Taking the lead - The Young Foundation

Case studies: Youth leadership as a vehicle for addressing pressing social .... Meaningful power-sharing among adults and young people can, however, ... groups without affluent or politically engaged family and community networks, ...
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Taking the lead

Taking the lead Youth leadership in theory and practice Lauren Kahn, Sarah Hewes and Rushanara Ali

Lauren Kahn, Sarah Hewes and Rushanara Ali

About The Youth of Today The Youth of Today is a consortium of leading youth organisations working together to increase the quality, quantity and diversity of opportunities for young people as leaders of change in their communities. It has been created to help young people fulfil these roles in an increasingly complex world. Aimed at young people aged 13 to 19, it is funded and supported by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and Communities and Local Government, and is managed by a range of leading organisations, including the British Youth Council, Changemakers, Citizenship Foundation, The National Youth Agency, Prince’s Trust, UK Youth Parliament and the Young Foundation.

www.theyouthoftoday.org

About the Young Foundation The Young Foundation combines creativity and entrepreneurship to tackle major social needs. We work on many different levels to achieve positive social change – including advocacy, research, and policy influence as well as creating new organisations and running practical projects. The Young Foundation benefits from a long history of social research, innovation and practical action by the late Michael Young, once described as “the world’s most successful social entrepreneur”, who created more than 60 ventures which address social needs. The Young Foundation is a Registered Charity (no 274345) and Company Limited by Guarantee (no 1319183) in England and Wales.

www.youngfoundation.org

TAKING THE LEAD: YOUTH LEADERSHIP IN THEORY AND PRACTICE © Crown copyright 2009 The content of this publication may be reproduced free of charge provided that the material is acknowledged as Crown copyright, the publication title is specified and it is reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context. Applications to reproduce the material from this publication should be addressed to [email protected] The permission to reproduce Crown copyright-protected material does not extend to any material in this publication which is identified as being the copyright of a third party. A CIP catalogue record for this report is available from the British Library. ISBN: 978-1-905551-09-5



Contents Acknowledgements

4

Preface – Geoff Mulgan and Fiona Blacke

5

Executive Summary

6

1. Introduction

8

2. Youth leadership: What it is, and why it matters

12

3. Developing and nurturing young leaders: Facilitating young people’s leadership journeys

20

4. Creating and sustaining organisations that support youth leadership: The organisational journey

27

5. Conclusion

33

Appendices A: Full case studies

34

B: Theories of leadership

60

C: Youth leadership in the context of human development

62

D: Organisational criteria: Fostering youth leadership

64

Endnotes

70

Biographies

71

List of Boxes and Tables Box 1. Case studies: Youth leadership as a vehicle for addressing pressing social challenges

16

Box 2. Case study: Resisting the language of leadership

22

Box 3: Making youth leadership education ‘real’

23

Box 4. Case study: Building confidence and community through peer support

25

Box 5. Feedback and reflection

25

Box 6. Case study: Youth leadership in the educational environment

30

Table 1. Three models of organisation for youth leadership programmes

28

Table 2. Three models of working together

31