people setting up green social enterprises
- Carbon Tracker - a mobile app which tracks carbon usage
- Glasgow Green Games - a programme for young people to change mindsets and behaviours around carbon issues
- You Growth - an educational programme that encourages STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students to work in the renewable sector while mentoring secondary school children in order to encourage them to take up STEM subjects.
The programme was closed with a keynote speech by Baroness Scotland. She delivered a truly inspirational speech recognising them as leaders of today and imploring them to continue to change the world.
Participants spoke about their experience on 33Fifty:
'One of the most fantastic and momentous days of my career so far. The legacy from today will be one of confidence and inspiration for many years. Never has something spurred me on more than today has'.
'Thank you for an unbelievably insightful and inspiring time. I am extremely humbled and overwhelmed by the support, kindness and genuine interest shown by everyone in the project, the Challenge and in others. I would not have been able to imagine four days could teach me so much - not only about a very important issue but also about leadership, innovation and myself. Thank you'.
'Today I've just been so inspired by all my fellow participants. They are seriously going places and working with them has made me excited not just for future action, but action we can start right now'.
Common Purpose is running Global Leader Experiences in the 50 Magnet Cities of the world. A Magnet City has students from over 100 countries studying in it. So that students don't just graduate as Economists and Engineers. They are also networked, responsible, global leaders with Cultural Intelligence.