Emerging Leaders Conference


The Emerging Leaders Conference (ELC) is designed for young people and offers discussions, lectures, and training on topics relevant to ongoing international policy debates. The Emerging Leaders Conference happens every year in the following regions: Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America. Each WYA Region holds a local ELC.

Contact education@wya.net for more information or click the regional tabs to view the details of your regional ELC event.

Overarching Theme

The theme this year is Health and Education: Keys to Development and will highlight the right kind of health and education policies that work. Each region has developed a theme for their conference that addresses issues or concepts regarding the family that is relevant to the region.

The 2014 African Emerging Leaders Conference has already ended. Please come back to check when the details for the next ELC will be posted. For now, please read this article on the 2014 ELC:


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WYA Africa 5th Emerging Leaders Conference a Success!

The 5th Africa Emerging Leaders Conference was held in Strathmore University, in Nairobi, Kenya. This took place on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th October 2014. We had delegates from Zambia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.

The first day of the conference, Thursday 9th October, started with brief entertainment from a young upcoming artist, Mr. Danson Kiundi, who is a classical musician. We then had the opening remarks from Mr. David Owino, a Partner at Ascent Africa. He highlighted the link between making money and raising good families, in addition to stating categorically that indeed, fortune favors the brave and stressed that “Life cannot be measured in economic terms, there is much more to life.” The key note address was given by the first Regional Director for WYA Africa, Mrs. Caroline S. Maingi, who encouraged that we continue to foster a life of virtue. She emphasized that people are not just a statistic, and stressed that family allows us to become more human, a real school of virtue. She stressed the importance of work in today’s world. Miss Hannah Ondiek elaborately introduced WYA to the distinguished delegates.

This was followed with a panel discussion on Morality, Drug Abuse and the Family. The panel was honored with Hon. John M. Mututho, Chairman for NACADA, Mrs. Susan Kariuki Mwongera, CEO Youth Agenda Kenya, Mrs. Caroline Rarieya, a Counseling Psychologist and Mr. Peterson Mwangi, a University Counselor.

Mr. Thomas Mundia, a course leader of Developing Leadership Capabilities at Strathmore Business School, passionately deeply traced the philosophical roots and tides of the notion of the family and definitively proposed that we foster good families, if we are to develop economically well. Youth Employment was elaborately discussed by Mr. George Waigi, the National Program Coordinator for ILO Kenya.

Day two of the conference began with Mrs. Julie Gichuru, a mother and celebrated TV Host at Citizen TV. She stressed the vital role that the media plays in shaping the family agenda, referring to a book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, she cited the role that the media can play to change the perspective of people like it changed the attitude of the people of the United States towards slavery. She cited that our conformity to the images that are splashed on the screens despite their negativity makes the media keep portraying in order to sell however if we refused and complained about what is aired a lot could change.

Youth Involvement in Economic Development was discussed by Ms. Nina Werner, the Regional Director for Mara Foundation East Africa, who stressed the need for mentorship of young people. Mr. Peter Mungai, an entrepreneur and Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, spoke about Youth Entrepreneurship and how he started up from being a plain lawyer to a wealthy entrepreneur.

The climax of the conference was the panel discussion on Marriage and the Family. Pr. Simon Mbevi, Mr. Ernest Wamboye, Mr. Oscar K. Beauttah, and Dr. Emily Obwaka led us through their marriage and family experience and reiterated the need for values and principles in the family as a way to shape the family, they all mentioned the true aspect being that “Marriage is challenging and it takes two to go through and not one”.

Throughout the conference, it was easy to see that the family is indeed the place where we begin to form society and in turn develop as economies. Only after developing stable and good families are we able to secure the ideals we strive for as societies.

We thank all everyone who made preparations for the event, most sincerely our volunteers, interns and staff at WYA Africa. We extend deep appreciation to our partners, the Strathmore Law SchoolDomark Printing WorksMara Foundation. We especially thank all the emerging leaders and delegates from all the countries that found time and sacrificed to make it for the conference. Do keep in touch, not just on Facebook, but also via calls.

We wish all our regions successful Emerging Leaders Conferences too. We are already beginning to plan for the 2015 Africa Emerging Leaders Conference. For any inquiries, write to us africa@wya.net.


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About    Schedule   Application   ELC 2014

About the Emerging Leaders Conference 2015

This conference is the 4th annual event of World Youth Alliance Europe that brings together young people from across Europe to interact with leaders and policy makers on current global issues.

The theme for this year’s conference is Health and Education: keys to Development and will take place in Brussels from the 28th June to the 1st July, 2015. The Emerging Leaders Conference (ELC) is an annual event hosted by WYA, which seeks to bring together critical thinkers to examine issues in the area of health and education with particular regard to family, women and children. It also provides young leaders with special training on programs in those areas to give them the adequate tools to make a difference back in their country.


The Emerging Leaders Conference 2015 is a four-day event that features a wide range of events, including a run for dignity project, lectures, panel discussions, trainings, cultural events, a cocktail reception and much more.

The detailed program of the ELC 2015 will be available soon!

Application Process

The application process for attending the ELC 2015 is now available!

To apply you must:

– Be from 18-30 years old
– Be residing in an European country
– Have a good level of English
– Be a member of World Youth Alliance
If you are not yet a WYA member, please sign the Charter in order to become a member (prerequisite for participating in the ELC).

You will be charged a fee of 50 euro, which includes a welcome pack, free participation to the Run for Dignity race, conference expenses, lunches and a cocktail reception. Any other expenses incurred will be your responsibility.

In order to apply fill in the application form here.

Should you have any question, do not hesitate to contact us at europe@wya.net.

WYA Europe Emerging Leaders Conference 2014


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The Emerging Leaders Conference each year brings WYA members from the four corners of Europe together for world class speakers, regional training, and international friendships. It was gratifying for all of us in WYA Europe to see months of hard work pay off. The endless photocopies, emails, and small fortunes spent on coffee were not in vain. This year’s conference ran from 17-21 November, examining the theme the International Year of the Family and Youth Unemployment Crisis.

There was a truly international feel to the Conference: Croatian, Belgian, Swiss, Spanish, Greek, British, Polish, French and Romanian youth attended. These young people returned to their home countries having gained not just expertise, but a renewed sense of vigour regarding the necessity of uniting European youth to serve a common goal: the defense of human dignity.

The ELC included question and answer sessions from speakers such as Commissioner Tibor Navracsics and members of the European Parliament as Alojz Peterle, Marijana Petir, Arne Gericke. It was also an exercise in solidarity, with members participating in daily group training sessions, and, on a more lighthearted note, enjoying a scavenger hunt.

The three panels of the ELC focused on Youth Unemployment, the Family, and the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The participants praised all the panels, but particularly the third one, which was held on the anniversary of the Convention and as such drew more participants than the other panels.

Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Culture, Education and Youth, opened the the Youth Unemployment and Youth Guarantee panel. It touched upon the most pressing concerns facing the youth today. The panel raised questions of widespread unemployment and disaffection throughout Europe, but also discussed optimistically the possibilities and potential that youth have to offer.

The Work-Family Balance panel explored the difficulties that European families face, with an introduction from Marijana Petir. This panel highlighted the importance of the family to resolving issues in society, and to cushion against the worst effects of youth unemployment. One remark that is likely to stay with the WYA participants was from Ms Petir: “We have to respect our parents because thanks to their education we had the opportunity to become better people.”

The third panel, on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: The Role of the Family in Shaping Responsible Citizenship, was very popular. Parts of the declaration were examined by speakers such as Ignacio Socias from the International Federation for Family Development, which has been working hard for the celebration of the 2014 International Year of the Family in collaboration with United Nations.

The last day of the conference ended with viewings from the Manhattan International Film Festival (MIFF), which took place in WYA’s Brussels office. The American Mission to the European Union generously sponsored the MIFF and their officer for human rights joined us for the event. The excellent selection of films included a touching Croatian entry about a young man with Down syndrome that manages to hold down a job and live his life in dignity—a natural favorite film for our Croatian attendees.

The success of the Emerging Leaders Conference is a very positive event for many reasons. Thanks to the ELC, our members have the intellectual foundation to build arguments in the defense of human dignity and the family’s role in promoting human dignity and social development. The most important success is that during this conference every European chapter of WYA underwent teambuilding training and now are ready to actively work in the defense of human dignity during the next year with concrete projects on important issues.

To support our European projects for the next year and the organization of the next Emerging Leaders Conference in June 2015, please participate in the WYA 15 Campaign.

The 2014 Latin America Emerging Leaders Conference has already ended. Please come back to check when the details for the next ELC will be posted. Thank you!

The 2014 Middle East Emerging Leaders Conference has already ended. Please come back to check when the details for the next ELC will be posted. For now, please read this article on the 2014 ELC:


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ELC 2014: The Family and Economic Development in the Arab Region

The Middle East regional office of WYA held the Emerging Leaders Conference in partnership with Notre Dame University on the 23rd,24th of October 2014. The annual theme which was adapted and translated in the local context was “The Family and Economic Development in the Arab Region”.The public was mainly formed by WYA Members who shared their tangible experiences and NDU students.

The regional conference covered the following topics: Family support to children, elderly, persons with disabilities, displaced persons and refugees. In addition, the importance of remittances in supporting families living in the Arab region and finally the role of the family in reducing youth unemployment and better managing the transition from school to work.

The panel discussions were followed by thematic working groups where the young attendees formulated policy recommendations for the above mentioned topics and presented them later on.

The 2014 North American Emerging Leaders Conference has already ended. Please come back to check when the details for the next ELC will be posted. For now, please read this article on the 2014 ELC:


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WYANA Holds A Successful Emerging Leaders Conference 2014

The Emerging Leaders Conference (ELC) is an annual weekend long conference which brings together the brightest and best youth leaders from North America. The ELC provides a forum for young people to vigorously engage, discuss, and debate the pressing issues of today, in light of the mission and vision of WYA.

The ELC was held in the WYA Headquarters in New York, USA from November 7-9, 2014. This year’s theme was on “Mad Men, Modern Family: the Role of Men in Social Development.” Our ever-changing cultural landscape has drastically altered the concept of family living. In this conference, we aimed to address this seismic shift by examining the role of fatherhood, family and the contemporary myths about manhood and masculinity.

We had 3 exceptional speakers who each contributed to the discussion from their field of expertise. Dr. Bradford Wilcox examined the effects of committed fatherhood on men and children. Drs. Paul Nathanson and Kathering Young focused on misandry and the revolutonary history of men. Finally, Dr. Schuchardt spoke about women in media and technology and the obscolence of gender. All 3 lectures kept the participants engaged and lead to a thought provoking discussion during the panel on Saturday night.

Participants also had the opportunity to watch the WYA Chamber Orchestra performance which was sponsored by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York.

The ELC was well-attended by WYA members from South Carolina, New Hampsire, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania, Boston, Oregon, Washington and New York. It was a weekend filled with intellectual discourse and a renewed sense of vigour for our youth leaders as they return home equipped with a stronger conviction to protect and promote the dignity of each person.

Click here to see more photos and here to watch lectures from the 2014 WYANA ELC.