The Lead to Include project will bring forth a new opportunity for Youth Leaders from around the world to convene in their own countries and regions to learn and grow from each other. Youth Leaders will develop plans to implement an inclusive vision of Special Olympics in their home communities.
Building upon the model of the Global Youth Leadership Summit, Youth Leaders will come partnered together to share their creative ideas on inclusion. Past youth-led projects have included training their peers to be advocates for inclusion and hosting sports festivals to teach inclusive sports. Following each of the regional and local summits, the participants will implement the most pioneering ideas in their respective home nations with support from Special Olympics.
The inaugural Special Olympics Global Youth Leadership Summit was held in conjunction with the 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Anchorage, Alaska. From 32 youth leaders and mentors to now over 200 and growing, the Pledge to Include project will carry out a successful model in empowering youth to become innovators of inclusion in countries all over the world.
In addition the Lead to Include project will bring:
- Quality Youth Leadership: During the summit, Youth Leaders will focus on the traditional aspects of leadership, and introduce how to co-lead with their partner, known as Unified leadership.
- A Cascade of Leadership: By instilling the skillset and values of Unified leadership at each level of the summit, Youth Leaders will be able to train other Youth Leaders at subsequent levels, distributing quality leadership techniques and creating a network of change makers. Starting with the Global Youth Leadership Summit, attendees will bring their leadership to the Regional Leadership Summit, and from there those attendees will bring it to their local level summits.
- Worldwide Network Created: Following each of the summits, Youth Leaders are invited to take part in an online platform to discuss projects and exchange ideas and information. By engaging with other Youth Leaders across the world instantly, they are positioned in becoming world leaders of the Unified Generation.