ASQ - Energy and Environmental Division

I came across a Web site about a program involving young Canadians contributing to environmental programs throughout the world— http://iisd1.iisd.ca/interns/
about.html
. The site describes Young Canadian Leaders for a Sustainable Future (YCLSF), an internship program designed to give young Canadian leaders the skills and opportunities to shape their world.

YCLSF, an International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) program, will sponsor up to 38 participants in 2000–2001. They will be placed for six- to eight-month internships with leading organizations and business associations in Europe, the United States, Latin America, Africa, and Asia to work on projects on trade, climate change, and business and economics. Key to this program will be the transfer to participants of the new “knowledge network” approach to sustainable development, using Internet technologies to bring together groups of institutions to share and create new sustainable development policies and practices. Accordingly, applicants are expected to have a college or university degree relevant to sustainable development and understand related issues and practices. They should also be familiar with the use of the Internet for research or information delivery, or both.

These young Canadians will become the decision-makers, creating and implementing policies that will affect future generations to come. IISD’s goal in this program is to provide young people with the substantive knowledge, communication skills, resources, and practical experience necessary to develop international sustainable development policies and to become effective agents of change.

Goals and objectives
• Provide training and work experience to young people in trade, climate change, business and economics, youth and sustainable development, development and the Internet, and natural resource management;
• Enhance communication skills, in particular learning effective use of the Internet as a research and communication vehicle;
• Provide on-the-job experience in international settings; and
• Assist participants with finding longer-term employment in fields related to sustainable development.

Benefits for participants
• Gaining international experience working with leading players in sustainable development.
• Development of and strengthening leadership, problem solving, and organizational and communication skills.
• Personal development through living and working abroad.
• Access to an established international network of contacts by providing links to IISD staff and associates, past alumni of the program, and environment and development communities at large.
• Expansion of participants' portfolios with the Internet products they have created through internships, which will support future applications for work.
• Application of lessons learned to participants' future professional activities.

Benefits for host organizations
• Host organizations will benefit from knowledge networks in sustainable development created by the participants in the program.
• Interns will make real contributions to the organizations’ work by building databases, undertaking policy analysis, and supporting Internet communications.
• Host organizations will have their knowledge bases linked to IISD’s sustainable development information on the Internet, on business,
economics, trade, climate change, youth and sustainable development, and natural resources.
• Host organizations and IISD will strengthen existing relationships and open doors to further cooperative efforts.

Benefits for IISD
• We will learn from the knowledge networks in sustainable development created by the participants in the program.
• Our relationships with partner organizations around the world will be reinforced.
• Our own work will be sustained and built upon by a network of young leaders who are champions of innovation for sustainability.

Benefits for Canada
• Canadian and international employers will have access to a group of globally conscious, skilled young Canadians who can interact with international partners. They will be able to recognize and respect people's diversity, to identify and develop new ideas to become sustainable, and will be effective users of new communication technologies.
• Canada's capacity for using knowledge networks in international research
and innovative technological cooperation will be enhanced.
• Canada will gain recognition for its innovative partnerships with international decision-makers.

The host organizations are located all over the world. To find a list of IISD hosts, go to iisd1.iisd.ca.

Through efforts of this nature, environmental information and initiatives can be shared, contributing to the improvement of our global village.

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