SI Leader Lab – Connecting leaders in civil society

Are you a leader in your community? Are you working for Sustainable Development Goal 16? SI Leader Lab is an online leadership programme for young civil society leaders in Eastern Europe, South Asia or the MENA region who are open for innovative tools and new forms for collaboration. Apply to SI Leader Lab if you want to grow as a leader, develop your advocacy skills and share knowledge in a network of inspirational peers.
Three different images showing young men and women in workshop settings.

Application closed


SI Leader Lab brings together young influential civil society leaders who are working for the Sustainable Development Goals. The participants are the fast runners and the innovative minds in their communities, open for new digital solutions and innovative methods. The network consists of peers from cross sectors in civil society and will give the participants a broad input from different spheres. The overarching objective is to strengthen leaders who are working for the Sustainable Development Goals.

This year the programme invites leaders who are working for the Sustainable Development Goal 16 (just, peaceful and inclusive societies Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions | The Global Goals).

There will be two programmes with participants from three regions:

  • 60 participants from South Asia, Middle East and North Afrika
  • 30 participants from Eastern Europe

The programme is an opportunity for you to develop your advocacy skills and work on strategic outreach within your focus area. It’s also an opportunity to grow as a leader, exchange experiences, form new connections and to try out innovative tools and methods with peers.

The programme, spread over three months, contains highly interactive online meetings. We will work in smaller learning groups, combined with sessions that include all participants. The training is founded on experience-based and collaborative learning and will allow you to explore real challenges and areas of development for your own organisation in an innovative and supportive environment.

The programme is as much about personal as professional development. It is about growing as a person with renewed confidence and insights, and growing as a leader with new tools, methods and perspectives.

The particular expertise and experience of the participants will largely determine the topics that we work on. The following broader issues, however, will be central: value-based leadership and group development and effective advocacy methods.

SI Leader Lab will give you:

  • Personal insights as a leader: how to lead yourself and others through increased self-awareness and increased understanding of group development.
  • An opportunity to explore effective advocacy methods that will help you shape and reach out with a message to intended audiences.
  • The possibility to share and build knowledge in a network of experts, to inspire each other and share experiences on common challenges.
Three young women and a man are standing in front of a large paper pointing at post-its.
SI Leader Lab allows you to explore areas of development for your own organisation with peers working in a similar context. Photo: Margareta Bloom Sandebäck

Can I apply?

You can apply to SI Leader Lab if you:

  • Have a leading position (formal or informal) in a civil society organisation or network working for the Sustainable Development Goal 16, within the 2030 Agenda.
  • Work in a collaborative setting, where you have a leadership role (formal or informal).
  • Are between 22 and 32 years old (born 1989–2000).
  • Have a good working knowledge of both written and spoken English.
  • Are a citizen of Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine, Yemen
  • Are available to take part in all parts of the programme.
  • Are prepared to forward competences and knowledge you gain from the programme to your team, organisation or other relevant actors.

Please note that we are not able to make any exceptions to the eligibility requirements.

Please note that SI Leader Lab is a demanding programme, as we use experienced based learning and reflection as a tool for personal growth. Therefore, we recommend that all participants are in psychological balance and willing to put in the efforts that the programme requires.

Programme timeline

  • Approximate schedule: 23 March -15 June – sessions once every week at 10 am-1 pm CET. There will also be some additional dates with longer sessions. Participants will take part in online seminars, practical group assignments and individual project work.
  • Diploma ceremony: 15 June

Costs covered and arranged by Swedish Institute

  • Training and content

How to apply


Sara El Outa participant in SI Leader Lab. Photo: Margareta Bloom Sandebäck
"If you apply to SI Leader Lab, you should be open to share knowledge and experiences, be human centred and not centred in yourself. In Leader Lab, you really learn how to consider other people’s thoughts, feelings and experiences, respect them, and benefit from other people’s skills, in addition to gaining rich content from the programme’s sessions. If you are ready for this bulk of experience, I strongly urge you to apply to SI Leader Lab. "
Sara El Outa
Sara El Outa participant in SI Leader Lab. Photo: Margareta Bloom Sandebäck
Japleen Pasricha, participant in SI Leader Lab. Photo: Margareta Bloom Sandbäck
"All the participants are amazing and have expertise in their own field. It´s great that we all come from diverse backgrounds, nationalities and ethnicities. I have already booked a meeting with a participant from Pakistan, as she has an expertise in something that I lack. I am very much connecting with people and we are all building personal networks. "
Japleen Pasricha
Japleen Pasricha, participant in SI Leader Lab. Photo: Margareta Bloom Sandbäck
SI Leader Lab team

Programme Managers:
Maria Henoch
Ulrika K. Engström

Programme Administrator:
Nadia Sundbom


In collaboration with
Questions about the programme?

Please contact us at: