After completing our programs, 97% of participants report an understanding of global climate change and 67% have become actively engaged in a community sustainability initiative or project. See our impact.
Transformative Sustainability Leadership Programs for Youth
Today’s interconnected global sustainability crisis requires a movement of empowered leaders with the skills and passion to create necessary change.
Our Transformative Sustainability Leadership (TSL) congresses are the key focus of our holistic and comprehensive programs that work to activate youth participants to become educated and driven change-makers. With programs targeted to a high youth population, we seek to reverse the current downward social and environmental trajectory in Central America by engaging with and involving youth in learning about current social, environmental and political issues in a collaborative space.
Our mission is to empower youth with knowledge and transformative leadership skills to change the existing trajectory and create more resilient communities, restore the natural environment, and encourage environmental stewardship. We do this through a series of programs that are held within the participants’ community and run by youth facilitators who, in turn, become mentors for local youth, guiding them through developing and implementing community action plans (CAPs).
The programs focus on 3 key areas:
- Providing education about climate science and local environmental challenges;
- Empowering young people to take on leadership roles and start local initiatives to improve air quality, reduce waste and restore and protect ecosystems in their communities;
- Providing training and workshops for young leaders to develop skills to connect regionally with other leaders and continue to sustain their local initiatives beyond SERES involvement.
Underpinning these three areas is personal development and transformative leadership training. The programs give young people the skills, knowledge and confidence to be able to plan, manage and implement projects, go on to influence their peers, leaders and community members and help to close a skills gap in local leadership.
Our programs are structured to fit within one of two series: 1) the Changemakers Series; and 2) the Impact3 Series.
1) CHANGEMAKERS SERIES
The Changemakers series is designed to inspire a new generation of young leaders and changemakers to co-create creative change from a community level. The key outcomes of the series are educating trainees about the urgent global challenges and opportunities faced by people and the Planet, empowering trainees to discover their power of agency, and the conviction that they can change the status quo and engaging trainees to take a proactive role in designing and implementing community initiatives that build resilience and strengthen community, inspiring others to do the same.
The energy and creative ideas of youth – when given a voice and a safe place to express them – are truly incredible. Actívate is a 3-day youth congress that seeks to accelerate change towards a sustainable future by building a movement of inspired young leaders, connected both locally and globally.
Informed about climate change and the global challenges we face
Innovating change-makers responding to local issues
Engaging as active citizens in inspired action and
Connected to other change-makers locally, nationally, regionally and internationally
YOUTH SUSTAINABILITY SUMMIT (YSS)
This 4.5-day residential sustainability summit provides scholarships for 50 SERES youth leaders that are active members of the network and are developing and implementing community action plans. SERES collaborates with local entrepreneurs and organizations to provide training and capacity-building to these young leaders to develop sustainable, longer-term community action plans and initiatives.
SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS PROGRAM
This 5-day residential program provides youth with specialized technical training related to economic and community development for at-risk and marginalized communities. Participants study theory and practice from one of two technical tracks: Entrepreneurship and Agriculture/Agroforestry. In Entrepreneurship, they learn skills to initiate socially and environmentally-conscious businesses and make healthy and productive lifestyle choices. In Agriculture/Agroforestry, subsistence farmers receive hands-on training in the design, analysis and implementation of productive and sustainable agricultural systems.
2) IMPACT3 SERIES
The purpose of the Impact3 Leadership series is to invest in emerging young leaders, providing them with the capacity building, practical training and experience to step into positions of leadership and influence in their communities and beyond.
A 7-day train-the-trainers programs that focuses on youth development, conflict mediation, peace-building and sustainability leadership training. Within a participatory and appreciative leadership framework, SERES incorporates interactive workshop methodology like that developed by Play for Peace to deliver a comprehensive program that teaches participants to facilitate sustainability leadership and transformative change processes. Following successful completion of this program and appropriate mentoring, youth are provided with employment opportunities as facilitators of the SERES Actívate program.
Read more about our Transformative Sustainability Leadership theory and programs in our SERES Annual Report 2016 and Synopsis 2016: