The Youth Climate Leaders (YCL) program, winner of the 2017 MIT Climate CoLab award, will kickoff its first immersion in Paris and you are invited to join a Thematic Panel with experts and learn more about the program. Among confirmed speakers are:
* Lola Vallejo (Climate Programme Director - IDDRI)
* Cassia Moraes (Founder and CEO - Youth Climate Leaders; Deputy Executive Coordinator - Brazilian Forum on Climate Change)
* Dr. Caroline Zickgraf (The Hugo Observatory - Liège Université)
* Flavia Bellaguarda (Lawyer expert on Climate Justice; Partnerships Director YCL)
To build the next generation of climate leaders, YCL is designing a unique experience: one trip around the world to learn more about climate change in theory, understand it in practice, and work on hands-on projects with other young people. This first pilot will have three main components: (1) a 40-day immersion in Paris and Kenya with people from all over the world, (2) 3-month tailored field placements; and (3) one Delegation to COP24 in Poland. In each destination, participants will meet with key local organizations, universities and community leaders. They will also gain professional experience by working part-time on a common group project related to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The program also includes individual and collective coaching to help YCLs to discover more about themselves and how to put their knowledge in service of others. Climate change is a competitive field, so the final weeks of the immersion will focus on mentoring participants on their personal aspirations and career plans. They will then be ready to go back to their countries, or explore other ones, to work on climate change mitigation and adaptation issues. The YCL team will build partnerships with a series of organizations worldwide, offering unique professional opportunities for participants. Because YCL involves a lot of traveling, the carbon footprint from transportation is a concern of us. To offset it, at the end of the program we are going to calculate our carbon emissions and compensate them in 150% by planting trees in partnership with Plant-for-the-Planet.
We want to shift the image of young people as "leaders of the future" to the leaders of today. Our main goal is to empower a diverse group of young leaders from all over the world with leadership and entrepreneurial skills to be used right now to address climate change. Young people today are more concerned about sustainability and climate change issues than their previous generations, but that does not mean that their behaviors and way of life are in accordance with the beliefs they hold on those topics. At the YCL program, we are going to work with those concerned young people, which still have not had the opportunity to see how they can act in practice to tackle climate change. By engaging them in YCL's learning journey, we expect to raise their awareness and help them to go from theory to action, to "walk the talk". We will be empowering the ones leading companies, governments, universities and social-environmental organizations towards the future that needs to emerge. Through our network, they will be able to join forces and leverage their impact in the following years, ensuring that their local efforts be part of a larger global movement.