There has never been a more challenging and exciting time to live and work in London. The capital needs leaders who can manage this rapidly shifting landscape now and into the future. On 1 November, Future of London brought together participants from some of the capital’s top leadership programmes and networks to start to build a larger and more robust cross-sector network. Participants from Leadership 2025, UKGBC’s Future Leaders, City & Westminster Property Association’s Next Gen and the Academy of Urbanism’s Young Urbanists joined Future of London’s Leaders candidates and alumni to share experience and connect. Though these initiatives differ in approach and membership, they share a common goal: to equip future leaders with the confidence, skills and knowledge they’ll need to lead. Given the complexities of cities today, that’s no longer enough. Urban professionals also require meaningful connections and a diverse network to draw upon. This event, kindly hosted by Arup, was designed to start to making those connections. Two guest speakers were invited to offer short provocations on the importance of ‘Next Gen’ programmes and the power of networks. Sowmya Parthasarathy, Associate Director of Integrated City Planning at Arup described Arup’s approach to leadership training. Its focus is on supporting people’s development above all else, prioritising the common good over personal focus. Elly Hoult, Programme Director at Notting Hill Genesis and Chair of CIH Futures, highlighted the importance of mentoring in professional development. Sometimes seen as a mechanism to support only early-career professionals, mentoring works at all levels, helping to open doors, provide new perspective and insight, develop self-esteem and help people operate more effectively and confidently in the workplace. Ultimately, people’s networks include colleagues, clients, suppliers, collaborators, mentors and friends. Sharing experience and learning from the whole range – especially when you include people from different backgrounds (see our guest post on unconscious bias here) – help everyone achieve more, and progress faster in their careers! This Forum event was just the start. Future of London plans to establish a cross-sector, interdisciplinary network that complements existing leadership programmes by building collective resilience and a spirit of collaboration. We want to bring as many of London’s future leaders together as possible. If you’d like to be involved in our next event, contact us.