On February 25, 2016 (Falgun 14, 2072) we organized “Nepal Leadership Conference” with the theme of “Redefining Leadership” under the banner of Leadership Lab at Daayitwa. Hosted at the Malla Hotel, the conference highlighted the first batch of Daayitwa Innovation Leaders (DILs) 2015 and Daayitwa Public Service Fellows 2015 on five topics: civil movements, entrepreneurship, rebuilding, governance and women leadership.

The program was attended by over 300 young professionals and students from various universities in the tri-district area. The Chief Guest, Rt. Hon. Kalyan Shrestha, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Nepal emphasized that “leadership is all about change for growth. If we are not growing then we are not living.”  The plenary panel ‘Staying Alive through Danger of Leading’ comprised of former Chief Secretary, Government of Nepal, Mr. Leela Mani Paudyal, Senior Advocate and Former Constitution Assembly member, Ms. Sapana Pradhan Malla and Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Water, Hon. Gagan Thapa.  The 3 panelists highlighted the importance of taking risks, facing criticisms and acting collaboratively while ushering in new changes.

Throughout the event, the audience were able to witness the DIL’s leadership journey, and Daayitwa fellows’ projects conducted during their 3-month long fellowship.  The second segment of the event focused on parallel studios under 5 themes – governance, entrepreneurship, reconstruction, women leadership, and collaborative politics where DIL 2015 and Daayitwa Fellows 2015 from summer and autumn cohorts deliberated on leadership skills while raising prominent issues that play significant roles towards economic prosperity of Nepal.

The women leadership studio focused on promoting multi-generational cross-sectorial dialogue by engaging experts and students through discussions and surveys.  In the studio ‘Collaborative Politics – Finding New Pathways’, leaders from various political parties and civil movements brainstormed ideas on finding collaboration pathways for a ‘new’ kind of politics.

In the governance studio, the Daayitwa Summer and Autumn Fellows partnered with theater actors Shishir Siwakoti, Bimba Adhikari and Arjun Neupane on a skit to showcase the importance of youth in government.  They also conducted a café conversation where authority figures (e.g. experts, academicians, NGOs leaders) and youth discussed the intersection of youth, governance and leadership.

The ‘Earthquake Reconstruction: How to Strengthen Accountability?’ studio engaged a drama team to portray the reality of Nepal after the April 2015 earthquake, followed by discussion on the challenges and way forward.  The ‘Rural Entrepreneurship – Exploring Possibilities for Accelerating Innovation’ studio focused on the leadership challenges of rural entrepreneurs. Our Innovation Leaders representing various sectors shared their stories of challenges during this studio.  

During the closing plenary session, Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Development, Hon. Rabindra Adhikari and Chair of High Level Taskforce on Health Education Policy, Prof. Dr. Kedar Bhakta Mathema, shared their views on engaging the government to lead social change and the young leading change despite the old not letting go of power.

For more information, please visit www.daayitwa.org.