“The mentoring program was the best part of GLF for me! I found this experience amazing…I could be more self confident about knowing professionals related to my work.”
Youth Mentee, GLF 2014
Over 600 young people (defined as 18 – 30 years old) attended this year’s GLF. This means that almost one in every five delegates was a student or young professional, just starting out in their career.
For many of these youth, the GLF was their first international conference – a new and daunting experience! As many young people find it challenging to navigate the complexity of topics, to speak up in discussions, or to network with senior professionals, we organized the Youth in Landscapes Mentoring Program.
What is the Youth in Landscapes mentoring program?
This program – which built upon the success of a pilot mentoring initiative launched at the GLF in Lima in 2014 – aimed to boost the the leadership and networking skills of youth within landscapes sectors, and to deepen their understanding of landscape issues and approaches.
Following an extensive application and selection process, 22 young people from 17 countries were partnered with senior professionals from business, government, NGOs and research institutions, working across diverse fields such as REDD+, sustainable supply chains, forest management and development and more.
These mentors helped guide their young mentees throughout the GLF and facilitated networking, and understanding of presented topics, themes, and forums. And, in turn, the mentees had the opportunity to share their own knowledge, experiences and insights.
Read more about the program in Sarah Dickson-Hoyle’s blog: Building supportive intergenerational relationships
“Mentoring and coaching is a two-way street. I believed I could learn and be inspired by my mentee as much as I could do that for them. There are really impressive youth out there that can provide sparks and energy for all of us!”
Professional Mentor, GLF 2014
Beyond the GLF
Mentoring won’t stop in Paris! Six of our mentoring pairs took part in a ‘design sprint’ workshop on Saturday, 5 December, and developed a pilot long-term mentoring program. Over the next 6-12 months, these inspiring pairs are expected to continue their mentoring relationship; exchanging knowledge, building networks, and sharing their journeys of professional development.