Andrea Cardillo

Nationality: Italian
Living in: Florence / Naples
Programmes: ILP 2004, ILP 2005, Helper 2009, Staff 2010 ongoing

Leadership can be a challenging concept to define and a challenging attitude to develop. Things get even more challenging when you have to measure the impact that growing as a leader can have on your life and the people around you. Even after so many years have passed since my first programme, I can still see the 'long wave' generated on my personal and professional life by that experience.

When life gets more tough or I have a hard time, I feel the need to reconnect with my experience in Lucca, with the community of my worldwide WYSE friends and with that sense of positive and concrete trust in the future.

Another way to get back in touch with that inspiration again, is to go back to the stories of some of the participants that have, like me, been to the programmes over the last years. I am pleased to share with you some of the quotes from the Follow Up forms of the St Briavels – Taking Vision to Action participants. My wish for you is that they will act as energizers, supporting us all to think about the impact of consciously using will to make a positive contribution!

Read further to see how the alumni describe the benefits of their participation in the European Leadership Programme.

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“I have found that I am passionate about putting my love of other people to practical use. I want to make a contribution to society. The course was an energising and deeply enlightening programme of workshops teaching, in a variety of inventive, delightful and inspiring methods - self-leadership, leadership of others, and why value-based leadership is so important in Europe and in the world.” Dilly, Wales


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“It is actually in my hands to make a difference, I have learnt a lot about my potential and have gained some clarity upon my inner purpose in life. Dealing with different cultures and backgrounds can be very inspiring and useful to find new, creative ideas. While the differences between us can make our interaction very interesting, on a deeper level we have a lot in common. It is incredibly inspiring and gives you a lot of energy.  The ways of learning are creative and challenging and really do reach your heart.  If you get the chance to do it, you must.” Maria, Germany

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“I rediscovered that I really have a lot of qualities and things to take pride in. The programme enables you to see and deal with the person that you really are.  It encourages you to face your responsibilities, to accept these and to make use of them only when necessary.Lavinia, Romania

“How much fun it was to discover similarities. And, also that respect is the first thing needed when you find yourself in such a situation.” Ines, Italy


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“I've got more self belief and found my inner leader. Finally I fee like I am connected with myself.”  Karina, Netherlands

“This is exactly the place which can give you inspiration, challenge, knowledge and opportunity to find out your hidden vision and make them realised. When one shares all the values that we learnt here in WYSE, he as a person is ready to make a change and he feels responsibility for his country.” Stella, Armenia


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“I can trust in myself and use that to be a better leader.  By opening my heart, others open their hearts too.  I can make a change and help others to find out how they can feel to make a change. It was incredibly well-organised programme to find out what you want in life, what you need to achieve it, what values you have, what your passions are in a group of open-minded people from all over Europe and neighbouring countries that are willing to make a change in their societies.  The best programme I ever attended.” Phillipp, Germany

“If I have inspired people around me I can live my dreams, find your inner leader to enable yourself to lead others The WYSE programme actually gave me the belief of having the ability to be a leader by making me realise my expectations in a leader, my imagination of leadership, the qualities that could make me step into that role - be it within myself, in a volunteering organisation or at the work place.” Lena, Germany

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“I have learned that I can make a difference just with the potential I have discovered inside me.” Marco, Italy

“I can be a leader of myself and of others. Despite various challenges there is a common ground that joins us: love, peace, creativity, passion, willingness to change, observation of the world, critical thinking, and the desire to stand as one hand against global challenges.” Mona, Lebanon

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“Although we all come from many different places, our guiding morals, values and ideas of a healthy community are all very similar. “An incredible opportunity to gain a better insight into yourself, and to help develop an idea of what you want to give to the world and what you want from it.” Ella, UK

“Leadership begins within myself. Self awareness and education leads to a better understanding of myself and to better leadership.” Phillipp, Germany

 “I have learnt that I have a lot of resources by myself and a lot of will.” Annamaria, Italy

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The most interesting way to learn how to lead yourself and actions and encouraging way to put your ideas and vision into actions. Its wonderful being with people who are coming from different countries and backgrounds. You're learning from each other, learning about their religion, culture, habits, sharing different points of view, learn how to respect variety.” Vanja, Serbia

“You have free will: you can choose differently from what is expected. I don't want to push or pull people, but work with them based on being able to take both initiatives and strongly move with each other.” Rik, Netherlands

I now have a clear picture of how I want to be and what type of leader.” Maria, Italy

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“I have clarified my personal potential and how to reach it, it is a programme that guides, trains and coaches you to figure out the best person you can be and what you are able to do best for others.” Suzan, Egypt

“I got in contact with forgotten sub-personalities and qualities, integrated pragmatic skills, raised self-acceptance and courage to take action.” Christoph, Germany

“I am inspired, energized and confident to make a positive contribution to my community.” Rik, Netherlands

The International Leadership Programme in Briavels, UK 2011 was funded by the European Union exchange programme Youth in Action and was sponsored by the British Council. It was open to 18-30 years old participants coming from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia and United Kingdom.