A full life for all people with a disability


Emerging Leaders Strategy in IIDL

Progress with the Emerging Leaders Strategy for IIDL and IIMHL can be followed in the key documents below which report on highlights from ongoing work, including both the Sweden and Washington, DC International Leadership Exchange and Network  Meetings.


Development of Principles for Genuine Inclusion of Emerging Leaders: ongoing from June 2021 

Building on the work outlined below, IIDL and IIMHL have been bringing emerging and established leaders across the world together to explore what are the actions, policies, and environments which support emerging leaders to develop and grow. This page with be regularly updates with outcomes of this work.


The EU/EK Emerging Leaders workshop is scheduled for 26 April 2022.  Please contact us for more information. 

Actions to Support Emerging Leaders Strategy June 2020

IIDL is committed to the development and support of inclusive, collective and intergenerational leadership.

Further to discussions and decisions at the Sydney 2017 Leadership Exchange and Network meeting in 2017, an Emerging Leaders Strategy for IIDL was implemented at the Sweden IIMHL/IIDL International Leadership Exchange and Network Meeting held in Stockholm in June 2018. A report was prepared from the workshop and joint meeting held on the Saturday morning after the event and the IIDL Sponsoring Countries Leadership Group (SCLG) published both the report and SCLG response in the IIMHL/IIDL Update October 2018 newsletter.

Some specific actions were to:

  • ask each country to support at least 1 and ideally 2 emerging leaders to attend and participate in Washington, DC 2019;
  • have a plenary session on “Actions to Support Emerging Leaders” at the Washington, DC 2019 IIMHL/IIDL International Network Meeting, co-designed and delivered with Emerging Leaders; and
  • invite the Emerging Leaders group to participate in the SCLG meeting to be held on the Friday evening of the Network Meeting to be involved in both review of the Washington, DC meeting and some forward planning.

These actions were implemented at the Washington, DC meeting and three reports have been prepared:

  • A report on the Washington International Network meeting 12th September 2019 session “IIDL – Actions to support Emerging Leaders” which includes a list of personal actions for leaders to take as well as a link to the video of the  session:


  • Dr Michael Kendrick’s keynote presentation “Some initial brief observations on investing in Emerging Leaders”:


  • Next steps in the Emerging Leaders Strategy for the International Initiative for Disability Leadership (IIDL), including planning for a joint IIDL/IIMHL match in Christchurch NZ

       Response by the IIDL Sponsoring Countries Leadership Group (SCLG) June 2020:


In addition to the international actions, it is pleasing to report that the Emerging Leaders strategy is also becoming progressively embedded in national and regional IIDL efforts, including the development of scholarship resources and support for travel and participation, and that partnerships with IIMHL are being formed with a view to joint efforts in Christchurch. A dedicated “Emerging Leaders” page on the IIDL website is also under development and will be a valuable resource.


IIDL Leadership resources from Sweden Leadership Exchange and Network Meeting October 2018

Leadership development continued as a key theme at the Stockholm Network Meeting and a number of resources were generated as part of that week.


Leadership Keynote

The Stockholm Network Meeting featured a joint keynote presentation by Dr Michael Kendrick (USA) and Lynnae Rutledge (USA) titled: “Reflections on the many pathways of leadership already impacting the world of disability”.

Copies of Michael’s slides can be viewed here:


and a video of his talk is available at the following link:

YouTube video of Michael Kendrick

Group discussions as part of the keynote session generated the following key suggestions by participants for moving forward through the International Initiative for Disability Leadership (IIDL):

Key points:

  • A clear desire for practical engagement with key thematic issues (e.g.: employment, housing, education) rather than a focus on country-by-country policies.
  • A commitment to have leaders with lived experience of disability as partners in driving the organisation.
  • Clear desire for in-country collaboration, including existing networks and organisations beyond IIDL.
  • Strong support for the inclusion of young/emerging leaders in events, event planning, and organisational leadership.
  • Interest in supporting non-member countries, especially developing countries, to attend, participate, and learn.
  • Important to highlight and embrace existing best practices on policy and program initiatives to reduce duplication of efforts.
  • Advocacy for using the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a key frame for the work of IIDL internationally and domestically.
  • More joint interaction across disability and mental health given the significant overlaps
  • Attention towards the inclusion of people and groups who often miss out (e.g. people with an intellectual or psychosocial disability).
  • Financial support is needed to support people with disabilities, families and emerging leaders to participate in the international learning exchanges and network meeting.

These suggestions are all being considered by the Sponsoring Countries Leadership Group (SCLG) for IIDL in future planning for both domestic and international events.


Emerging Leaders

IIDL is committed to intergenerational leadership. As part of the 2018 IIDL Leadership Exchange and Network meeting, the SCLG focused on encouraging and supporting the attendance of new and emerging leaders in the main IIDL events in Sweden, and at a joint meeting to report on the workshop on how to structure a vibrant and sustainable emerging leader program for IIDL.

For your information the public communique and recommendations from the IIDL Emerging Leaders Workshop and the response from the Sponsoring Countries Leadership Group can be viewed using this link:


SCLG members are already working on implementation through planning of local country events and also for Washington 2019.


Eddie Bartnik
Chair – Sponsoring Countries Leadership Group
International Initiative for Disability Leadership
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Aisling Blackmore
Project Coordinator – Emerging Leaders
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