DOT supports young people between the ages of 18 and 29 to create opportunities and transform their communities as social innovators, digital champions, and community leaders.
Young people have experience, passion, and insight rooted in the needs and challenges of their communities. DOT programs support youth to deepen their understanding of these needs and challenges, and provide them with the tools, knowledge, networks, and support to launch sustainable social initiatives that create positive change.
Youth develop entrepreneurial mindsets and communication, teamwork, decision-making, and digital skills. Their initiatives create a ripple effect of opportunities for themselves and others, leading to jobs, businesses, sustainable social and economic change, and transformed, resilient communities.
DOT’s Youth Leadership Program supports young people to become Community Leaders, Digital Champions, and Social Innovators in their communities.
Community Leaders are facilitators, communicators, and digitally-savvy community organizers who are passionate about creating real change in their own communities.
DOT’s Community Leaders are embedded in a community work placement, where they deliver skills training to local entrepreneurs, teachers, youth, and marginalized groups – connecting hundreds of people to the digital, entrepreneurial, and communications skills they need to build sustainable livelihoods, businesses, and careers.
During their work placement, Community Leaders explore the needs and challenges in the community around them, and are guided through a process of designing a solution to a community problem.
At the end of their community work placement, Community Leaders can access support to launch their solution as a sustainable social enterprise or business.
Digital Champions are passionate about technology and the power that information, communication, and technology (ICT) can offer their community.
DOT’s Digital Champions work with local organizations like businesses, governments, schools, social enterprises, and community-based organizations to develop digital solutions that address community needs – spreading digital literacy, creating locally relevant tools and solutions, and making technology accessible.
While working with local organizations, Digital Champions build a sustainable digital initiative of their own based on what they are learning about local needs and challenges.
At the end of their placement with a local organization, Digital Champions can access support to launch their digital initiative as a sustainable social enterprise or business.
Social Innovators are entrepreneurial and socially-minded, passionate about starting a business or initiative that creates a livelihood for themselves while also having a positive impact in their community.
As individuals or in teams, DOT’s Social Innovators use a human-centered design approach to develop, prototype, and launch a social innovation that solves a community challenge – creating economies of social good and transforming their communities.
Our leadership programs provide young people with the opportunity to develop skills, deep knowledge, networks, and investment in their ideas. Key to the success of all of DOT’s young leaders is:
DOT provides training to young people while they build their skills and abilities in and alongside local communities, business, institutions, and organizations.
Young people put their knowledge to work, and gain a deep understanding of local needs and challenges, and what they can contribute to their local community.
Our young leaders are connected with peers, global networks, mentors, and networks of partners who all play a role in growing their ideas.
We believe in investing in young people as changemakers and innovators. DOT supports youth through stipends, job placements, seed funding, and incentives.