In 1988, WYSE was established as a not for profit educational organisation in the UK. The organisation was founded to inspire young people throughout the world to follow their vision for a better tomorrow.

In 1993 the organisation began being invited to conduct international conferences and training outside of the UK. This led to the establishment of a number of national WYSE organisations in different parts of the world.

In 1996, WYSE was registered as a Limited by Guarantee Company in England, and also as a UK Charity, with a brief to undertake charitable and consulting work both nationally and internationally.

In 1998, WYSE attained recognition as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) officially associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations.

The WYSE organisation is now structured around the NGO framework of an international office (WYSE International) based in London, which guides and supervises the activities of national branches around the world.

As the organisation has matured we have valued the inclusion of graduates from WYSE programmes into the administrative and governance structures of the organisation. Graduates are also trained to deliver the various educational programmes that WYSE offers.