SI Leader Lab – Connecting leaders in civil society

Are you a leader in an organisation working for a more just, peaceful, and inclusive society? SI Leader Lab is a leadership programme for civil society leaders in Eastern Europe and the MENA region who want to discover innovative tools and new forms of collaboration. Apply to SI Leader Lab if you want to grow as a leader, develop your organisation’s advocacy work and exchange knowledge in a network of inspirational peers.
Three different images showing young men and women in workshop settings.

Application closed


SI Leader Lab is designed to strengthen the capacity of civil society organisations to drive successful advocacy work linked to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies. The programme brings together influential civil society leaders who are open to new digital solutions and innovative methods. The network consists of peers from across various sub-sectors in civil society and provides the participants with broad input from different spheres in the field. SI Leader Lab invites 100 participants from the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe. 

The programme combines online workshops, in both regional and cross-regional learning groups, with regular coaching support. In October, all 100 programme participants will come together in Stockholm for an intensive week of onsite learning that deepens the experience and enhances collaboration.  

The programme is an opportunity to develop your organisation’s advocacy work and strategic outreach. It is also an opportunity to grow as a leader, exchange knowledge, form new connections and test out innovative tools and methods with peers. 

The programme features personal as well as professional development. Not only do you get renewed confidence and insights as a leader, but you get to explore and develop tools to build a more sustainable team culture and increase your impact.  

To support the organisational implementation of the programme tools and methods, SI welcomes colleagues within the same organisations to apply to the programme. All applications will be evaluated on an individual basis, but organisations with more than one qualified applicant tend to be prioritised in the selection process. 

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. 
  • A stronger capacity in your organisation to successfully organise and lead teamwork.  
  • A stronger capacity in your organisation to implement and lead effective advocacy work.  
  • The possibility to share and build knowledge among a network of experts, to inspire each other and to share experiences around common challenges.
SI Leader Lab 2023 SI Leader Lab allows you to explore areas of development for your own organisation with peers who work in similar fields. Foto: Magnus Liam Karlsson

Am I eligible to apply? 

Applicants to SI Leader Lab must meet the following requirements: 

  • Have a leading position in a civil society organisation or network working towards SDG 16 within the 2030 Agenda. The work should benefit one of the programme countries. For example, this can be an organisation working within such areas as peace and security, equality and inclusion, transparency and anti-corruption, accountability, and access to free information and media integrity. 
  • Work with a team in which they have a leadership role (formal or informal). 
  • Be between the ages of 22 and 45 (born in the 1978 to 2002 range). 
  • Have a good working knowledge of both written and spoken English. 
  • Be a citizen of Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine or Yemen. 
  • Be available to participate in all parts of the programme. 
  • Be prepared to implement tools, competencies and knowledge they gain from the programme in their team and organisation. 

No exceptions can be made to any of the eligibility requirements. 

Please note that SI Leader Lab is a demanding programme that uses experience-based learning and reflection as a tool for personal growth. Therefore, participants need to be dedicated with a strong capacity for self-exploration.

Programme timeline 2024

Mid-February – mid-March: Call for applications
March – April: Selection process
April – October: Online sessions and own project work
October: Onsite meeting in Sweden (8 days, 8-16 October)
November: Diploma ceremony (online)

Costs covered and arranged by the Swedish Institute

  • Your flights to and from Stockholm   
  • Your accommodation and meals in Stockholm during the onsite meeting in Sweden 
  • Your insurance during the onsite meeting in Sweden   
  • All training materials online and onsite 

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
Tetyana Teren, participant in SI Leader Lab. Photo: Magnus Liam Karlsson
“I think one of the most powerful parts of SI Leader Lab is how you can build such a strong network with individuals and organisations from different countries in such a short time. It has been a unique opportunity to meet a lot of new people and to build new partnerships with organisations in other countries. I know that in the future it will be very important to have these contacts to be able to start any cooperation. Thanks to the Swedish Institute I now have strong connections to a lot of different people and organisations around the world."
Tetyana Teren
Tetyana Teren, participant in SI Leader Lab. Photo: Magnus Liam Karlsson
SI Leader Lab team

Programme Managers:
Maria Henoch
Ulrika K. Engström


In collaboration with
Questions about the programme?

Please contact us at: