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Young Leaders Conference – History, Culture and Ascension in the Digital Age

With the drive and passion to learn new ideas, the participants of 18th Young Leaders Conference returned for the third and the fourth day radiating with renewed passion and confidence. Powerful speakers along with engaging panel discussions and activities kept the YLC event immersive and insightful.

The third day of the event revolves around the theme of ‘Economic Leadership’ which opened with a plenary session which explored the notion of what it means to be wealthy for a young Pakistani adult.

The session delved into the deeper meanings; unfolding many aspects of wealth, its acquisition and its management. As the event moved to its 4th Day themed ‘History, Culture & Politics’, numerous sessions provided insights on topics such as crowd-funding, Human Centred Design Thinking, freelancing, Influencer Marketing, profile building, finding future jobs, financial literacy. They delivered powerful and impactful speeches to YLC’s future leaders implying the need to immerse in politics and to promote historical and cultural significance for a country’s viable future.

Day 3 kicked off with a dialogue activity ‘Job VS Business’ under the moderation of Umair Jaliawala along with panellists Badar Khushnood, Sajjad Aslam, and Maria Umar. The panel discussion aimed to get participants familiar with the stakes of the implications of choosing a job over business and vice versa.

Dr Faisal Bari, Co-author of the National Human Development Report proceeded to hold a riveting discussion whilst presenting a case for Pakistan titled ‘Human Development for Economic Independence’. Economic stability is not possible without investing in human development and growth.

During his session, he shed light on how our neighbouring countries have a wonderful case study of investing in skilled labour and reaping the benefits. In a 45-minute-long discussion with participants, an interactive engagement led to contemplating on facts like how can Pakistan start and implement human development for economic independence and what considerations and steps are needed to be taken to achieve prosperity at all levels.

A panel discussion titled ‘Re-thinking Digital for Economic Growth’; moderated by Badar Khushnood featuring Syed Muzammil Hassan, Sadaf Zarar, Roshan Ejaz and Faisal Malik was conducted to discuss the advent of the digital economy. The panel explored how the growth of the digital economy in recent decades is unprecedented and has been a major contributor to recent economic growth, the booming stock market, and the revival of productivity. They also pointed out how youth can upgrade themselves to survive and add value in this ever-changing digital economy.

Speaking about the initiatives, Faisal Malik, Director Commercials Daraz told that the platform has initiated its Daraz university & seller facilitation centres at 50 Daraz hubs across Pakistan which provides learning tools for e-commerce. He further spoke about the importance of workplace discipline and gender equality at work, stating, “Daraz is an equal opportunity employer and we believe that training and educating talented women is an economic imperative.

During Day 3 and Day 4, speakers who are experts in their own fields including Farah Arif, Zain Ashraf, Muzammil Hassan, Sohail Iftikhar, Monis Rahman, Shahzad Nawaz, Arsal Fahim, Jibran Nasir, Ejaz Haider and Waqar Ali shared their experience, knowledge and energy with the crowd by speaking about the skills required for the current and future workforce.

Jibran Nasir, who needs no introduction, took the centre stage on Day 4 to inspire the participants to not only be vocal about the socio-economic injustices plaguing the country but take a firm stand against them. In his own unique no-holds-barred style, he addressed the audience. “It is so much easier to hate the circumstances, leaders, people, culture and everything but us. We are vocal people and we will bash to no end, sitting in our cushy drawing rooms things we can’t stand, but when we need to stand up, we back away into oblivion, in fear and apathy.

The truth is, taking a stand means is at the core, standing for your own morals, values and principle – taking a stand for who you are.” – He stated in his speaking session. In his session, he highlighted the thought process, decision-making, the risks and the choices we make to make a firm stand in our words and actions against the things we hold close to their hearts.

To enrich participant’s understanding of Pakistan’s heritage, a field trip was organized through the walled city of Lahore. Participants came across the splendours of Mughal and British Colonial architecture which left them awestruck. Places such as Punjab IT Board, Walled City, and Lahore Fort were also covered during the tour.

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