The 33Fifty programme, which will run just before the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, will choose 18 to 25-year-olds who show the skills and aptitude to make a difference to the Commonwealth and its citizens.
The group will tackle the challenge “What role does the youth of the Commonwealth need to play in progress toward low-carbon economies?” over four days in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
They will then present their reports to Commonwealth sports ministers, international development ministers or heads of state who will be gathered for the Commonwealth Games.
The programme is called 33Fifty because 33 per cent of the world’s population lives in the Commonwealth and 50 per cent of those are under 25.
It was officially launched in Edinburgh today by Commonwealth Games minister Shona Robison.
She said: “Scotland is gearing up for what will be the greatest Commonwealth Games ever and young people should seize the opportunities that it provides.
“The Scottish Government has invested £60,000 in 33Fifty as we feel it is important to invest in young people and develop the next generation of leaders, both in Scotland and across the Commonwealth.
“The 33Fifty programme embodies our ambitions to connect knowledge across nations and to inspire the next generation of leaders. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for young people across Scotland and the Commonwealth.”
Applications for 33Fifty are open until March 16, 2014 and 100 participants will be chosen from across the Commonwealth.
It will be part of the official programme of cultural and educational events which runs parallel to the Games, and will be delivered by the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) and Common Purpose, an independent, international leadership development organisation.
Michael Lake, director of the Royal Commonwealth Society, said: “33Fifty provides an important platform for bright, conscientious young Commonwealth citizens to come together to affect positive change in their communities and around the world.
“This programme builds on Nkabom, the RCS youth leadership programme that focused on peacebuilding through mutual understanding.
“I believe 33Fifty goes a step further by giving young people a unique space to collaborate and to come up with tangible solutions to a particular challenge facing the Commonwealth as a whole.”
33Fifty is sponsored by The Scottish Government, Weir Group plc and De La Rue plc.
The University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh are the host partners and will provide accommodation and venue space for the programme.