Yesterday marked the first day of 33Sixty Glasgow 2017, a leadership programme for young people from across the Commonwealth.

Delivered by international leadership development organisation Common Purpose, the programme was officially opened by the programme's sponsors: Chris Stark on behalf of the Scottish Government, Dr Veena O'Halloran from hosts the University of Strathclyde, and Secretary-General of the Commonwealth The Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC.

As part of the continued legacy of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games, 33Sixty was launched by Acting Minister for Children and Young People Fiona McLeod in 2015.

The name 33Sixty reflects the fact that one third of the world’s population lives in the Commonwealth, and sixty percent of those are under the age of 30. Continuing the legacy of the Games, this year’s participants had an opportunity to greet the Commonwealth Games Baton on its journey from Glasgow to Australia's Gold Coast, and were able to learn more about the impact of the Games through visiting the Hosts and Champions exhibition.

100 young people are taking part in 33Sixty from over 20 countries across the Commonwealth.

The programme is taking place at The University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre and will last for four days, during which participants develop their leadership skills and Cultural Intelligence through tackling a challenge of great importance to the Commonwealth.

The challenge, set by the Secretary-General, is "What can our generation of the Commonwealth do now to make our cities more inclusive and safe by 2030?”.

Participants will meet a range of leaders from across Glasgow and visit organisations in order to develop solutions to the challenge, which they will pitch to a panel of senior leaders, including Aileen Campbell MSP, on Friday.

Andy Coxall, CEO of Common Purpose Student Experiences, said: “We are delighted to carry on the legacy of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games by continuing to develop the next generation of Commonwealth leaders.

“As Scotland prepares for the Year of Young People, and the Commonwealth Games Baton is passed from Scotland to Australia, there is an opportunity to impact even more young people in Scotland. 33Sixty will equip these young leaders with the skills and the networks to make a difference enabling them to cross boundaries to tackle the major problems of the world.”

Dr Veena O'Halloran, University Secretary and Compliance Officer at the University of Strathclyde said: “This is the second year in a row we have hosted the Commonwealth’s Young Leaders at the 33Sixty event and it’s great to welcome it back again.

“We’re particularly pleased the 33Sixty programme has chosen to return to Strathclyde because its ambitions and aims align so closely with our own. 

“Our educational ethos is innovative, collaborative and inclusive too, designed to provide an intellectually stimulating environment, informed by and interlinked with our strengths in research and knowledge exchange.  We aim to develop students who are engaged, enterprising, enquiring, and ethically, globally and culturally aware. 

“The energy, enthusiasm and determination to engage with societal and global challenges the young people bring to our campus, make the event all the more exciting.”

Aileen Campbell MSP, Minister for Public Health and Sport Scottish Government said: "The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games were such a monumental event for Scotland I am so pleased that we can continue the legacy with the 33Sixty Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme."

“It is important to empower young people to become strong leaders with an acute cultural awareness.  Scotland is an inclusive nation and this programme will help to equip young people with the tools to demonstrate leadership skills, and inspire others to make a positive and lasting impact within their community.