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Applying Lessons Learned at Leadership Learning Community to Facilitate Youth Leadership Learning Summits

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Esther Tahrir, who directs the Youth Leadership in Sexual and Reproductive Health Program (GOJoven) at Oakland’s Public Health Institute (PHI), recently ran a youth leadership development summit in Manila, Philippines. Twenty delegates representing 12 youth leadership development programs from six countries, including Ethiopia, Egypt, Pakistan, India, the Philippines and Guatemala participated in this Youth Leadership Learning Summit, which took place June 11-12, 2010. To help enhance learning and networking opportunities, and ensure that the meeting was participant led, Esther used Open Space Technology and World Café facilitation methods. The Summit was organized and co-facilitated by the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Leadership for Mobilizing Reproductive Health and funded by the Packard Foundation. Esther was a member of the Design Team for the Leadership Learning Community’s 2009 national meeting, Creating Space IX, Seize This Moment: Igniting and Sustaining Leadership for Social Justice, and was able to apply to the Manila Summit the creative and innovative design and facilitation processes of Open Space. She also used an Art Wall to share voices, reflections and participation that she learned through her experience with the LLC Creating Space conference. In addition, Esther applied the Conversation Catalyst methodology from the LLC Creating Space Conference to the March 11-13, 2010 GOJoven Regional Meeting of over 65 Central American and Mexican youth leaders in Peten, Guatemala that gathered to share best practices in adolescent sexual and reproductive health programming and design country specific strategies to advocate for comprehensive and youth-centered sexual and reproductive health education in Latin America.