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About Us

YouthActionNet® invests in the power and promise of young social entrepreneurs around the globe. Launched in 2001 by the International Youth Foundation, YouthActionNet® strengthens, supports, and celebrates the role of young people in leading positive change in their communities.

In the face of urgent global challenges - poverty, climate change, HIV/AIDS, hunger, homelessness - young people are exercising their leadership potential like never before. Their energy and idealism propel them to take risks, to look beyond obstacles, and to develop innovative solutions. Youth leaders thrive in collaborative learning environments that emphasize the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to maximize their contributions.

YouthActionNet® supports aspiring and accomplished young leaders by providing skill-building, advocacy, and networking opportunities. It does so at three levels:  

  • Global Institute - Twenty outstanding young social entrepreneurs are selected annually for the YouthActionNet® Global Fellowship through a competitive application process. Global Fellows are distinguished by their exemplary track records, pattern-changing ideas, global perspectives, and commitment to achieving long-term systemic change. Through the year-long program, participants refine their leadership skills, collaborate across national boundaries, and advocate for their causes at the global level. 
  • National Institutes - Established within individual countries, National YouthActionNet® Institutes select youth leaders to participate in an intensive, national-level training program. National Institutes are deeply rooted in the context where they operate. Their goal: to prepare young leaders to influence national policies and priorities, while strengthening the youth leadership sector within individual countries. 
  • Virtual Institute - Capitalizing on the power and reach of today's technology revolution, YouthActionNet.org provides young leaders globally with a state-of-the-art virtual platform through which to strengthen their knowledge, build skills, network, and advocate for their causes. 

Through this comprehensive strategy, YouthActionNet® seeks to contribute to the development of a new generation of socially conscious citizens leading change in their communities.  


All young people are active global citizens, shaping the world with power and confidence.


To support and celebrate youth leadership.


We believe:

  • Leadership is a choice and that everyone can be a leader.

  • Today's global challenges demand that all people, everywhere, work together in search of solutions.

  • Young people are a vital source of optimism, innovation, and creativity in leading positive change.

  • The time to support young people as leaders is now.