Education | Green infrastructure

Green Leader – training and advisory program

Green Leader is a pilot training and advisory program of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, implemented by the Sendzimir Foundation. The aim of the program is to support local leaders in their activities aimed at environmental protection, adaptation and mitigation of climate change and sustainable development.

Environmental pollution and climate change have a negative impact on all of us. We are facing the challenge of limiting them as well as identifying new, more sustainable ways of developing our communities.

Therefore, we invite 15 local leaders from NGOs as well as local governments, along with their teams to participate in the pilot program from March to October 2021. To qualify to the program the leader has to be active in a local community (administrative district) not larger than 50 thousand inhabitants (in justified cases from cities up to 100,000 inhabitants).

Each of the teams taking part in the project will be working on a solution to a local problem important for their community in one of the following areas:

  • Sustainable waste management at the local level
  • Blue and green infrastructure solutions – local retention, drought and flooding prevention
  • Improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The program will consist of an interactive course (9 days) as well as individual consulting (4 days) for each of the teams invited to participate. As a result, 15 practical projects will be developed and prepared for implementation. An emphasis will be put on providing the participants with the knowledge and skills to apply for funding of their ideas from the European Green Deal as well as other potential funding sources.

Training course curriculum

  • Adaptation and mitigation of climate change and environmental protection at the local and global level.
  • Sustainable development in practice of the institutions that the participants represent. As part of this module, participants working in groups, using the VISIS method, will develop a plan how to change the practices of their organizations / institutions to be more consistent with the principles of sustainable development.
  • Development and implementation of projects for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Participants, supported by the project experts will prepare a diagnosis of a local problem on which they plan to work under the program; they will then use a systems approach to analyze the situation as well as learn about inspiring solutions and good practices. On that basis they will develop an initiative / project / action plans to solve the problem.
  • Change leadership, realised in cooperation with the School for Leaders Foundation. The aim is to strengthen the awareness and raise the competences of leaders and their team members in implementing change, i.e. mapping resources useful in introducing change, building a team necessary to introduce change, dialogue with stakeholders, local community, dealing with resistance, building support for change. We will pay special attention to the issue of the leader himself and his conviction to change, credibility in this process and coping with the frequent problem of the leader’s “loneliness” in the process of change.
  • Possible sources and schemes of funding for the developed projects and initiatives.

Consulting support

From April till August 2021, the Foundation’s experts will offer support to project participants in their work on the practical project, so that at the end of the program they will be ready for implementation. This support may include a variety of activities, such as: specialist consulting, stakeholder dialogue facilitation, advice on the preparation of a project application for a specific grant competition. Each team, depending on its needs, can benefit from support for up to 4 days (32 hours) during the entire program.

Study visits

Leaders, together with their teams participating in the program, will have the opportunity to apply for financing the costs of a study visit abroad. 5 grants for study visits will be awarded to enable transfer of innovative solutions, establishing cooperation with European partners, and, if possible, the preparation of ideas for joint pro-environmental projects. Program participants will receive support in finding partners, identifying good practices and organizing trips.

Project’s team

Maria Wiśnicka – project coordinator

Judyta Łuczyńska – organizational and communication support

Tomasz Bergier – blue and green infrastructure program expert;

Karolina Maliszewska – training specialist, certified facilitator of the VISIS method;

Agnieszka Czachowska – trainer, architect, certified facilitator of the VISIS method;

Agata Pietrzyk-Kaszyńska – trainer, certified facilitator of the VISIS method;

Advisory board for the Green Leader program

Przemysław Radwan – School for Leaders Foundation

Izabela Zygmunt – Wise Europe Institute

Agnieszka Warso-Buchanan – Client Earth / Lawyers for Earth

Tomasz Pezold-Knezevic – WWF Poland

Iwona Wagner – University of Lodz

Łukasz Pawlik – Green Areas management of the city of Krakow

Marta Babicz – National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management

The pilot Green Leader project is financed under the Program“Monitoring, Evaluation and Analysis (MEVA) 2021-2022” of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation.

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