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, South Asia or 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 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. 

There are three parallel programmes with an equal number of participants from three regions: 

  • 30 participants from South Asia 
  • 30 participants from the Middle East and North Africa 
  • 30 participants from Eastern Europe 

The programme combines online workshops, in both regional and cross-regional learning groups, with regular coaching support. In May, all 90 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. It enables you to not only grow as a leader with renewed confidence and insights but also explore and develop how you and your team can lead and organise your work even more effectively to build a sustainable 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 lead and organise teamwork.  
  • A stronger capacity in your organisation to lead and implement effective advocacy work.  
  • 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 similar circumstances. Photo: Margareta Bloom Sandebäck

Am I eligible to apply? 

Applicants to SI Leader Lab must meet the following requirements (may be subject to change): 

  • Have a leading position in a civil society organisation or network working toward Sustainable Development Goal 16, within the 2030 Agenda. This can, for example, 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 age of 25 and 45 years old (born 1977 to 1998). 
  • Have a good working knowledge of both written and spoken English. 
  • Be a citizen of Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, 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 the SI Leader Lab is a demanding programme that uses experienced-based learning and reflection as a tool for personal growth. Therefore, it’s recommended that all participants are mentally well-balanced.  

Programme timeline

  • Submission period for applications: 1 – 30 November 2022 
  • Selection period: 16 December 2022 – 15 January 2023
  • Notification of acceptance: 16 January 2023 
  • Online workshops and coaching: Mid-February – April 2023 
  • Onsite sessions in Stockholm (3 regions, 90+ participants): 2 – 10 May 2023 (incl. travel days)   
  • Programme wrap up, online: Early June 2023  

Costs covered and arranged by Swedish Institute

  • Your flights to and from Stockholm.   
  • Your accommodation and meals in Stockholm during the programme in Sweden 
  • Your insurance during the programme Stockholm during the programme in Sweden.   
  • All training material 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
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: