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AMSTERDAM — President Obama met today with 11 young leaders from around Europe to learn more about their work and discuss how the Obama Foundation can support greater engagement of young people in their communities around the world.

The roundtable is part of a series of sessions the Foundation has conducted over the past year and a half to understand what tools rising leaders need in order to advance and scale their work. Participants were from 11 countries around the continent, including: Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, and the UK.

“The Obama Foundation’s goal is to inspire, empower, and connect people to change their world,” said Bernadette Meehan, the Foundation’s Chief International Officer. “As we expand our programming, we want to ensure that we are always in dialogue with the young leaders about the opportunities and resources the Foundation can offer and that we understand the context of their work and challenges they face.”

As a result of roundtables and town halls President Obama and the Foundation conducted in Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Singapore, the Foundation this year launched several civic engagement programs that support young leaders globally.

The Obama Foundation Scholars is a one year residential program that gives rising young leaders around the world who are already making a difference in their communities the opportunity to take their work to the next level through a newly designed curriculum at the University of Chicago and Columbia University that brings together academic, skills-based, and hands-on learning. The inaugural group of 37 Scholars began their studies this month.

The Obama Foundation Fellows program supports and elevates outstanding civic innovators from around the world with the goals of strengthening the impact of their life-changing work and inspiring a new wave of civic action. The two-year fellowship offers hands-on training, resources, and leadership development, and Fellows participate in four multi-day gatherings where they collaborate with each other, connect with potential partners and resources, and collectively push their work forward.

Earlier this year the Leaders: Africa program brought together in Johannesburg 200 rising leaders from 44 countries across the continent as part of a one-year leadership development and civic engagement program designed to train, support, and connect emerging African leaders to create positive change in their communities.

The Foundation anticipates engaging with international leaders in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Europe in the future. This discussion with emerging leaders working in civic engagement in Europe will help shape the Foundation’s thinking and approach to future Foundation programming.

Read more about the roundtable and participants here.

Photos from the roundtable are available here. Opens in a new tab