From Model to Movement: Learning from DOT’s Youth Leading Change Project

Today we launched a new report: From Model to Movement: Learning from DOT’s Youth Leading Change Project.

From Model to Movement provides evidence of the impact and effectiveness of the DOT youth-led model as well as insight into the ambitions and needs of young people in a rapidly changing world.

It recognizes the desire of #DOTYouth to lead practical change in their communities through social innovation, human-centered design thinking and effective community projects, and outlines DOT’s commitment to putting youth at the center.

At DOT, our ultimate measure of success is when young women and men themselves take over the reins of change and development.

The report shares our key insights about youth development and entrepreneurship, gathered during our Youth Leading Change project in Kenya and Rwanda. It captures DOT’s evolving strategy along a trajectory of “model to movement,” where youth are truly leaders who are transforming their communities.

Some of the key insights shared by the report are:

  • Supporting youth innovation has the potential to transform societies;

  • Catalyzing youth leadership requires investing in supporting structures and enabling environments while handing over leadership to young people;

  • Experiential learning helps young men and women develop capacities for social change and community leadership by doing social change;

  • Resilience is first and foremost about creativity and innovation;

  • Transforming gender norms rather than gender mainstreaming is essential to the empowerment of women and girls;

  • Leveraging digital technology and opportunities in creative and innovative ways helps youth catalyze new opportunities, and supports systems-level change;

  • Strategic and sustainable networks are critical to a young person’s success and can be facilitated through technology;

  • Transformative social change only happens for young people when they have the power to not only deliver a program, but also to influence, inform and innovate;

  • Focusing on youth has a multiplier effect—when young people are equipped with the skills and motivations to secure employment or start businesses, it improves the social and economic development of entire communities.

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