Education | Green infrastructure

Green Leader – the training and advisory programme

Green Leader is a pilot training and advisory program of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, implemented by the Sendzimir Foundation. The program aims 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 harm all of us. We are facing the challenge of limiting them and identifying new, more sustainable ways of developing our communities.

Therefore, we invite 15 local leaders from NGOs, local governments, and their teams to participate in the pilot program from March to October 2021. To qualify for 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 work on a solution to a local problem significant 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) and individual consulting (4 days) for each team invited to participate. As a result, 15 practical projects will be developed and prepared for implementation. In addition, we will emphasise providing the participants with the knowledge and skills to apply for funding of their ideas from the European Green Deal and 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 the 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 to change the practices of their organisations/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 analyse the situation and learn about inspiring solutions and good practices. On that basis, they will develop an initiative/project/action plan to solve the problem.
  • Change leadership is realised in cooperation with the School for Leaders Foundation. The aim is to strengthen the awareness and raise the competencies of leaders and their team members. They will learn to implement change, i.e. mapping resources helpful in introducing change, building a team necessary to introduce change, dialogue with stakeholders, and the local community, dealing with resistance, and building support for change. We will pay special attention to the issue of the leader and his conviction to change, credibility in this process and coping with the frequent problem of the leader’s “loneliness” in the change process.
  • Possible sources and schemes of funding for the developed projects and initiatives.

Consulting support

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

Study visits

Leaders, together with their teams, will have the opportunity to apply for financing the costs of a study visit abroad. Five grants for study visits will be awarded to enable the 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 organising 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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