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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Young leaders join Obama discussion

This news post is about 5 years old

Representatives from Scotland's third sector were amongst those invited to a town hall event hosted by Barack Obama

President Barack Obama held court with some emerging Scottish leaders.

The inspirational politician hosted a town hall style event in Berlin last week which aimed to get European young leaders talking about community engagement.

The event, which brought together hundreds of emerging young leaders from across Europe, aimed to ignite conversation about what it means to be an active citizen and help advise how the Obama Foundation can help support emerging leaders in this area of work.

It reflects the foundation’s efforts to engage young leaders from around the world in a conversation about the importance of community leadership and civic engagement, consistent with the foundation’s mission to inspire, empower, and connect people to change their world.

The 300-plus guest list included leaders from across the continent who are working in areas such as government, civil society, journalism, transparency, food security, entrepreneurship, anti-discrimination, integration issues, environmental sustainability, and technology. They were drawn from public, private, and non-profit sectors and came from a cross-section of backgrounds.

Paul Bradley was nominated by the global Open Government Partnership, for the creation and development of Scotland’s Sustainable Development Goals Network – SDG Network Scotland – using open government principles.

Bradley, coordinator of SDG Network Scotland at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), said: “To be recognised by the Obama Foundation as an emerging European young leader is a real honour. As charity workers, we do that what we do not for acknowledgements, but I’m proud that the work of Scotland’s SDG Network has been credited in this way.

“Since day one, we’ve set about forging an SDG community in Scotland grounded by the principles of kindness, inclusion and openness. This approach has secured robust partnerships and progress between civil society and government on the SDG agenda in recent months, and I welcomed the opportunity to discuss the developing Scottish approach with other inspiring young leaders across Europe.”

Alan Mahon, founder of Brewgooder - the craft beer brand on a mission to bring clean water access to one million people – was also in attendance.

“I felt honoured being asked to help represent Scotland, social enterprises and the fight against water poverty at this prestigious event,” he said.

“I can recall being 18-years-old when I stayed up all night to watch Barrack Obama become the US President in 2008. I remember having such a strong sense of hope in a better future then and that hope was renewed by attending the Obama Foundation Town Hall with so many inspiring young leaders from across Europe.”

During the town hall, President Obama answered questions from young leaders in the room as well as questions submitted online by young people across Europe, with the event being livestreamed on