Future leaders events are a huge success

CSCLeaders for Students Dubai

We are delighted that the DP World sponsored CSCLeaders for Students event in Dubai last month was a huge success with 102 applications from students from 25 nationalities and 21 universities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Heriot-Watt University Dubai and Hult International Business School were Host University Partners. It was a fantastic conference, the success of which was evidenced by DP World committing to commission another one next year.

Speakers included Mohammed Sharaf, Group Chief Executive: DP World, Angelo Manesero, Chief Engineer: Dutco Balfour Beatty, Clare Woodcraft, CEO: Emirates Foundation and Philip Sparks, Director: Innovation and Technology, Hult International Business School. Participants visited some fascinating organisations, helping to expand their thinking on the Challenge: Dubai Trade, Dubai Media Inc, Dubai Customs, Oracle and Mediclinic.

Surbhi Agarwal, a student from Heriot-Watt University said of his experience: "It was a great opportunity to be a part of this prestigious conference. I cannot explain in words how much I am taking back from here. I am honoured to have been a part of it and met such inspiring leaders."

CSCLeaders for Students are four day leadership development conferences held in major Commonwealth cities where significant numbers of students from across the Commonwealth study. Participants tackle the same challenge as the senior leaders: 'How do you get societal - as well as economic - Value from technological innovation?' Their ideas will feed into the senior conference in March 2014.

Here are some of the projects which emerged in response to the CSCLeaders Challenge:

The participants' responses to the challenge ranged from specific, focussed solutions with clear and immediate implementation possibilities (micro ideas), to broader conceptual approaches with longer time lines (macro ideas). There was a focus on local or global application in their approaches.

 The ideas generated were:

Piezo Running - running on crystals
- Aims to reduce energy consumption and promote healthy living
- Piezo electric crystals release energy when compressed. They would be placed in shoes to produce voltage through everyday wearing pressure
- The voltage created is stored in the shoe via a capacitor and then, using an in-built Integrated Circuit microchip, the energy is transferred via WiFi to an app in electrical devices at home to charge them.

Tanmia - Micro-financing with a difference

- This group plan to set up a micro-finance bank in rural areas in UAE which will target people who don't have access to banks or the necessary collateral to enable them to set up or grow their businesses in traditional rural industries such as agriculture and handicrafts
- Alongside this a mobile training centre would provide them the latest skills, knowledge and technology for businesses (irrigation techniques, news tools for agriculture etc)
- Year 1 will focus on the micro finance bank and then the mobile training centre will be introduced in Year 2
- This will empower local communities, preserve Arab heritage, lessen economic inequality in UAE and enable rural communities to benefit from technological advances in their industries.

Each one teaches one programme
- This group plan to share the gift of education through provision of an internet connected computer in poor communities using innovations like balloon internet connectivity and USB dongles to reach out to marginalised communities
- Students will share their knowledge of their subjects of study with people in these communities via  Skype on these computers
- It would start with local communities but could then be broadened globally
Universities will be approached to make this volunteering credit bearing and part of their courses.

V Initiative

- Many people want to give back to the community but lack a platform to enable this
- This group plan to develop an application which enables you to participate in community projects such as clean up drives, sponsored walks, donating blood, breast cancer campaigns etc through advertising to an online community
- This will build a sense of community belonging and responsibility in young people
- It will be incentivised through a rewards point system where local retailers and support partners will provide services and products for these points.

Improving conditions for labourers
- Labourers in Dubai often live in cramped conditions and work in high temperatures
- This group want to propose to the Ministry of Labour to change this situation by providing cooling jackets and sprinkler systems for breaks, as used in Abu Dhabi, and to provide free cyber communication with their families back home
- This will ensure Dubai can improve labourer conditions, morale and health while also increasing efficiency.

Interactive smartdesks
- Classroom technology has evolved from blackboards to whiteboards to smartboards to interactive smartdesks. The next step is a single computer and projector that can turn 30 normal desks into 30 individual computers using interactive smartdesk technology
- This can turn 1 computer into 30 rather than having 30 in a classroom
- This will lower costs, reduce energy consumption and create paperless education
- This group plan on getting multinational corporations such as Microsoft to donate the laptops and projectors, alongside subsidies from the Ministry of Education, to take this technology into schools that otherwise lack computers for their students.

MR Memory Recall
- This group plan to enhance the living conditions for those suffering from amnesia
- Their idea consists of a wristband and headset which are linked via Bluetooth
- This will be used for tracking the wearer via GPS, holding personal medical information and have an emergency button to alert the relevant authorities
- It will also be able to remind wearers of where they are, where they are going and other pre-programmed information that they may otherwise forget utilising its inbuilt memory capability.

Camomile e-cigarettes
- This group plan to tackle health issues caused by smoking
- They want to take the idea behind e-cigarettes a step further by replacing tobacco with camomile to break nicotine addiction. It's an alternative to tobacco which works in the e-cigarette vaporisation process and also has relaxing qualities mentally and physically
This will lessen the health issues caused by tobacco and tackle nicotine addiction.


Alongside the 8 projects that were developed, the conference had the following outcomes:

Leadership development

On a personal level, the students now see themselves as leaders who can effect change, having the skills and mindset to tackle global challenges with increased self confidence. One of the host University Partners commented: "I have never seen conference attendees be so full of energy and inspiration at the end of an event!"

Global networks

The students valued the opportunity to meet people from different countries and cultures. One Emirati participant said that he had never been a part of - and had never thought he would be able to work effectively in - such a culturally diverse group. A cross university network was also created which is quite rare in Dubai.

The Principal of the University of Wollongong commented that there are no opportunities like this for their students to work with their peers from other universities.

The challenge

The challenge resonated with the students as evidenced by the number of applicants from science, technology, engineering, maths and engineering backgrounds and the energy with which they explored it. It is also very relevant to Dubai, where technological innovation has played such a large role in its emergence, growth and success. The group are continuing to engage with the challenge and their projects.

One of the panellists to whom the challenge responses were presented, Philip Sparkes, met up with one of the groups and has offered incubation support. He also offered to run an innovation workshop for which nearly 50 of the students have signed up. It will be held at Heriot-Watt University.

Moving forward

The conference has inspired, developed and motivated the next generation of future leaders across Dubai, creating a network of active and engaged global citizens. They responded very well to the challenge and plan on moving forward and implementing their proposals, and have met subsequently to pursue this goal.

 Based on the success of the conference DP World announced at the Reception that they will fund the conference again next year.


CSCLeaders for Students Singapore

This was our inaugural course in Singapore and was the first of five conferences sponsored by BP. Our Host University Partner were the number one ranked university in Asia, National University of Singapore. We had 100 applications from across the main universities in Singapore: NUS, NTU, SMU and some of the international campuses there.

There were over 40 contributors from across BP, Anglo American, PwC, Accenture, Barclays, Deloitte, Land Transport Authority, SPRING Singapore, Singapore Compact for CSR, British High Commission, Jones Lang LaSalle andCSCLeaders alumnus Chris Tan, Senior Correspondent fromThe Straits Times. Ten senior executives from BP played the role of Group Advisors to the students to help them develop their projects. The feedback we've received from them has been fantastic. They really valued being able to work with and really understand the future generation of leaders, felt great pride seeing the projects their groups devised and developed very strong relationships with their groups.

 One of the participants emailed us to say:

"I just wanted to thank you and your team for being such an inspiration and impacting our lives significantly. From your team, I learnt that passion coupled with purpose and focus brings about a good leader. With such amazing organisers, advisors, and people who have made this possible, it has been my greatest privilege to be given the opportunity to attend this course. And with that, I thank you, Andy and Fiona and your team at Common Purpose as well as BP for leaving such a significant impact on the people you have worked with over the course of the conference. I wish you all the best and may you continue to inspire, impact and challenge the people around you."

We will share the projects and outcomes from this event with you soon!

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About CSCLeaders

CSCLeaders is the renewal of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conferences - first run in 1956 – for the 21st Century, a partnership between international leadership development organisation Common Purpose and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conferences (UK Fund).

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