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Leadership Next

Join Leadership Next!

Leadership Next provides opportunities for emerging talent to play a lead role in improving Southeast Michigan for years to come. The group’s efforts are centered around United Way’s Agenda for Change, which is working to make lasting changes in three key areas: Education, Income, and Basic Needs.


United Way for Southeastern Michigan formed Leadership Next in 2007 and it quickly became Southeast Michigan’s “Think, Lead, and Do” tank for emerging leaders. The group seeks to meaningfully connect members to established regional executives and the community as a whole. Success is measured by the number of members who take on leadership roles in the community to advance bold solutions to chronic regional issues.

To accomplish this Leadership Next offers innovative programming that provides members with opportunities for education, skill building, and community involvement while connecting them with community leaders. Read on to learn more - including information on how to join.

Our Mission

Engage emerging talent to seek solutions to chronic regional issues while providing opportunities for leadership development targeted towards crafting a vibrant and caring community.

Our Values

Our values define Leadership Next and steer our programs. They are our compass.

  • Diverse and inclusive leadership
  • Continuous learning
  • Engagement through leadership service opportunities
  • Action oriented
  • Creative and different
  • Intentionally small, unconventionally impactful, strategically urgent

Our Activities

Leadership Next hosts year-round activities to connect members with community leaders and executives. Each event offers the opportunity to learn and share ideas with other emerging leaders, as well as executives. The group also participates in volunteer activities throughout the year. Our events change periodically, depending on the needs and wants of our membership. Here is a sampling of two of our most popular events:

  • Off the Record: Designed to promote interaction between emerging leaders and regional leaders in candid discussions that address past, present and future regional issues, solutions, shortcomings and opportunities, these quarterly events are hosted by highly-respected corporate, public and non-profit executives from across southeast Michigan. 
  • Learn United Tours: These tours are opportunities for you to see, first-hand, how United Way for Southeastern Michigan is working to is make metro Detroit one of the top five places to live and work by 2030. Tours last about 60 minutes and take place at United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s headquarters overlooking Campus Martius in downtown Detroit.

Our Membership

We engage our membership through opportunities for education, skill building and activation. Each of these activities and initiatives are intentionally structured to reflect our core values.

We measure our success by the number of our members who dive deep into leadership opportunities in the community, and by the number of members who advance to co-create and co-implement bold solutions to chronic regional issues. We seek to meaningfully connect our members and, as such, seek to remain intentionally small, with a focus on meaningful impact as opposed to a focus on size.

Join Now

Becoming a Leadership Next member is easy. Register online now and donate to United Way for Southeastern Michigan. There is no minimum gift requirement - just give what you feel is right.