The Nepal Leadership Academy and Aspire Institute collaborate to provide leadership development opportunities for youth in Nepal and around the world. The Nepal Leadership Academy (NLA), a non-profit based in Lalitpur, conducts research, develops curricula, and provides in-practice leadership coaching for youth across Nepal.
A long term partner and one of our oldest in South Asia, NLA exists to equip youth, particularly rural and marginalized youth, with the knowledge and skills to address societal inequities and create an equal and enterprising Nepal.
“We teach our students to architect effective policy, business and civic innovations that tackle the most grueling adaptive challenges in their societies,” said Dr. Pukar Malla, Executive Coach of NLA and Co-Founder of Daayitwa.
While at Harvard, pursuing his master’s in public administration, Pukar Malla worked with Harvard Professors Marshall Ganz and Ronald Heifetz at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership to develop NLA’s existing leadership framework. Today, NLA has a LEAD framework to build these four key leadership skills: listening to oneself, empathizing with others, analyzing adaptive issues, and doing collaborative work.
“Our partnership with Aspire Institute has been invaluable,” Dr. Malla said. “By working collaboratively, we are leveraging our shared resources to build capacity in marginalized youth to tackle critical societal issues and achieve global prosperity – improving lives both in Nepal and around the world.”
Through this shared commitment to empowering youth as change-agents, over 900 Nepalese youth have applied to the Aspire Leaders Program (ALP) over the last two years.
“Nepal is a youthful nation, but there is tremendous youth potential for progress that remains unharnessed,” Dr. Malla shared. “Our youth are a demographic majority but a power minority in all three sectors of the society – political, economic and social sectors.”
Like many other ALP participants, many Nepali youth are first in the family to go to college and gain access to world-quality teaching, mentorship, and career development opportunities.
“The partnership between NLA and Aspire Institute has the potential to transform the lives of talented, passionate and energetic Nepali youth, at the right stage of their lives,” Dr. Malla said.
Many of our Nepali alumni who have completed the ALP have reengaged with NLA, sharing knowledge gained during their time in the program.
“They come back with valuable insights into effective decision-making, problem-solving, communication, and teamwork,” Dr. Malla said. “It’s clear that they’ve boosted their self-confidence and an assertiveness that enables them to take on these challenges and pursue ambitious goals.”
When asked what advice he had for the current and future classes of Aspire leaders, Dr. Malla recommended exploring passions and curiosities to the fullest.
“Let the flame of your passion guide you through the most difficult terrains, and keep working hard for things that matter to you,” he said. “Take risks and be creative so that your innovations can address the systemic challenges and solve grueling problems in the society. And when it comes to making those systemic changes, remember that all change requires patience and persistence despite uncertainties.”