Climate change, like Game of Thrones’ white walkers, is something too big, complex and out of our daily lives’ concerns. To really understand it, one has to see and feel it for oneself. Therefore, to build the next generation of climate leaders, we are 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 be a 42-day immersion for 20-35 people from all over the world, 3-month tailored field placements and a 1-week delegation to COP24. In each destination, participants will meet with key local organizations, universities and community leaders. They will also have free time to experience the country and connect with each other, building lasting relationships and a community of climate champions.
During the week, they will work part-time on a common group project and attend lectures about climate science, international cooperation, climate finance and other topics in which YCLs must excel. Knowing that practical and academic knowledge is not enough to foster leadership, the programme 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 tour will thus focus on coaching participants on their personal projects and career plans. They will be then ready to go back to their countries, or explore other ones, to work on climate change mitigation and adaptation issues. The organizers will build partnerships with a series of organizations worldwide to ease the reallocation of YCL alumni, who will be part of a living community of practice.