Talloires Network announces international Next Generation Leader Initiative

Ballou Hall and the Academic Quad are pictured on Oct. 6. Ava Iannuccillo / The Tufts Daily

The Talloires Network of Engaged Universities has unveiled a new feature of its Global Leaders Conference for next fall, the Next Generation Leaders Initiative, which will be hosted by Tufts and Harvard University. The initiative will be led in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and will be composed of 40 civically engaged “next generation leaders” from around the world. 

This initiative will function in tandem with the Network’s Global Leaders Conference (TNLC2021). Participants will be accepted from universities within the Network, and will engage with topics of civic and social engagement, according to the Network’s website. 

Applicants for this initiative must be from schools that are signatory members of the Network, and must demonstrate civic and social responsibility, according to Dr. Lorlene Hoyt, executive director of the Talloires Network and research professor in the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life and the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.

In an email to the Daily, Hoyt spoke to what the Talloires Network is looking for in applicants for this initiative. 

“We’re looking for dynamic young leaders working with local communities who have an interest in connecting with their peers around the world,” Hoyt wrote. “We hope the Next Generations Leaders will bring back new skills to their communities and also a sense of purpose driven by the knowledge that they are working in concert with other young people around the world.”

Elevating the voices of young leaders and connecting them with other like-minded individuals are both priorities for the Network, Hoyt said.

These goals were echoed by Chau Au, a member of the Network’s steering committee and a student at the University of Technology Sydney.

Au expanded on what he hopes young leaders can get out of this initiative.

“Big impacts that I think that will have for young, aspiring leaders who attend is the ability to collaborate and work in partnership by looking at a bigger picture (thinking and exploring opportunities outside the box) on the context and nature from local, regional, national to the global level,” Au wrote in an email to the Daily.

As a member of the steering committee, Au has concentrated on ways the Network can amplify student voices and organize a conference he described as “unconventional, diverse and impactful.”

Due to COVID-19, the conference may need to be held in a hybrid or fully virtual format, according to Hoyt.

She expressed optimism about this format, and explained that the Network has already begun experimenting with online programming.

“The Network has been holding webinars since April and so we’re gaining experience with virtual events and learning about what works well in that format,” Hoyt said.

This format will not significantly diverge from the Network’s original plans for the TNLC2021 conference.

“The first and final phases of the Next Generation Leaders program would have occurred virtually even under normal circumstances,” Hoyt said. 

Au shared that he is looking forward to networking at the conference.

“I do hope to attend the TNL2021 and don’t mind whether in person or virtually,” Au said. “I do most look forward to meeting and networking with new faces & [gathering] insights and experiences.”

According to the Network’s website, the young leaders will explore four subthemes:pandemic recovery and resilience,” “innovations in gender equity,” “structured listening methods and civic engagement futures.”

Hoyt spoke to the importance of the Mastercard Foundation in designing and implementing conference programming for the Next Generation Leaders Initiative. 

“Mastercard Foundation is truly a partner – we have been working closely with several staff to design and launch the program; we will work together as partners through the selection, implementation and evaluation process as well,” Hoyt said. “The top priority for them is quality programs that support young people.”

The foundation recognizes the importance of young leaders, according to a statement by Reeta Roy, president and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation.

“Young people globally are confronting some of the most pressing and complex issues of our time: bringing them to the foreground, calling for change, and offering practical solutions,” Roy wrote in a statement.

Roy also expressed excitement about what young leaders can achieve when they come together to share strategies and support one another. 

The conference and the Next Generation Leaders Initiative will be held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, 2021