Our History

iLEAP is an education-focused social enterprise that exists to nurture a new generation of globally-minded leaders with the inner and outer resources to pursue lives of purpose and to advance social good in the world.

Since 2008, we have been global leaders in international education and leadership development and have evolved over three periods that we call iLEAP 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0.

iLEAP Timeline

iLEAP 1.0, 2008–2018

In 2008, we ran our first leadership and social change training programs for participants from around the world. For over ten years we served hundreds of emerging and established leaders from Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. In 2018, in recognition of our 10 year anniversary and the success and learning over that time, made the decision to divide iLEAP and create two organizations: one, iLEAP, would remain as an education-focused social enterprise serving young adults from East Asia and, the other, a new organization called Perennial, would serve experienced social leaders working in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. From 2008–2018, the work that is now called Perennial came under the name “iLEAP Global.”

iLEAP 2.0, 2018-2020

In 2018 we made the decision to deepen our work in East Asia because of our amazing graduate community in the region. Specifically, as of August 2018, there were nearly 500 iLEAP graduates in Japan, the largest of any country in the world. We felt that it was a great time for iLEAP to move forward with a strategic focus on growing our community in Japan, expand into other East Asian countries like South Korea, Taiwan, and China and build on our many leadership development programs for young people.

Through partnerships with organizations such at the US-Japan Council (USJC), TOMODACHI Initiative, Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnerships (CGP), and Entrepreneurial Training for Innovative Communities (ETIC), companies such as Toyota, Mitsubishi, Hitachi and Microsoft Japan, and cooperation with the Japanese government and American Embassy in Japan, iLEAP learned a great deal about the challenges and opportunities facing Japan.

Most of all, we learned that our work addresses a critical need where young people struggle with their confidence as leaders and lack clarity for how they can live their lives with greater purpose. For this reason, we directed much of our focus on high school and college aged participants.

iLEAP 3.0, 2020-present

Like many international education institutions around the world, our work was dramatically re-shaped as the result of COVID-19. In an era of unprecedented limited mobility and access, iLEAP 3.0 was born to serve this challenging moment for humanity and to reach more young people around the world.

The “new iLEAP” builds on our two decades of expertise in global leadership development and meets a collective moment where the world is being dramatically re-shaped by a global pandemic, climate disruption, and social movements. We have designed our work to connect the iLEAP approach to leadership to as many young people as possible, all around the world, during these times of limited mobility.

Most important, we made this pivot to nurture leadership in young people and equip them with the personal and professional tools for transformation needed to address the challenges of today and tomorrow.

It has become abundantly clear that we all need to attend to both local needs and maintain a global awareness of complex challenges. And, in order to tackle these challenges, developing leaders need a wide-ranging, and in many cases new, set of skills. Perhaps most of all, people of all ages need to lead from a place of greater self-awareness and empathy, need to build new skills for engaged listening and discernment–online and in person.

iLEAP grows young leaders who can build strategic and transformational partnerships in this new world, and who can listen with as much passion as they seek to be heard.

So, indeed, iLEAP 3.0 has us “going global” again and expanding our reach to participants from around the world.