Let the Youth Lead

Instructor: Joan Lopez and Beth Fisher-Yoshida, Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4)


The Earth Institute wants aspiring leaders to get involved in their communities and feel empowered to enact change at all levels of society. In fall 2020 we hosted our first-ever “Let the Youth Lead” workshop for pre-college students, led by experts from the Youth, Peace, and Security (YPS) program at the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4). The YPS effort is designed to identify, explore, and act on the linkages between youth, social conflict, violence, peace, and security, and to elicit and further develop best practices among youth community leaders.

This workshop invited youth leaders to enhance their existing practices, enthusiasm, and knowledge in order to support and further develop their roles as change agents in local and global community efforts. The aim is to open up innovative pathways for young people to leverage their creativity and energy for sustainable transformations.

By the end of this workshop, participant identified a project or activity to engage in, and were given the tools and practices to go forward and lead their efforts. They worked with Columbia University experts to learn important connections between youth, social conflict, and peace in order to identify, explore, and take action on issues of importance to them. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand systemic approaches to social and conflict transformation and basic conflict resolution skills
  • Develop agency and learn to communicate to relevant stakeholders
  • Frame and set up a project for social change

Schedule:  (VIRTUAL) October 2020 Tuesdays/Thursdays, 4:00pm - 6:30pm ET:

  • (1) Tuesday, October 6
  • (2) Thursday, October 8
  • (3) Tuesday October 13
  • (4) Thursday, October 15
  • No Sessions Oct 20/22 - Students work on projects independently 
  • (5) Tuesday, October 27
  • (6) Thursday, October 29