Young Leaders Empowered to "Be the Change"

24 October 2007 | News story

Youth leaders from all over the world gathered in Jordan to build their leadership capacities and raise their awareness on their roles and responsibilities towards sustainable development in the world. Tomorrow's leaders were urged to "Be the Change" and start acting to save the world during a global seminar entitled Advancing Youth Leadership on Sustainable Development held at the United Nations University – International Leadership Institute (UNU/ILI) in Amman, Jordan from October 21- 25, 2007.

With this Global Seminar, UNU – ILI in partnership with The World Conservation Union (IUCN), King Abdullah Fund for Development (KAFD), UNESCO and UNDP Amman offices, University of Jordan, Jordan University for Science and Technology (JUST), and Queen Zein Al Sharaf Institute for Development (ZENID), young potential leaders were introduced to the ecological, social, economic and political dimensions of sustainable development and the latest debates and challenges raised globally on t his issue.

A special encouraging motivation was brought to the young future leaders by a lecture delivered by His Royal Highness Prince Hasan Bin Talal, in which he pointed out the necessity of a super-national authority for West Asia, which follows a concept of cohesion, and concluded with reference to Youth Leadership: "It is better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all".

With interactive methods and experimental & informal learning, the participants between the ages of 20-25 experienced a new approach to the topic of sustainable development, which was brought to them by different lecturers and experts in the field, including Dr. Odeh Jayyousi, IUCN West Asia/ Middle East Regional Director, who presented the Ecological dimension to the participants. Dr. Jairam Reddy, Director of UNU-ILI also presented the Leadership concept, theory and practices in the world.

A short video was presented to the participants on a young leader from Asia who is trying her best to "Be the Change" according to her words, to save the world and encourage other young people to follow this trend. This video was presented by Mr. Edward Kellow, one of the speakers who is the Senior Capacity Development Manager in Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) organization.

The participants of the Global Seminar, coming from 20 different countries, explored the practicability of their newly enhanced knowledge in field visits to different representative sites that demonstrate both degradation of the environment and approaches to address sustainability, such as the Dana Nature Reserve.

For more information, please contact Ms. Rania Faouri, IUCN WAME Communications Officer at: rania.faorui@iucn.org or Dr. Ibtesam Al Atiyat, UNU-ILI Women and Youth Programme Officer at alatiyat@la.unu.edu


This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.