Global Social Leaders (GSL)

Global Social Leaders (GSL)

, United Kingdom

Our mission is to inspire young people to achieve their full potential. Our vision is a society where all organisations are led by socially conscious people, with every young person making the transition into adulthood with the foundations they need for their future.

GSL is a unique movement combining market leading technology and automation with award winning face to face training delivered by Future Foundations and teacher training (quality assured by the University of Oxford) by the Wellington Leadership and Coaching Institute. 

Our unique approach combines online tools, face to face training and real life social action projects. Our global competition supports young people and teachers to make their ideas a reality, to develop plans, share them, set deadlines (and keep them) and encourages collaboration within and between schools.

Why do you want to be a part of the HundrED Community?

We are inspired by the HundrEd Community, and we want to share the GSL innovation with the community, and involve members of the community in what we do.  This will allow us to scale and increase our impact.  For example, HundrEd community members could be speakers, workshop leaders, judges or mentors.  We have been lucky enough to work with a number of HundrED ambassadors and been inspired by them and they have supported GSL in the ways outlined. 

We believe we are generating the future members of the community, and want to establish a close connection with HundrED, whereby we can encourage young people and our teachers to join the community, submit their innovations or become ambassadors.  

We believe in the power of community, and partnership to change the world, and that is how GSL has been created, as a programme uniquely created by two partners, in response to the need we see in the world.  We want to continue to develop this innovation, and also support others.  

We create a safe learning environment for young people to practice, fail, reflect, learn and succeed in running ‘social action projects’ that address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). 

How can education support students to flourish?

Research has shown young people lack the skills needed for the future world of work. There is a lack of knowledge to support for young people in how to run student led projects outside of the classroom.  Evaluation of Youth Social Action (in the UK), found robust evidence that young people who take part in social action initiatives, such as volunteering, develop some of the most critical skills for employment and adulthood.  

We believe that if teachers are supported to empower their students to take part in real world projects, that this wider real world education can ensure education does enable young people to flourish. 

The OECD Learning Compass 2030 defines the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that learners need to fulfil their potential and contribute to the well-being of their communities and the planet.  We believe that by supporting schools with a programme such as GSL, which embeds student agency, and many of the ingredients outlined in the learning compass, this will help students to flourish. 

What role does innovation play in education change?

We address the challenges by delivering leadership courses and a global service-learning project competition, which challenges young people to work in teams to solve local, national and global issues (inspired by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals). 

We instill a sense of agency by providing students (and their teachers) with a dynamic work related learning programme. We challenge our students to examine issues at a local, national and global scale. 

We have inspired young people all over the world to submit their project plans (for feedback) with evidence of their work in the form of photos, videos and reports. Our focus on quality feedback by experts is unique and our commitment to providing free  online support ensures teachers and students feel supported as they embark on projects plans into actionable outcomes, provides a quality control process and enables us to raise the profile of our young people and their schools. 

Three HundrED innovations you love. (and Why?)

The Clubhouse Network works to engage with young people who are often marginalised and forgotten about. It supports them for free to develop personally through its mentoring provision.

The 5 Areas of development - this holistic approach to education provides young people with an understanding early on that we are multi-dimensional beings existing in complex landscapes. We love its use of a reflective tool to measure its impact.

Three innovations you would love for HundrED to know about. (and Why?)

  1.  Amazon Web Services (AWS) GetIT Programme

GetIT aims to encourage girls to consider a career in tech and challenge gender stereotypes within the industry. The programme sees groups of 12 to 13 year old students designing and creating an ‘app for good’ which makes real, tangible social change within their school and community. 

AWS GetIT aims for students to.:

  • Build practical digital skills and relevant work experience;
  • Learn more about technology as a possible career option from industry experts;
  • Feel empowered to break down gender stereotypes;
  • Gain confidence and presentation skills;
  • Consider a career in IT and app making.

2. ‘Leading and Flourishing in Difficult Times.’ - The Oxford Character Project

The course will enable you to learn more about how knowing, loving and inspiring people enables flourishing, joy and fulfilment, particularly in difficult times. 

The programme will:
1. Provide insights into what it means to lead well, and particularly to the relationship between leadership, character and flourishing 
2. Challenge you to try new leadership practices in your context 
3. Inspire you to see the leadership impact you could have in your setting

3. Catalyst 2030 - Collaborating to achieve the SDGs

Catalyst 2030 is created by NGOs, social enterprises, intermediaries, funders and other social change innovators, collaborating in an urgent moment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

This is what they have written on their main page which perfectly describes the 'why' of their organisation.

"We live in a unique era of human progress. Extreme poverty, malnutrition, violence, and infectious disease have plummeted, while life expectancy, literacy rates, and electricity access have soared. Yet, severe inequalities in income, health, education, and representation disadvantage billions around the world. Meanwhile, humanity’s growing ecological footprint is threatening many of the natural systems we all depend on—such as climate, oceans, land, biodiversity, and fresh water—which are nearing irreversible tipping points. These crises often intersect, creating conditions ripe for instability and conflict.

We may be the last generation alive that can act to reverse these trends. Catalyst 2030 believes that collective action and bold, new strategies are needed to address the crises of our time. Joining forces with communities, governments, businesses, and others, Catalyst 2030 members are working toward changing systems at all levels. Cumulatively, members have already impacted the lives of millions, often with limited resources. Together, we envision the realisation of the SDGs for all."