The role of a social entrepreneur is a perfect match for Edenamiuki Aiguobasinmwin (on the left): Lively, communicative and in the middle of action, I met the founder of Elevate Young Minds at the UN Global Festival of Action in Bonn.
In keeping with the maxim that creativity matters and artists can change the world, Elevate Young Minds empowers emerging artists to take on leadership roles in society. An artist himself, Edenamiuki Aiguobasinmwin started the initiative in 2015 in Leeds, UK, with the idea to link existing institutions in the artistic field in the region to reach the full potential of emerging artists through a joint network.
The founder is a 22-year old student of dance choreography at the Leeds Beckett University in Manchester. Having had the chance to participate in a youth development week 2012 in Sheffield as a high school student at Wright Robinson Sports College, he was able to meet people with different backgrounds and life concepts at a very young age. According to Edenamiuki, this experience changed his narrative towards social value. Nowadays, he works passionately to give these opportunities to young people in order to empower them as advocates for social change. Growing up as a child of Nigerian parents in Manchester, he is aware that disadvantaged groups face various challenges in their daily lives. This is why his focus lies on an inclusive realm of action.
The success is visible as the organisation grows and grows. Elevate Young Minds consists of a charity, the network “Young Creative Leaders” and the creative development program “Young Minds Matter”. Attached to the different branches are various workshops and conferences for emerging artists as well as fundraising campaigns and mentorship schemes.
One of the upcoming events is a Model United Nations (MUN) conference in Tanzania on the 16th of April. The selected participants are Ahmed Shire, Scott Mears, Priyanshu Varshney, Holly Beattie and Amen Dhesi from Leeds Beckett University. A MUN allows students to get an insight into the daily work of the UN. The participants will represent different states and discuss a topic such as the adoption of a resolution on gender equality. The agenda usually consists of tough negotiations by forming alliances or opposing, whether open or hidden, other states. The students will get to know how it feels like to be real diplomats and the international experience will broaden their horizons just like the world festival in Sheffield did for Edenamiuki.
The charity supports them by organizing fundraising events. Here you can find the dates at Leeds Beckett University Headingley campus:
- Cake sale- 13th April and 20th April
- Hot drinks sale- 9th to 20th April
- Legs Waxing- 16th April
- The Main Event- 26th April
The Young Minds Matters Festival gives artists a platform to express their art in the course of three days in the European cities Brussels and Lisbon. In the frame of the festival, Elevate Young Minds co-operates with Anarchy Cinema to organise a festival where artists can release their films.
So, if you seek new opportunities as an artist, student or young professional, you should get in touch with Elevate Young Minds!