UCL Leaders Conference at UCL East

The 20th and 21st of January 2023 saw one of the biggest student-led conferences, UCL Leaders, take place in London for the 7th year in a row. This time, in UCL East, the new UCL campus in Stratford, East London.

Organised by an international team of students in partnership with the Students’ Union and led by second-year UCL students, Project Leaders Olga Drygala and Kaja Posnik, this year's event was a great success!

Project Leaders Opening the Conference

The UCL Leaders conference aims to discuss the globalised world and most pressing issues worldwide, while encouraging discussion between ambitious students and leaders, professionals, entrepreneurs. It aims to bridge the gap between current global leaders and leaders of the future and is an event which connects the generations of leaders through active discussion and debate. Every year, students of the best British universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, UCL or LSE, as well as students coming from abroad (the Netherlands, Poland, Italy) take part in the event. The fifth edition, online due to the pandemic, gathered over 1,100 participants from 29 countries.

This year, the conference took place at one of the latest additions to the UCL infrastructure, UCL East. 450 participants attended the event, both in person, as well as online. It was truly an international event, as the participants came from 17 different countries and 3 continents. The event provided multiple opportunities for networking between the participants and the speakers, as well as some additional events, such as the first-ever London Universities Tour and a black-tie ball and a standing reception.

The venue: UCL East

The practical and hand-on workshops organised as part of the conference touched on the topics of boosting one’s personal brand, exploring the area of design thinking, as well as separating fact from fiction and detecting fake news that surround us in the modern world. The latter workshop was led by great journalists, Emma Lacey-Bordeaux from CNN, who flew to London from Washington, Margaret P Bonikowska from GAZETA and POLcast, joining from Canada, as well as Agnieszka Laskowska from Polsat News, the largest media and telecommunications group in Central Eastern-Europe.

The UCL Leaders business panel in action

The conference day on the 21st of January focused on four paths - politics, business, technology and art, with the topics of panels touching on a variety of global issues - from the future of AI in healthcare, through cultural diplomacy and obtaining individual success in corporations or beyond, to geopolitics of space. The audience was able to listen to some of the most inspiring global leaders, such as Berta Herrero Estalayo, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Huawei Europe (Keynote Speaker), Stevie Spring CBE, Chairman at British Council and Mind charity, Piotr Wilczek, Polish Ambassador to the UK, Theodora Ogden, Security Analyst at RAND Europe and more.

The conference concluded with a black-tie ball and a standing reception, perfect opportunities for further networking and developing the global connections and mindset of the participants.

If you are interested in the conference and what was discussed this year, more information about the event, the speakers as well as panel topics can be found here: https://uclleaders.co.uk/speakers/.

Want to see more? A recording of the live stream from the event can be found under this link: https://bit.ly/3DL584V.