The Prince’s Trust and Mosaic launched an exciting new partnership with the British Council and their Future Leaders Connect Programme earlier this month in Birmingham. The pilot collaboration sees young people on the Mosaic Programme, and other Trust Education Programmes, connect to an incredible cohort of international future leaders from across the Commonwealth.
The uniquely digital experience connects young people in Birmingham in the first instance, with plans for a wider rollout, to an array of international leaders from a variety of countries, backgrounds and professions. Giving young people access to a pool of relatable role models in this way not only promotes the core tenets of the programme through inspirational leadership exposure, but it also promotes a deeper understanding of different cultures, internationalism and what international opportunities can look like.
The first pilot took place on the 16th March at our Prince’s Trust Birmingham Centre, with students from Highfield Secondary, Waverly Studio College, Bartley Green School, Hampstead Hall Academy and Hodge Hill College all being part of the first group to participate.
Our inaugural speaker was Assistant Professor at the Centre of Social and Organisational Leadership, Kunal Kumar Jha from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India. A recipient of a Dalai Lama Fellowship and having represented India in the Ethical Leadership Summit in 2016, the students learnt first-hand about what leadership looked like across the continent for Kunal. Through sharing his story, Kunal shared his vision for global change in helping to lead and implement policies that address the marginalisation and exclusion of minority individuals.
Students later took part in a Q&A with Kunal where he shared more of the challenges he had faced in his journey so far as well as responding to students’ questions on leadership, aspirations and remaining positive in difficult situations.
Prince’s Trust Operations Executive and Commonwealth Champion, Pritpal Surj who led the session on the day said:
“Last week we saw the first of our Future Leader sessions with Kunal from India skyping directly into our Prince’s Trust Centre to engage young people.
“The session was a great success and invaluably insightful for all our young people there on the day. It was a great opportunity for them to hear from a future leader like Kunal in a manner that they wouldn’t traditionally be able to have done in school. We also had staff members from the schools and The Trust present in the session who had such positive feedback. This was the first time they had ever been a part of something like this and were really encouraging about the scope and scale this will have nationally for so many of our young people.”Pritpal Surj, Operations Executive – The Prince’s Trust
Senior Head of Mosaic and Community Integration, Nizam Uddin said:
“This is a very exciting partnership for us with the British Council that has been in the planning for over 18 months. We share a collective ambition for all young people to fulfil their potential and for them to access every opportunity possible, including internationally. This pilot is the perfect embodiment of that, and the first entirely digital experience of its kind at The Trust.
“The fact this happened the same week as a schools shut-down announcement for COVID-19 highlights the importance of continued borderless connection between communities. We are always thinking of new and innovative ways of connecting our young people to more relatable role models and to be able to do so on such a global scale is something we are very excited about, and particularly so in partnership with the British Council.”Nizam Uddin, Senior Head of Mosaic and Community Integration – The Prince’s Trust
Head of Internationalism at The British Council, Julia Handelman-Smith said:
“At the British Council, we connect people worldwide through education and culture. We firmly believe that all young people need opportunities to connect internationally. It helps to broaden horizons, raise aspirations and develop key skills, as well as creating innovative and exciting learning environments that motivate students. This collaboration with The Prince’s Trust is helping us connect some of our global network of inspiring young leaders to in turn inspire young people in Birmingham in a simple but effective way. The fact that we can do this digitally is not only helping us to stay globally connected in the face of Covid-19, but will also help us engage with more young people in more sustainable ways going forward.”Julia Handelman-Smith, Head of Internationalism – The British Council
The Prince’s Trust and Mosaic regularly seek relatable role models to inspire our young people, many of whom participate on our structured education and employment programmes. If you are interested, please do get in touch .