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Ready2Lead? | Bedford School Leadership Conference

On the 2nd of October 2019, Future Foundations took part in the inaugural Ready2Lead? Leadership Conference, which was hosted by Bedford School and supported by the Harpur Trust and a national youth leadership organisation entitled UpRising.

The conference brought together 71 Sixth Form students from 9 different schools in the Borough including: Bedford School, Bedford Modern School, Bedford Girls’ School, Mark Rutherford School, The Bedford Sixth Form, Biddenham International School, Kimberley College, St Thomas More School and Bedford Free School.

Future Foundations delivered two different workshops during the event, which aimed to get the young people thinking about today’s global issues and how they can go out into the world and make a difference.

The programme was Operationally Directed by Michelle, Course Directed by Lina and supported by one of our amazing Future Foundations coaches, Jonny.


The students had the opportunity to connect with many remarkable guests, who shared personal leadership experiences and offered invaluable advice throughout the day.

The conference line-up included Jamie Bridge (who attended both Bedford Modern School and Mark Rutherford School, and is currently Chief Operating Officer at the International Drug Policy Consortium – pictured below); Richard Lindley (who was a television broadcaster for over 30 years for both BBC Panorama and ITN News); Carole Stone (Richard’s wife, Carole is a former producer of BBC Radio 4’s flagship discussion programme Any Questions? – also pictured below); and Sam Roberts (local commentator and English teacher) who delivered a great session entitled Ready2Speak.


During the first part of the day, Future Foundations led two workshops, back to back, to two cohorts of around 35 students. It’s title was Ready to Change the World, and it focused on identifying today’s global issues, and introducing the United Nation’s 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Students explored the different levels of social action, and were encouraged to commit a personal pledge at the end.

Climate change, eliminating poverty, animal cruelty, awareness of mental health and the obesity crisis were just some of the important issues discussed by the young leaders during this session!

Future Foundations second workshop, Ready to Make it Happen, took place after lunch and saw all 71 young people at the conference participate. Firstly, they were asked to get into small groups and identify a problem that they are passionate about. They then used Future Foundations planning and development framework to transform their ideas into a realistic social action project that would tackle their chosen issue, and at least one of the United Nation’s Global Goals.

Once finished, the groups presented their project plans for review by a panel of experts, in our Dragons Den session. This gave the students an opportunity to practice their newfound presenting and leadership skills, whilst receiving valuable feedback from industry professionals.

Good facts. GREAT idea. Caring, social and engaging.

DragonFeedback given for one of the teams

Thank you to all the students and staff involved for bringing the energy and optimism, to the experts and speakers who created a motivational atmosphere and contributed their thoughts in the Dragon’s Den session, and finally to Bedford School, the Harpur Trust, and UpRising, for making Ready2Lead happen. Hopefully we will see you next year for Ready2Lead2020!