300 Young Leaders Arrive in Ireland for International Conference

Foróige-Notinuse's picture
Foróige-Notinuse September 3, 2014
  • Leadership Conference will be attended by 300 teenagers from around the world.
  • Teens from almost every county in Ireland will take part.
  • Young delegates to arrive from India, USA and Northern Ireland.
  • Inspirational guest speakers include world leaders in the fields of space exploration; music; business and sport as well as sustainable energy technology 
  • Hollywood star Matt McCoy is serving as Ambassador for the Conference.

An international youth conference that will equip teenagers with the skills to be the next generation of world leaders was launched this morning (Monday, July 28th) in Kildare.

Some 300 delegates from Ireland, Northern Ireland, the USA and India will attend the week-long Foróige Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life Youth Conference to learn the skills and attitudes to become strong leaders who have the ambition and courage to change the world around them.

They gathered this morning along with Hollywood star and conference ambassador Matt McCoy on the grounds of the historic NUI Maynooth campus to officially kick off the conference, which is now in its sixth year.

Matt McCoy has most recently featured in some of the USA’s biggest shows The Mentalist and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, though he is probably best known for starring in two 'Police Academy' films, 'L.A. Confidential' and 'The Hand that Rocks the Cradle'. Speaking at the launch, Matt said:

“It’s a privilege to spend time here in Ireland with teenagers who are determined to create a better world for future generations.

“What these young people learn throughout the week is that great leadership is not about power and self interest or about shouting the loudest, it’s about cultivating your own strengths into good for your community, your society and the world. Watching their leadership journey through the week truly is awe—inspiring and a journey I’m honoured to be a part of.”

The ASLFL International Leadership Programme is operated by Foróige in partnership with the Irish Chamber of Commerce, United States of America (ICCUSA).

Foróige Chief Executive Seán Campbell said: “Foróige is delighted to offer this world-class leadership programme for the sixth year running to young people not just from Ireland but from across the world.

“All too often we hear from industry experts that young people are ill-prepared to join the work force. What this programme teaches are transferable skills that employers tell us they are looking for in recent graduates.

“Leadership may seem like an abstract concept, but the benefits young people get from the conference are very real and tangible. They emerge with confidence, greater self-knowledge, self-belief and assertiveness – all skills which are highly sought after by employers.

“We are nurturing the next generation of leaders. It’s a hugely positive experience for the young people too and one that Foróige is extremely proud of.”

The 300 international delegates, aged 15 to 18, will graduate from the Foróige Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life Programme on Friday morning (1st August) having completed an intensive programme of workshops and projects equipping them with skills for life.

As part of the week-long conference, the delegates will meet inspirational guest speakers from Ireland and abroad including: (You are invited to send representative)

Dr. Joseph Roche, Astrophysicist and candidate for the Mars One Mission. (Speaking on Thursday, July 31st, 11.30am – 12.30pm, John Hume Building at NUI Maynooth)

Hugo MacNeill, Former Irish Rugby International and Goldman Sachs’ Head of Investment Banking for Ireland. (Speaking on Thursday, July 31st, 14.30pm – 15.30pm, John Hume Building at NUI Maynooth)

Elizabeth Healy, Senior Executive Director of The Recording Academy New York Chapter. The Recording Academy has been celebrating music through the GRAMMY Awards for more than 50 years. (Speaking on Tuesday, July 29st, 11.30am – 12.30pm, John Hume Building at NUI Maynooth)

Christian Okonsky, CEO of KLD Energy Technologies. The Austin, Texas-based company designs and develops electric motor systems for electric vehicles worldwide. (Speaking on Wednesday, July 30th, 10.15am – 11.15pm, John Hume Building at NUI Maynooth)

Notes to Editors

The conference will run in NUI Maynooth from Monday, July 28th to Friday, August 1st.

The Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life Programme was developed in Ireland in 2009 by Foróige in partnership with the Irish Chamber of Commerce - United States of America (ICCUSA). The Foróige ASLFL leadership programme is open to young adults aged 15-18.

Delegates attending have been nominated by youth workers and volunteer leaders from their own countries because they have demonstrated an innate sense of justice, determination, passion and ability to lead and make positive changes in their own communities.

The programme includes lectures by a host of inspirational speakers, workshops on team building, critical thinking and communication skills and peer discussions on matters of global importance.

Young people will also be challenged to understand their own values and prejudices. Participants are encouraged to go beyond their own personal comfort zones and perceived capabilities to be better than they thought they could be.

Matt McCoy

Matt McCoy has most recently featured in some of the USA’s biggest shows Revenge and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The actor is probably best known for starring in two 'Police Academy' films, 'L.A. Confidential' and also the highly acclaimed film, 'The Hand that Rocks the Cradle'. 



Foróige is the leading and largest youth organisation in Ireland. The charity works with more than 56,000 young people and 5,500 adult volunteers annually, through a network of more than 600 youth clubs & cafés, 150 targeted projects and national programmes such as Citizenship, Entrepreneurship and Leadership.