Young People Engagement at WILD11

Emerging leaders are a foundational programmatic element of the World Wilderness Congress, not a separate stream or add-on. We strive to include young conservationists on all panels and committees because doing so is right and practical. It will be the youth, after all, who will be responsible for achieving conservation’s present day ambitions; they will also be the ones who bear the consequences for today’s inaction.

For these reasons, you will not see any one panel or call-to-action pointing specifically at youth because youth are included in all leadership aspects of this international gathering and youth voices are built into every session. Emerging leaders will join the stage next to seasoned veterans, sharing perspectives, experiences, and dialogue throughout the congress. True empowerment comes from sharing leadership, ensuring all voices carry equal weight, and when perspectives are shared, considered, and included without pause of age, experience level, or background. To put it bluntly, an indication of successful inclusion of youth at WILD11 will be if youth aren’t spoken about as an add on, separate entity, or needed programmatic focus but rather are seen, spoken to, and regarded as equal partners in the quest to keep Earth wild.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE (YP) AT WILD11

CoalitionWILD is the gateway for Young People at WILD11, with key contact persons within and outside India. Specific details on YP activities are continuing to be developed. The list below outlines opportunities in their current state, which will be updated frequently.

If you are interested in volunteering to lead or contribute to one of the below elements, or in sponsoring a program below or youth to attend, please email Crista Valentino, Director of CoalitionWILD at crista@coalitionwild.org.

1. Pre-Congress Workshop: Immediately before WILD11, 30 regionally representative (15 from India, 15 global) and gender balanced early career conservationists will be selected to attend a four-day curated workshop focused on capacity building, network growth, community service, and future visioning along with skills related trainings.. This workshop will help to pave the way for an engaged youth cohort at WILD11, providing an opportunity for YPs to meet, coordinate, and collaborate prior to the Congress through facilitated sessions while also giving back to the local communities through volunteer conservation work. Aimed at empowering young professionals to be leaders in conservation, fostering their professional development and conservation entrepreneurship, the impact of this workshop will be:

  • Young people are equipped with knowledge, skills, confidence, and direction to meaningfully take part in WILD11 as participants and leaders
  • Actionable steps are developed to support the Global Deal for Nature led by youth in their communities
  • Strong networks between young people are developed and/or renewed, enhancing momentum and engagement during WILD11
  • Emerging conservation leaders are supported and empowered to develop new solutions, ambitions, and targets for the environment
  • Local Jaipur communities are supported through volunteerism via participants

2. Young Environmentalist Program: Bringing together schools, colleges, and universities from across India, this program will give voice to emerging leaders in India committed to making the planet a wilder place. Primarily held at the Central Park venue at WILD11, potential programmatic elements include “Conservation Conversations,” and an award for students who present outstanding original concepts that support the Nature Needs Half vision.

Students participating in the Young Environmentalists’ Programme will also receive a Certificate of Participation and/or Certificate of Excellence (in case their presentations are adjudged deserving by a Panel of Judges consisting of eminent Conservationists). Please contact Sunil Metha at sunil@wild11.org if you are an educational institution in India and would like to participate.

3. Mentorship Through WILD11: Collaborative, cross-generational relationships are in investing in young professionals’ leadership and career growth in the environmental sector. Pairing veteran conservationists with emerging conservation leaders at WILD11 will develop a stronger constituency of young people for conservation. In addition, the space developed will offer the experienced conservation professionals to share their expertise, wisdom, and network while also having the opportunity to gain inspiration, innovative thought, and fresh insight. Elements of this programming include:

  • A mentorship luncheon for pairs to meet up, meet others within in the program, network, and learn more about the expectations of the experience,
  • Based upon CoalitionWILD’s Global Mentorship Programme, participants will be given templates and worksheets to guide them in answering questions about their goals for the mentorship relationship,
  • As a pair, attend discussions, meetings, conversations, and programming of WILD11,
  • Having access to exclusive, varied, and high level networking opportunities.

4. Film Festival: In collaboration with the International League of Conservation Photographers, an evening (or two) showcasing a collection of short films celebrating Life, Livelihoods, and Love judged by a panel of peers with recognition awards in numerous categories.

5. Fashion Show: Showcasing sustainable brands and clothing, an evening fashion show will highlight one of the most polluting industries – the fashion industry – and those working to shift the culture. Some products will be available for sale after the show. More details are in development.

6. WILD11 Green Committee: Committed to protecting Earth and keeping her wild, WILD11 will be a leader in sustainable and green practices to make the gathering as low impact, carbon neutral, and zero waste as possible. Areas we will focus on are garbage and recycling, zero-plastic, green toilets, a sustainably sources and meat-free menu, carbon offsets, utilizing renewable energy sources, limited paper printing, and a ‘green showcase’ to spotlight innovative NGOs developing products (many of which are from indigenous techniques).

7. Volunteer for WILD11: WILD11 is only possible through the collaboration and cooperation of many! Opportunities exist to volunteer for the Congress during the planning stages, at the conference, and in wrapping up. Volunteers are needed in all aspects, and compensation will take the form of free event. If you are interested in volunteering for WILD11, please fill out this form and include what areas you are interested in. 

SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION

Costs to attend WILD11 can be found on the Registration Page of WILD11.

Scholarships for young people to attend WILD11 are available based upon a needs basis and via application. Partial scholarships are more likely to be awarded than are full scholarships.

Student rates for those enrolled as a full time student are available and can be found here.

Young people can volunteer at WILD11 for a minimum of 5 hours per day for a waived registration fee. You can learn more about volunteering here.

Suggestions on budget travel options and fundraising examples will be made available.

ABOUT COALITIONWILD

CoalitionWILD connects and equips the world’s young change-makers to tackle our planet’s greatest conservation challenges. Launched at the 10th World Wilderness Congress (WILD10) in Salamanca, Spain in 2013, CoalitionWILD has delivered strategic support, capacity building initiatives, and growth opportunities for youth-led community stewardship in over 54 countries. By facilitating youth leadership through mentorship, global recognition, and placing youth in positions of influence, capacity building that supports emerging leaders who drive new solutions, and connecting through online platforms, gatherings, workshops, and storytelling, we increase action led by emerging leaders globally, newly developed youth-led solutions are sustained over longer periods and with increased impact, and we amplify the power of young people in decision making about the planet.

CoalitionWILD believes that emerging leaders self-designing solutions for the challenges facing their lands, water, and culture leads us to our vision of a world where people and nature thrive together because of youth-driven change.