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International Young Leaders Assembly

Moral And Innovative Leadership
Vision, Service and Entrepreneurship
  August 10-19, 2015


The International Young Leaders Assembly: an unparalleled experience of engagement and collaboration in the world’s most powerful institutions. More than 1200 young professionals, entrepreneurs, social activists, and student leaders representing 115 countries participated in range of dynamic leadership forums and briefings during the 8th International Young Leaders Assembly (IYLA) on August 10-19 2015.   

Convening in Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York, the young professionals met in an environment of growing global tension, economic turmoil, and increasingly shocking acts of ideologically driven violence that are testing existing models of leadership and statecraft. Global Young Leaders Academy President Yeqing Victor Li explained, “The need for new leadership that transcends such divisions, that elevates public dialog and policy to address the needs of the entire human family, is one of the most pressing priorities of the twenty-first century.”

The relevance of the IYLA theme, “Moral and Innovative Leadership: Vision, Service, Entrepreneurship,” was evident not only to the international delegates, but to many of the scholars, policy makers, diplomats and development experts who addressed the assembly. “The complexity of our global challenges calls for a new generation of moral leaders,” United Nations General Assembly President H.E. Sam Kahamba Kutesa said in an official statement delivered by his Chief of Staff to the IYLA at the United Nations on August 19. “We need innovators and problem solvers who can inspire positive change in their societies.”   He told participants that “innovation and creativity, communication and commitment are essential skills that can pave the way towards civic engagement as well as community and democratic participation. These are the leadership attributes I encourage you to develop.”

Global Peace Foundation International President James Flynn drew attention to the twenty-first century’s rapid technological advances that are leaving ethical development behind. “Our most pressing challenge today is an ethical one,” Flynn said. “Our technology can gather massive data and our browsing habits and consumer preferences but cannot help us to understand each other, to respect each other or to forgive each other.”

The concluding summit in the U.N.’s grand General Assembly Hall included a message from the Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Youth, Ambassador Ahmad Alhendawi; H.E. Federico Gonzalez, Ambassador of Paraguay to the United Nations; Ravi Karkara, Global Advisor on Youth for UN Habitat, Bella Heule; Executive Vice President of the World Trade Centers Association; James Flynn, International President of the Global Peace Foundation; Poonam Ahluwalia, Executive Director of Yes and YouthTrade; and Dedi Mulyadi, Mayor of Purwakarta in Indonesia.

Earlier in the 10-day program on August 12, the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC hosted a celebration of International Youth Day with an all-day series of IYLA forums on Service, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship. Some 150 student leaders and young professionals from 64 countries participated in the forums and briefings by World Bank development experts, entrepreneurs and service leaders.

Fernando Filartiga, Advisor for the Office of the Executive Director for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay at the World Bank, said that the best leaders inspire others to set common goals and help them to reach those goals. “Leadership becomes a group attitude, a way of thinking, where members can collaborate and create a common vision to work towards,” he observed.

IBM Vice President Diane Melley discussed the role that business can play in addressing development priorities. With 400,000 employees in 170 countries, IBM she said fosters “a culture of giving and service,” citing how IBM employees flew into Nepal just after the earthquake struck to construct data models and simulations to assist in the rebuilding process.


Other speakers representing the World Bank Youth2Youth, the National Commission to UNESCO, the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, universities and non-governmental organizations presented perspectives on the growing phenomenon of cross-sector service and the important contributions of youth in building networks through service and social media to provide for critical needs in the developing world.

IYLA participants also met at the Hall of States near Capitol Hill for a discussion hosted by the Sustainable Dialogue Institute. The casual format enabled participants to work with critical tools for promoting dialog and understanding beyond boundaries. Convening in the Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing Room, young leaders took to the podium to share their passions and dreams. They recognized that being a leader isn’t necessarily about holding positions of power, but rather “having a heart of living for the sake of other people,” according to one; “with this heart there is no reason for our society and country not to move forward.” Another said, “Identify what you are passionate about and do something about it. Don’t wait for an opportunity to fall into your hands, use globalization and technological connectivity to your advantage.”

Other engagements in Washington DC included the US State Department, the Wilson Center, the Malaysian and Saudi Embassies, the Smithsonian Institution and an adventure challenge at Great Falls. The IYLA’s DC program concluded at with the One Dream One Korea concert for Unification at the Lincoln Memorial. In historic Philadelphia, the IYLA examined America’s unprecedented founding principles and the global relevance and implications of those principles.  “There is an interconnection between faith, virtue and liberty,” said Global Peace Foundation education consultant Kevin McCarthy.  

“Expressions of faith relate to social conscience, to civil values. We have to be stewards of freedom,” McCarthy said, echoing Thomas Jefferson’s famous dictum, “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” Also addressing the delegates at the National Constitution Center, Hon. Wilson Goode, the 121st mayor of Philadelphia and the city’s first African American chief executive, stood as an outcome of the principles of the Declaration of Independence.  Rev. Dr. Goode shared a compelling personal history and his outstanding principles of leadership.

The 2015 IYLA was co-convened by the Global Peace Foundation and the Global Young Leaders Academy, with support from the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Youth, the World Bank Youth2Youth, the Permanent Mission of Paraguay to the United Nations and the Embassy of Malaysia to the United States and dozens of other Embassies, Permanent Missions, NGOs, Think Tanks and Institutions.

Previous IYLAs have been convened in Atlanta, USA (2012); New York, Philadelphia and Washington (2013, 2014); Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2013), Bangkok, Thailand (2014); Asuncion, Paraguay (2014); Ulanbaatar, Mongolia (2015); International Young Leaders Assembly (IYLA) is a premier partnership-driven leadership development initiative that empowers promising young leaders to positively impact communities, nations and the world. Emphasizing the importance of vision, service and entrepreneurship as the foundation of moral and innovative leadership, the IYLA hosts student leaders and young professionals for interactive programs with globally significant leaders and institutions. Delegates acquire first-hand experience in leadership, join a lasting global leadership network and build a platform to tackle current critical issues.  In collaboration with distinguished private and public-sector partners throughout the world, the initiating co-conveners Global Peace Foundation and Global Young Leaders Academy anchor the global programs in Washington D.C. 


#IYLA #YoungLeaders #GlobalLeaders

United Nations HQ

New York City
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
United Nations General Assembly Hall


Registration - 9:00-10:00

High Level Plenary - 10:00-11:15        

Interactive Session - 11.15-11.45

High Level Youth Panel - 11:45 - 1   

Closing - 1:00




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