To Lead the Path
Promiti Prova Chowdhury
With the theme 'Leading Bangladesh into the Future: A Journey of Exploration', the Youth Leadership Summit 2012 brought together 50 distinguished national and international speakers and 450 delegates from all over Bangladesh for three days of knowledge sharing, networking and exploration. Organised by Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC), the country's first leadership institute, the event took place from April 26-28 in Dhaka.
The summit commenced with an inaugural ceremony chaired by Mahbub Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, and distinguished panelists Abdullah Abu Sayeed, Founder, Bishwa Shahitya Kendra, Aly Zaker, Actor and Freedom Fighter, Ejaj Ahmad, Founder and President, BYLC and Pial Islam, Managing Partner of pi Strategy Consulting at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center.
||Geeteara Safiya Choudhury speaking at the event. Photo: BYLC
Abdullah Abu Sayeed stated that leaders are 'original rebels'. They do not copy anyone and follow their own ideas. He gave the example of legends like Kazi Nazrul Islam and Rabindranath Tagore. The delegates were, then, set for the first leadership session on 'Preparing for the Inner Journey of Leadership', with leadership expert Max Klau, Director of Leadership Development, City Year. He introduced delegates to the 'The Flame of Idealism', a leadership model, developed to better understand the inner journey of leadership. Joe Hsueh, Systems Dynamics Modeler and Faculty of MIT Sloan School of Management, on the other hand conducted the session, 'Dialogic and Facilitative Leadership', which brought into light the outer journey of leadership.
Amiya Atahar, a first year student of Chemistry at the University of Dhaka and a graduate of Building Bridges through Leadership Training (BBLT) programme of BYLC, shares her contentment regarding the summit, “I found this summit quick-witted because every other day you don't get the chance to interact with such veterans. The question-answer sessions were more interesting. The actual art of leadership was sketched which spread the message that 'leadership is not about authority or position, but it's a process'.”
On the second day, Annisul Huq, President, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry chaired the plenary of Entrepreneurship. Geeteara Safiya Choudhury, Chairman Adcomm Ltd, A K Azad, President, FBCCI, Salauddin Kashem Khan, Managing Director, A K Khan and company ltd spoke at the panel. The day also featured four concurrent panels on Climate Change and Renewable Energy, Good Governance, Social Media and Women and Leadership. “Entrepreneurship is not only about starting a new business. It's about having the courage to break your barriers and leading people towards the cause you believe in,” remarked Annisul Huq.
“The future of Bangladesh depends on youth leadership,” remarked U S Ambassador Dan Mozena in his Title Sponsor's speech at the closing ceremony held at the Bashundhara Convention Center. Gowher Rizvi, Member, International Advisor Board, BYLC and Special Representative of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Md Mirajul Quayes, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh and Manzoor Hasan, Chairperson, BYLC were present. Marty Linsky, Co-Founder and Principal, Cambridge Leadership Associates addressed the keynote.
Ejaj Ahmad, Founder and President, BYLC shares, “When we recruit for our leadership programmes, we look for self awareness, love for one's country and a capacity to communicate well and work in a team with diverse members."
The gold sponsors of the Summit were Rahimafrooz and The Daily Star, and the silver sponsors were FBCCI, Adcomm and Al Arafah Islami Bank.