Youth in the Middle East and developing regions continue to make up approximately one-fifth of the total population at 20.5 percent . These statistics imply that it is imperative that leadership principles are brought in at an early age, whether in classrooms or outside them, to curb the growth of unemployment and create young future leaders. Catering to this growing need, the Future Leadership Academy (FLA), a UAE-based organization was launched today targeting audiences in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA).
The FLA is a social venture that kick-starts its pilot initiative in Dubai imparting leader-ship, thinking and entrepreneurial skills to children and youth. The Academy in its first initiative will launch the Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) program for the region. The academy’s expansion plans are set to take root in the UAE and will eventually move to five countries by 2014.
Dr. Curtis L DeBerg, Founder of SAGE said: “If we truly want to inspire the next genera-tion of young people to be committed to community causes as well as activities for their personal gain, then we need an education model that integrates social enterprise, envi-ronmental awareness and civic engagement with ‘regular’ education.”
SAGE is an organization that encourages teenagers to create commercial and social en-trepreneurial ventures on their school campuses, and is now active in seven U.S. states and 19 countries.
Aman Merchant, Founder and Chief Emagination Officer, Future Leadership Academy, ex-plains: “The vast majority of educational systems globally are too focused on academic education rather than what we term holistic education, and are seriously falling short on preparing 21st century citizens. Having launched FLA in the UAE, our target for 2015 is to create one million young future leaders across the MEASA region. We want to develop today’s children and youth to become the responsible and confident leaders of tomor-row.”
The Academy targets young people from 3 to 24 years of age and will work as a leader-ship and learning ‘open-source platform’ offering a unique multi-tiered leadership poten-tial accelerator built around three core concepts – Lead, Think and Impact. “The FLA is looking forward to working with parents and communities, educational institutes, educa-tors, government entities, corporations and skilled professionals to launch and deliver varied initiatives,” continued Merchant.
As a start-off Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, the FLA will use up to 10 per cent of its revenues to subsidise the cost of participation for those children who may not be able to afford the fees, but are extremely motivated to join the Academy.