Hard knock leadership is a grassroots

initiative that supports

 underserved communities

around the world.


I’m not saying I’m going change the world but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world
— Tupac Shakur

Our story

In 2013 Hard Knock Leadership (HKL) was created as a platform to share the community organizing work undertaken by founder, Siddhartha (Sid) Naidu, built on his 2012 TEDx Talk addressing Ryerson University about his personal journey as changemaker for underserved communities.

He envisioned that HKL could become an initiative that could grow to support and share the stories of unconventional leadership from neighbourhoods around the world.

Through his travels, taking on different youth based projects in Canada, Central America & the Caribbean he saw a need for an international leadership development platform to build dialogue around the raw experiences that define the strength of disadvantaged populations. 

In 2013 & 2014, HKL ran workshops in the Americas around community development & arts education, to support youth in becoming change makers for their community.

In 2015 & 2016, HKL was based overseas in Asia & Australia to pilot an international creative change making residency which supports community development through the arts. 

This year in 2017 we are back within the Americas to focus on supporting youth who want to develop skills for the creative industries, community development & humanitarian sectors.