Posts tagged " young leaders "

[Closed] Apply now to join the Young Leaders Development Programme! Deadline August 8th, 2019.

July 15th, 2019 Posted by News, YLDP No Comment yet

Thank you for your interest in the YLDP. Applications are now closed.


Are you…

  • approx. 18-35 years old;
  • living in Scotland; and
  • interested in tackling climate change? 

Do you have…

  • a desire to develop your leadership skills;
  • a willingness to inspire others; and
  • personal drive and energy?

Introducing: 2050 Climate Group’s Young Leaders Development Programme

We need leaders to make Scotland’s sustainable future a reality. Leadership is all about influence. You don’t need to be a chief executive or MSP to have an impact on this world. The aim of the Young Leaders Development Programme (YLDP) is to give young people the leadership skills and climate change knowledge they need to take action on climate change. Now in its fourth year, we are looking for people like YOU to join the programme. The programme will kick off in September 2019 and run until April 2020 and will consist of six days of training and workshops spread over this period. Each event will be held on a Saturday in a central location. 

As a Young Leader you will:

  • Receive free leadership training from Scotland’s foremost experts;
  • Build knowledge of climate change issues and solutions in day-to-day life, business and politics;
  • Improve your communication and influencing skills;
  • Increase your confidence;
  • Build your CV with skills and experience;
  • Be part of a growing network of a diverse range of young people; and
  • Be able to inspire others to actively contribute towards taking action on climate change.

Programme structure

We believe that in order to help lead the way to a successful, sustainable future, there are three spheres of influence that must be addressed: personal, professional and political.








The six modules of the YLDP are split into three pairs to cover the three spheres of influence above (personal, professional and political). Each pair of modules has a ‘Climate Change’ module and a ‘Leadership’ module. We aim to provide you with the climate change knowledge surrounding each of the spheres of influence and then develop your leadership skills to help you take action on climate change in each of the three spheres.

Throughout the programme, there will be a focus on developing your own actions, for example persuading your mum to take the bus more, getting your local supermarket to stock more low carbon food or getting your local council to build a heat network!

The Leaders Network

On successful completion of the programme, you will have the opportunity to join our network of Young Leaders who have completed previous programmes. This is a space for networking, collaboration and taking action and will be supported by training and development opportunities.

Dates for your diary

We expect Young Leaders to commit to attending the training sessions set out below. Don’t worry – we know life sometimes gets in the way – but if you already know that you won’t be able to attend half of these dates then it might be best to wait and apply next year! 

All events will take place in central Scotland in locations with good public transport links.

Theme Event Date
Induction Thursday 5th September 2019 (evening)
Personal Climate Change Saturday 28 September 2019
Leadership Saturday 26 October 2019
Professional  Climate Change Saturday 23 November 2019
Leadership Saturday 25 January 2020
Political Climate Change Saturday 29 February 2020
Leadership Saturday 28 March 2020 

How to apply

We are pleased to offer this programme at no financial cost to participants, other than travel to each of the events (and even that we can help with – see below).

To apply, fill out this application form by 8th August @ 5pm to be in with a chance of a place on this exciting programme! If you have any questions, check the FAQs below or drop us an email at

If you have specific requirements or need alternative arrangements to this application form please contact 2050 Climate Group to discuss this further. 

Participation fund

We do not want anyone to miss out on participating in the programme simply because they can’t afford it. We therefore have some funding available that you can apply for to help cover travel costs if you make it onto the programme. We would also be happy to discuss other ways to support you if you have any other barriers to participation.


Q: What if I can’t make all the dates?

A: It might be worth considering waiting for next year’s programme. That way someone who can make all the events can join the programme this year. To get the most out of the YLDP, it is important that you can commit to attending as much of the programme as possible. Delivering the YLDP also requires significant resources, including financial costs and the time of our volunteers, staff and contributors.  It is therefore really important that the chosen applicants attend our events if the programme is going to be a success!  

Q: How will you decide who gets onto the programme?

A: We had over 330 applications for just 130 spaces last year, and we expect this year to be competitive again. We will select applicants based on the answers in their application. We are not necessarily looking for those who already know the most about climate change or who are already working in a related sector, in fact we welcome those who know very little about climate change. Our primary aim is to get a good mix of people from a range of backgrounds and differing levels of climate change knowledge. What is critical, however, is that you have a commitment to the programme, a willingness to learn and a desire to apply what you have learned by taking action. Anyone who is unsuccessful in making it onto the programme is welcome to join the three “climate change” modules, which will be open to the general public. Or you can always apply again next year. There are other ways to engage with 2050 Climate Group as well – we’ll let you know in due course.

Q: What if I live in the Hebrides / [insert far-flung Scottish place here]?

A: Climate change won’t just affect the central belt, so we would love for you to apply. Of course, you’ll need to consider if you can make it to the central belt for Saturday morning for each event. Remember, we may be able to help with your travel costs if that’s an issue.

Q: Do I already need to be a climate change guru to apply?

A: No. We are looking for a diverse range of people; all we expect is a commitment to learn and to take action.

Q: Is this all about environmental stuff?

A: Whilst the environment is massively important, climate change is relevant to all facets of society. Expect to hear about energy generation, community campaigns, infrastructure, farming, running a business and international treaties! A key part of our work is to reach a wider audience, so that is our aim for the programme.

Q: Do I need to live in Scotland to apply?

Due to our funding requirements, applicants must be living in Scotland and have a Scottish postcode to apply.

Q: Do I need to be in a position of leadership to apply?

A: A traditional image of a leader would be a politician or CEO of a business. However, we think a leader is someone who influences others and we expect people from all walks of life to be able to do that, whether you’re a farmer, doctor or youth worker (to name but a few!). The YLDP will give you all the leadership skills you need to make a change, regardless of who you are or what you do.

Christiana Figueres and Catriona Patterson

Selfies with Christiana Figueres: Climate Change, Leadership and Young People

April 12th, 2019 Posted by Blogs No Comment yet

Catriona Patterson, Chair of the Board of 2050 Climate Group, shares her reflections on the role of youth leadership on climate change, after a week which saw Edinburgh host both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Christiana Figueres.

I’m generally not one for selfies. So it was a surprise to me for many reasons when I found myself taking a selfie with Christiana Figueres last Friday afternoon.

Christiana Figueres is arguably the climate heroine of our present. Lauded as the individual who made the 2015 UN COP Paris Agreement possible, she is a tour-de-force of climate commitment, optimism and encouragement. As the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), she presided over the first international binding commitment on greenhouse gas emissions made by world nations…ever.

Visiting Scotland to collect the Edinburgh Medal (awarded each year by the City of Edinburgh to a person of science and technology who is judged to have made a ‘significant contribution to the understanding and well-being of humanity’) at the Edinburgh Science Festival, Figueres often talks of challenging what we consider to be ‘feasible’ (a point particularly pertinent as Scotland discusses the level of ambition of our new Climate Change Bill), and seeing climate action as the biggest opportunity we have ever had. It is not hyperbole to cite her as inspirational: she needed to be in order to force international agreement.

2050 Climate Group was invited to participate in a roundtable of public, private and third sector leaders with Figueres during her visit to Edinburgh. Knowingly and obviously one of the youngest in the room, I was thrilled when she related her opening provocation – around rightful civic outrage, and radical optimism in the face of climate change – to the recent climate school strikes, and commended the actions of young people concerned about their future.

Days before, I had represented 2050 Climate Group as part of the ClimateXChange event ‘Climate Change Action in Small States’, taking place in the week that Edinburgh hosted a meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Sitting on a panel between hugely knowledgeable climate change scientists and policy makers, I was aware I stood out. I am not responsible for regional emissions figures or target reports, and the IPCC has been around longer than I have been alive. But in talking about the unique approach of our charity, and how it connects with the knowledge and political processes which structures climate change action, I am consistently excited and proud of what we achieve, and inspired to do more.

Young people are often-quoted as the motivators for decision making on climate change, yet rarely are they given the genuine opportunity to shape that future. At 2050 Climate Group we are committed to ensuring our generation are prepared with the knowledge of climate change and its impacts that they need for their personal, professional and civic lives, but also have the skills to influence those around them, the network to support them, and crucially, the opportunities to empower them with the agency to effect change.

Being invited to participate in these two events – speaking alongside climate heroes from research and policy – is for me an example of how young people are beginning to be recognised for the role they play, and should play, in climate change leadership. The school strikes inspired by the climate activism of teenager Greta Thunberg have recently demonstrated the depth of feeling of young people at the very ‘young’ end of the youth spectrum, but at 2050 Climate Group we have a generation of young adults already participating in our society and economy, and arguably one step closer to challenging the causes of climate change and dealing with its impacts.

It can be easy to dismiss young people, and the methods and tools we use to effect change. Selfies may be chastised for a variety of reasons, but for me, this image is not (just) narcissism, it’s evidence: a demonstration and a reminder that youth leadership is recognised, valued, and necessary.

2050 Climate Group is looking for new partners from all aspects of Scotland’s public, private and third sectors, and is interested to hear from those looking to engage, educate and empower future leaders within their organisations and across wider society to take action on climate change. If you are interested in discussing opportunities to work with us, please get in touch with


Herald News: Young people unite for a green future

March 22nd, 2019 Posted by News No Comment yet

News taken from Herald Scotland article 21 March 2019

When faced with global challenges such as climate change, it is essential that everyone’s voice is heard and that collective action is taken now to increase our chances of creating a sustainable future. The 2050 Climate Group is a charity with this message at its heart. It aims to engage, educate and empower Scotland’s young people to take action against climate change. It is a youthrun and primarily volunteer-led organisation with a team of over 60 volunteers across Scotland.

The flagship initiative is the Young Leaders Development Programme (YLDP), a free educational course that runs over a year and consists of several events that aim to enhance climate change knowledge and leadership skills, focusing on personal, professional and political spheres of influence. The events consist of a range of activities, including presentations, workshops, panel discussions and debates, and are delivered by volunteers and expert external speakers. Participants in the programme also set actions to take on climate change and the 2050 Climate Group supports them to realise these ambitions. The charity’s programme is now approaching the end of its third year of delivering the programme and we have seen many inspiring actions achieved throughout this time across a variety of areas, from food to energy to transport.

One of the current Young Leaders, Kirstin McEwan, explains: “When I joined the YLDP, I hoped to learn more about how to get involved in climate action but the programme turned out to be broader than I ever thought, exploring so many ways that we can influence the status quo…

I’ve tackled topics on everything from the impact of diet to implementing sustainable workplace practices.”

What makes the group unique, she goes on to say, is that it isn’t an elite group of climate scientists or highly read environmental students. “The YLDP is open to people from all walks of life and, while there is a focus on youth, there is a cross-generational feel.

“A mix of backgrounds has also brought a wealth of diverse input from my fellow YLDP members and through workshops, group actions and speaker discussion sessions, I’ve explored points of view I would never have considered and tackled shortcomings in my own goals to live a more climate-friendly lifestyle.”

The latest event, based in Stirling, focused on climate change as a political issue. The session was held on the day following the Youth Strike for Climate event which highlighted that, now more than ever, young voices can have an impact. The day centred on how individuals can influence political processes and give voice to climate action in so many ways.

For Kirstin, the defining moment of the event was listening to Promise Matatiyo of Malawi’s Young Climate Leaders who was visiting Scotland as part of a 2050 Climate Group exchange. Promise stressed that as the task of tacking climate change got harder, the amount of cooperation required became greater. “We must support each other in order to survive, and if the 2050 Climate Group’s YLDP has shown me anything, it’s that Scotland’s young people need to lead in this process,” Kirstin continued.

Today’s young people are crucial to building a fairer, more sustainable future as they will become the decision makers of the future. The 2050 Climate Group will continue to work with Scotland’s young people to help them develop and ensure they are represented.

We will soon be accepting applications for volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35 to join the 2050 team.