United People Global to Train 500 UPG Sustainability Leaders in 2021

GENEVA, Nov. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Over 2,000 young people from over 120 countries have applied to be part of the 2021 UPG Sustainability Leadership class. These young leaders obtain global training and exposure to make them ambassadors for positive citizen leadership on sustainability. In return, they design and lead a project and they train others. Applications for 2021 are still open and 500 young adults will be chosen to be part of this free and comprehensive training. Upon completion, 60 from among these 500 will be chosen for a complementary and free experience on Hurricane Island in the USA to further strengthen their capacity. For young people who apply with the support of their organisation, UPG has launched a special opportunity that reserves places within the Class of 2021 and results in greater impact.

“What happens when you take 60 bright minds from all over the world, put them in one of the best sustainability leadership centres in the world, with the best facilitators on sustainable leadership? An explosion of great thoughts, lessons, ideas, initiatives, and collaborations. That is exactly what happened at Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership in Rockland, Maine USA during the months of June – September 2019,” said Paul Tsolo, UPG Sustainability Leader (South Africa).

“Young people are the most powerful asset in the journey to create a more sustainable world. And with UPG Sustainability we ensure that our sheroes and heroes are prepared. When it comes to making the world better, it does not matter where you are from or where you have been, it is where we can go together that matters,” said Yemi Babington-Ashaye, President of United People Global.

UPG Sustainability Wins in 2019. The successful 2019 program was launched by UPG at the House of Lords in London in a session hosted by Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE. 60 UPG Sustainability Leaders were chosen and trained on Hurricane Island (USA). In close collaboration with the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, 32 young women and 28 young men travelled from 31 countries to take part in a one-week training in the United States. These 60 young leaders returned to their communities and began taking actions that exceeded all expectations. By spring 2020, they had gone on to train more than 4,400 people directly as part of fulfilling their commitments during the 2019 program. In addition, each UPG Sustainability Leader implemented a project within their community. Among the numerous projects:

  • ‘Dona de Mim‘, a women’s empowerment project that trained more than 1500 women in Brazil and Mozambique.
  • Disaster Risk Management and SDGs training delivered to Government officials in Sindh Province, Pakistan (around 500 participants from 6 cities are being trained).
  • Over 3,000 reusable sanitary pads were distributed to internally displaced and underprivileged girls in Cameroon in a program that teaches these girls how to make their sanitary products.

UPG Sustainability Leadership mobilises people and organisations to support positive citizen leadership on sustainability. With a decade to go to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, UPG Sustainability Leadership is a movement that encourages and enables citizens at all levels to take positive action in their communities. In 2021 a class of 500 candidates will be trained with representation from all walks of life and from 100 countries and territories. Candidates are trained in both methods and issues.

Caroline Busato, a UPG Sustainability Leader (Brazil) shared: “It was one of the most transformative trainings I’ve ever been on. It gave me strength, it gave me inspiration, and also nowadays I know that I can rely on a network that believes that no one is small enough to make a difference.”

“I believe that deep and inclusive transformation will happen when people join hand to hand, they move like waves. Change happens when people are united and they are working together,” said Graça Machel, Chair of the Board at United People Global.

“There was a time during the week long Sustainability Leadership institute where we paired up participants in twos and they walked up a hill to share their personal connection to their community. My job was to stand at a trail intersection and make sure the participants walked in the correct direction. As I stood there watching the pairs come up the hill, I realized I was watching the world walk toward me. It was at that moment I saw the power of what we were doing,” said Bo Hoppin, Executive Director at the Hurricane Island Center for Leadership and Science.

This initiative is possible with support from inspiring partners. Partnership is selective and interested individuals and organisations are encouraged to contact United People Global.

Participate. The first 100 countries to submit 200 qualified applications are guaranteed representation in the Class of 2021 and currently Nigeria has been the first to secure at least one spot, with Brazil and Kenya following. To apply: https://upglive.org/UPGSustainability. Organisations may support an applicant and strengthen the chance of selection as this leads to more impact. Please contact United People Global.

Deadline. Applications are submitted online by 11:59 pm Geneva time (CET) on 31 December 2020.

Note to Editors
1.  For more information: Shauna Pratico. +1 (518) 637 7527 /

About United People Global: UPG is a community that encourages and enables people to make the world a better place. The work of this global community is facilitated by United People Global Foundation, an independent not-for-profit organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland. UPG is not a political or religious organisation. More information: https://unitedpeople.global/about-us/.

SOURCE United People Global