Future Leaders Connect - the global network for emerging policy leaders ©

British Council 

Apply to become a Future Leaders Connect member

Being a member of the British Council’s Future Leaders Connect means you will be part of an exclusive group of exceptional individuals from around the world who are recognised as the next generation of leaders. As part of Future Leaders Connect, you will travel to the UK for ten days to take part in our advanced policy and leadership programme and become a part of the British Council’s long-term global network of emerging policy leaders. You will discuss today’s biggest challenges in the UK Houses of Parliament, meet world leaders, learn at Churchill College, University of Cambridge and gain exclusive access to a range of policy leaders as well as visiting some of the UK’s leading institutions. Following your time in the UK, you will have worldwide connections, a policy action plan for change and the skills, knowledge and networks needed to be an influential leader in your country and beyond.  

 "This world will be what you are going to make of it, you are the leaders, it is your time to lead."

Graça Machel, Deputy Chair of The Elders, International advocate for women’s and children’s rights, former freedom fighter and first Education Minister of Mozambique

Who can apply?

To be eligible to apply you must meet the following criteria. Unfortunately, your application will not be accepted if you do not meet all the below criteria; 

  • You must be living in one of our participating countries – Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Tunisia, UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales).
  • Be aged between 25 and 35 (on application closing date) 
  • Be able to speak and understand English. No official qualification is required, but you must be able to speak English to the IELTS level 7 or equivalent 
  • Have availability to travel to the UK for the programme 
  • Have a valid passport and be eligible to access a visa for the UK if required  

More about the types of people we are looking for 

  • You should be able to explain how you want to make change in your country and beyond through policymaking 
  • You should have a good knowledge about policy and how policymaking happens in your country
  • You should be willing to engage long term with the British Council and the Future Leaders Connect network 
  • You are likely to be your early to mid-career and already have examples of when you have demonstrated leadership
  • You should have strong networks and be committed to supporting the development of the country you are living in through policy change  

The programme is fully accessible, the costs of travel, accommodation and meals are covered by the British Council. We are looking for exceptional individuals with the ideas, energy and commitment to work collaboratively with all members of the Future Leaders Connect and senior leaders. The programme aims to be representative of the countries in which it operates, and we encourage applications from all sections of society. 

“The experience from the training at Cambridge, to meeting the former Presidents and champions of human rights, MP’s of the UK Houses of Commons, House of Lords and the amazing group of global leaders has been totally amazing. Future Leaders Connect is definitely life-altering, full of learning, full of experiences and fully recommended.”

Future Leaders Connect member

Applying and becoming a Future Leaders Connect member 

There are four stages to becoming a Future Leaders Connect member, as outlined below. 

Becoming a Future Leaders Connect member 

Stage 1 – Complete your online application.

It will take you approximately one hour to complete your online application, you cannot save and come back to it later, the whole application must be done at once. Included in the online application are a series of simple general personal information questions, so we can confirm you meet the criteria and that we can contact you. There are two main questions on the themes of policy and leadership (do we still want to add the questions?).  

Stage 2 – Finalists take part in events/interviews in their country 

At this stage we will let you know if you have been shortlisted or not. If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to interviews/an event in your country (dates to be shared with those shortlisted). At the interviews/the event you will present your policy vision and explain your leadership experience to a panel of experts. Unfortunately, if you cannot attend the interview/event your application cannot be progressed. There will be some places on the reserves list at this stage.

Stage 3 - New Future Leaders Connect members convene in the UK for ten-day programme 

At the interview/event we will make our final decision on who will become members of Future Leaders Connect – the global network of emerging policy leaders. You will be expected to prepare to take part in private senior meetings, training and development sessions and visits to leading UK institutions. Before travelling to the UK, you will also have to apply for a visa (if required), complete a series of pre-work and webinars and be in contact with the British Council on an ongoing basis regarding logistics. 

Stage 4 – Future Leaders Connect members stay involved in the network for the long-term

You will be part of the British Council’s long-term network of emerging policy leaders and continue to be connected to professional development and learning opportunities locally, nationally and internationally. You will regularly report back on progress of your policy action plan and share your learning from the programme with people in your community and beyond.

"We need brilliant minds, we are going to need as many people as possible driving policy change, so do not give it a second thought, apply for Future Leaders Connect."

Future Leaders Connect member


Watch videos from the Future Leaders Connect members to hear about their experiences.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions below. 

Former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan discusses global policy with Future Leaders Connect members ©

British Council

Do I have to live in one of the countries at the time of applying?

Yes, you must be living in one of the participating countries at the time you apply in order to be eligible to apply to the programme. In the UK, you should specify which nation you are living in at the time of applying, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales. You will not be eligible is you are not living in the country that you apply from or if you apply from a country which is not currently part of the programme. 

I do not meet the age requirement, can I still apply?

Your application will not be eligible if you do not meet the age criteria. You must be aged between 18 and 35 on the date when the applications close (DATE). We cannot accept applications from anyone who does not meet the age criteria.

I am not available for the selection event or some of the programme dates, what do I do?

Unfortunately, if you cannot attend any of the required dates then this will make you ineligible for the programme. This includes being able to attend all the UK dates (on applciation closing date, coming soon) and any selection events or interviews in your country.  

Can I apply if I am from Egypt or the USA?

More information on this coming soon 

I can speak and understand English, but not to IELTS level 7, can I still apply?

Throughout the application process you must be able to demonstrate you are able to speak and understand English (to IELTS level 7 standard). The official qualification is not required, but your English will be reviewed at the application stage and during the selection events and interviews if you are successful, if you are not able to speak and understand English to the standard of IELTS level 7 (this means you will need to generally have an effective command for the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and understandings. You can understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations) then your application will not be progressed. The Future Leaders Connect advanced policy and leadership programme is conducted in English and all participants must be able to adequately engage through English.

My passport will run out before the programme, what should I do?

If you are successful on gaining a place on the programme and becoming a Future Leaders Connect member, then you must ensure that your passport has adequate time remaining on it in order to take part on the programme and in order to gain a UK visa, if needed.  

I don’t think I will be able to get a visa to come to the UK, can the British Council help?

You will be responsible for your visa application to come to the UK and the British Council will not be able to ensure that you receive a visa. We will reimburse you for the costs of a standard visa application. The British Council will also write a letter of support if you become a Future Leaders Connect member for your visa application, but the British Council cannot complete the application for you or guarantee that your visa application will be successful. If for any reason you think that you will be unable to get a visa to come to the UK, you should consider whether to apply to the programme.

You can check if you need a visa to visit the UK here.

Can I apply if I am employed by or an immediate family member British Council, Møller Institute or Manpower Group?

No. You are ineligible to apply to Future Leaders Connect if you are employed by or an immediate family member British Council, Moller Institute or Manpower Group. In this case immediate family member is defined as one's spouse, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings and immediate in-laws (mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law). Adopted children and stepchildren also counted as immediate family members. 

I do not have any policy knowledge, can I apply?

The British Council’s Future Leaders Connect programme is aimed at people who already have policy knowledge and experience. Through your online application and the selection process, you will be expected to demonstrate your policy knowledge.

What do I need to pay for?

The British Council will cover the costs of travel, accommodation and meals for the UK programme. If there are things you would like to buy for example, then you would be responsible for these costs.

How are applications reviewed?

All online applications are reviewed our shifting agency in accordance with the Future Leaders Connect selection criteria.