Our History

WYSE has come a long way since its first programme in 1988, reaching out to thousands of young people, from all over the world. Our approach works by supporting people who feel inspired to lead change to gain clarity about how they can make a difference in the world. To continue this work, your support is greatly appreciated. Created in 1988, WYSE has worked with thousands of young people from over 110 countries.

Our leadership development programmes are delivered by skilled and highly experienced professionals from psychological, educational, creative, business and leadership backgrounds. They deliver a range of successful and sought-after leadership and development programmes in the public and private sectors and are inspired to give their time on a pro-bono basis to support emerging leaders through WYSE.

  • 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.

UN affiliation

WYSE attained recognition in 1998 as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) officially associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations. WYSE actively participates in the conferences and NGO activities of the United Nations. The goals of WYSE are strongly related to issues considered by the United Nations, both in the overall purpose of our activities and in the specific content of our programmes. It concerns activities that serve the promotion of peace, understanding and co-operation in a spirit of respect for human rights, democracy, tolerance and solidarity. As an NGO, WYSE incorporates the guiding principles of the UN Charter and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Our view on the United Nations

We support the original intent and vision for the United Nations and strongly believe that this kind of organisation is needed in the world today. It is a great privilege and responsibility to be part of the larger action network, which supports the process of implementing the principles of the United Nations.

The cooperation between the United Nations and the NGO community can provide a bridge for communication between the peoples of the world and the policy makers at the national and global levels. We believe that this cooperation has the potential to be a major vehicle for human evolution, as it supports the process of framing current issues within a context of global interdependence.

We are aware that in recent times many people have felt disappointed with the UN's role in world events. While we realise that the current structure and function of the UN is not ideal and is often dominated by the political agendas of powerful countries, the United Nations is also undergoing an unprecedented transformation. The organisation is reforming structures, management and priorities in a drive towards greater coherence, agility and unity.

WYSE was accepted for association with the UN on the following criteria:

  • Share the ideals of the UN Charter
  • Operate solely on a not-for-profit basis
  • Have a demonstrated interest in United Nations issues and proven ability to reach large or specialized audiences, such as educators, media representatives, policy makers and the business community
  • Have the commitment and means to conduct effective information programmes about UN activities by publishing newsleters, bulletins, and pamphlets; organizing conferences, seminars and round tables; and enlisting the cooperation of the media