Social Innovation

Meet Leo, Artist of Social Change

Five years ago, the forested trail leading to the most scenic waterfall in Bogotá, Colombia, was crime-ridden and awash with waste. Today, the same area is safe and well maintained. As part of the trail, a mural, depicting two swans and a human figure enveloped in a sea of tears, calls attention to mankind’s imbalanced relationship with nature. While in 2010 people avoided the area over safety concerns, now the site attracts more than 1,500 visitors a month.

YALI Fellow: Youth's Right to Dream Big

Twenty-five-year old entrepreneur Sara Idohou interned with IYF and our YouthActionNet® team this fall while participating in the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of President Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative. Here Sara reflects on her internship, YALI fellowship, and overall experience as a young woman driven to create change in her community.

BADIR Fellows Express Youth Priorities

Saddam and Ali discussed what young people want and how international alliances can translate young people’s priorities into an actionable policy agenda.

Luke Rodgers’ Journey from Foster Care Statistic to Champion of Systems Change

Fifty percent of the United Kingdom’s homeless population are people who have left the foster care system. At age 15, Luke Rodgers was part of that statistic. He spent nights sleeping on trains and attended school during the day. An "un-fosterable" care leaver, Luke struggled to make meaning out of a tumultuous childhood and teen years spent in a revolving door of foster situations.

4 Lessons from 15 Years of Investing in Youth Social Innovation

What will it take to end the scourge of gender-based violence that is tearing apart so many lives and communities? How do we more effectively prepare our youth for success in the 21st Century workforce? How are we to deal with the calamity of climate change?

Vietnamese Youth Wise Beyond Their Years

On October 1, IYF, in collaboration with CSIS and Hilton Worldwide, hosted more than 80 young Vietnamese people and youth serving organizations to discuss future opportunities in Vietnam.

Generation Now: Young Voices of Change

“We need to acknowledge and recognize the contributions of young people,” affirmed UN Secretary-General Envoy for Youth Ahmad Alhendawi in addressing over 120 public, private, civil society, and youth leaders who convened at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC, on October 8 to discuss the impact of today’s global movement of youth-led social change.

The Unlikely Journey of Ayaz Hassan

Ayaz arrived in the lobby of our DC retreat center with a grin on his face and tired eyes telling of the 28 hours that had passed since he headed to the airport from his home in Sulaimanyah, Iraq. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Young Women Leaders Share Challenges Beyond Glass Ceiling

A wealth of data compiled by the No Ceilings campaign reflects significant gains—and gaps—in the status of women and girls over the last two decades. One of the persistent challenges cited is a dearth in women executives.

Succeeding as a Woman & Other Lessons from Youth Leaders

Recognized by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II for her efforts to economically empower thousands of families across four Southeast Asian nations while protecting fragile coastal environments, Anoka Abeyrathne often struggles to be heard by male decision-makers in her native Sri Lanka.