Youth & Young Professional Engagement

There has been a clear call to action by the conservation community: get more young people interested and engaged in creating a better future for the planet.

In 2010, following the 9th World Wilderness Congress (WILD9), WILD formally adopted an Intergenerational Working Model. Together, younger and older generations are more effective at reaching increasingly diverse audiences, developing widespread messages, implementing long-term strategies and developing relevant solutions for our global problems. In October 2013 at our 10th World Wilderness Congress (WILD10), CoalitionWILD, a movement of rising leaders creating a wilder world, was officially launched.


Intergenerational Collaboration is…

  • Working relationships that emphasize collaboration between the generations
  • Two-way exchange that is mutually beneficial
  • Builds on the strengths and capacities of people of different ages and generations working together toward common goals
  • Power, vision, creativity, leadership, decision-making and responsibility for our world is shared between people of different generations



The Importance of Intergenerational Collaboration

At the 8th World Wilderness Congress (WWC), WILD made a concerted effort to include emerging leaders into the WWC format. Once there, delegates approved a resolution on “Wilderness and Youth and Young Professionals,” addressing the importance of building leadership and stating that, “Future World Wilderness Congresses should have Youth and Young Professionals attending as delegates from each world region.”

CoalitionWILD at WILD10

CoalitionWILD team at WILD10

In response to this resolution and feedback from the 8th WWC, we developed two new elements for WILD9: Young Professionals and Youth Program. Over 50 Young Professionals from around the world and 20 youth from the US, Mexico and Canada actively participated in the Congress.

Both programs focused on intergenerational connections—between youth, young professionals and established conservation leaders. Opportunities were created for intergenerational sharing and conversation and the stage was set for emerging generations to fully participate in the WWC.

Youth and Young Professional delegates both listened to and participated in and presented in plenary and concurrent sessions. Young delegates wrote, seconded and participated in the resolution process and specifically drafted a resolution, later approved by the Congress at large, again recognizing the important role emerging leaders play in conservation efforts and calling for an integrated relationship between the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the World Wilderness Congresses to support a Young Professional Network. Overall, these new elements of the Congress succeeded in inviting the participation and contributions of the emerging generations.

Launched at WILD10, CoalitionWILD acts as an action catalyst for nature as well an inspirational hub and connectivity resource for the next generation of leaders creating a wilder world. The movement is hopeful and optimistic, encouraging others to believe in the power of one person to make a difference.  It is about bringing people and nature together, recognizing how we thrive when every living thing thrives. The program continues to promote conservation projects and support successful ventures and innovative ideas. Learn more on the official CoalitionWILD website!

Learn more about CoalitionWILD