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Elizabeth Smart Encourages Young Utahns to Find Their Passion During Inaugural Emerging Leaders Summit

Victims’ rights advocate Elizabeth Smart called on young Utahns to find their passion and fight for the causes they believe in during the first Utah Emerging Leaders Summit in Salt Lake City this week.

Smart encouraged a sold out crowd of more than 200 young professionals, business leaders, government officials, political candidates and decision makers from across the state to pursue their work with passion because they will go further and achieve more if they truly believe in the cause.

In addition to Smart, other prominent speakers included FranklinCovey’s Scott Miller.

“Most conflicts [in leadership] come from mismatched or unfilled expectations,” said Miller, who challenged young leaders to face their own weaknesses to become the type of leader that they would follow.

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The summit is the state’s only forum that brings together Utah’s largest voter demographic and decision makers to discuss policy issues that disportionately impact the state’s younger and often misunderstood generations. Popular panels tackled some of the most pressing issues facing young Utahns, including housing affordability, clean air, and opportunities for underrepresented groups.

In addition to discussing current policy issues, the conference provided practical tools and insights for emerging leaders and voters to elevate their voices in civic engagement processes. “When change makers don’t make change...change them,” said Salt Lake County Council Member Shireen Ghorbani, who spoke during a breakout session on how individuals can make an impact in their communities.

As the state's only organization dedicated to elevating the voices of young people in the political process through civic engagement, Emerging Leaders Initiative (ELI) of Utah will continue to host similar events throughout the year to ensure young people have the skills and resources needed to influence public policy that could impact them.

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ELI Utah is grateful for corporate partners, speakers, and exhibitors who supported the event. The 2020 Utah Emerging Leaders Summit was made possible by topaz partners Fidelity Investments, the Utah Clean Air Partnership, Wells Fargo, Summit Sotherby’s International, the Utah Association of REALTORS and the Utah League of Cities and Towns.

Additional partners who provided support include the David Eccles School of Business, the Northern Wasatch Board of REALTORS, the Salt Lake Chamber and Utah Housing Gap Coalition, the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce, the Good Samaritan Foundation and Rose Park Neighborhood Center, and UServeUtah. ELI Utah also thanks exhibitors partners CommonGrounds Workplace, Utah Mining Association, Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy, Now CFO and Blue Star Steel.

ELI Utah hopes the summit will become a key forum for the state’s leaders to hear from younger generations and discuss the state’s political, cultural and economic future. Some of Utah’s most pressing challenges require long-term policy solutions that require the support of the next generation of leaders will have to solve. ELI Utah provides an opportunity for emerging leaders to develop the connections and skills to have an impact in their local communities.

To learn more about sponsoring next year’s Utah Emerging Leaders Summit or to suggest topics and speakers for next year’s conference, please shoot us a note at