3. Change Leadership & Gentle Action

Change Leadership is about how every individual youth or young adult (and human in general!) has within them the potential to drive change in their own communities and in the broader community spaces they share. When youth come to recognize their potential and their capacity to be catalysts of change, leaders of change, or to even acknowledge places where change may be needed, is where the work towards healthier and more resilient communities happens.

This component of the UYP training is based on Gentle Action, a theory proposed by renowned physicist and author (and friend of Canada Bridges), Dr. David F. Peat. Gentle Action challenges our core assumption that we need to be powerful, wealthy, or adult to improve things in our own lives, and in the lives of those around us. Gentle Action offers a way of fostering change that is based on the science of chaos or complexity theory: as we come to understand how change happens in complex systems, we see that it arises continually from within, through the intricate inter-weavings of many small events.

During the UYP program, participants are guided through a number of experiential activities to get them thinking differently about themselves and their communities. They learn to observe and navigate various community systems such that they might inspire positive change from within.

Check out this video below - a staff favorite- that offers a powerful metaphor for how gentle action can look and feel.