Case study: YouthActionNet®

by Tuyet Ngo on Tue, 2011-03-22 12:57
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Date Founded: 2001
Mission: To support and celebrate youth leadership.

Background & aims:

YouthActionNet® invests in the power and promise of young social entrepreneurs around the globe. Launched in 2001, YouthActionNet® strengthens, supports, and celebrates the role of young people in leading positive change in their communities. Through its Fellowship Programs, local programs, dynamic website, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities, YouthActionNet® offers young change makers ideas, resources, and connections to like minded people around the world. YouthActionNet® is an initiative of the International Youth Foundation, a global nonprofit organization supporting youth development programs in 80 countries. YouthActionNet® was initially supported by The International Youth Foundation’s founding sponsor Nokia. Now, it also receives funds from Sylvan/Laureate Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, Porter Novelli and The Starbucks Foundation. YouthActionNet® is managed by a small staff in Baltimore, MD, USA and has country staff in each local program.

The innovation & key ingredients

Recognizing that young people are exercising their leadership potential like never before in the face urgent global challenges – poverty, climate change, HIV/AIDS, hunger, homelessness; YouthActionNet® supports aspiring and accomplished young leaders by providing skill-building, advocacy, and networking opportunities. It does so at three levels: global institute, national institutes and virtual institute.

Global Institute– Twenty outstanding young social entrepreneurs are selected annually for the YouthActionNet® Global Fellowship through a competitive application process. Global Fellows are distinguished by their exemplary track records, pattern-changing ideas, global perspectives, and commitment to achieving long-term systematic change. Through the year long program, participants refine their leadership skills, collaborate across national boundaries, and advocate for their causes at the global level.

National Institutes– Established within individual countries, National YouthActionNet® Institutes select youth leaders to participate in an intensive, national-level training program. National Institues are deeply rooted in the context where they operate. Their goal: to prepare young leaders to influence national policies and priorities, while strengthening the youth leadership sector within individual countries.

Virtual Institute– Capitalizing on the power and reach of today’s technology revolution, provides young leaders globally with a state-of-the-art virtual platform through which to strengthen their knowledge, build skills, network, and advocate for their cause.

Through this comprehensive strategy, YouthActionNet® seeks to contribute to the development of a new generation of socially conscious citizens leading change in their communities.  

YouthActionNet®’s beliefs

- Leadership is a choice and that everyone can be a leader

- Today’s global challenges demand that all people, everywhere, work together in search of solutions

- Young people are a vital source of optimism, innovation, and creativity in leading positive change.

- The time to support young people as leaders is now.


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