Emerging young leaders from 8 Arab countries are gathering today in Amman, Jordan, for the “Debate to Action: Communications and Leadership Programme”. The programme is the first of its kind backed by a far-reaching institutional partnership, which is providing a platform for Arab youth leaders to engage with professional journalists, senior leaders, and European peers.

It is also the first time alumni have jointly participated from "Young Arab Voices" and "NET-MED Youth", two of the region's flagship youth programmes providing opportunities, tools, and capacity building for young women and men in the region.

The Communications and Training Programme has been designed as part of “Debate to Action”, a strategic research and development project funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and focused on the role of youth leadership and debate in promoting socio-economic participation. The programme is organised by the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF), the Jordan Media Institute (also through hosting media sessions) and Common Purpose International in partnership with the British Council (co-manager of Young Arab Voices), UNESCO (through the EU-funded Networks of Mediterranean Youth project, NET-MED Youth) and the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid. The World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid is drawing on the unique democratic leadership experience of its Members, and will be inviting Club de Madrid Member Zlako Lagumdzija Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The “Debate to Action” Communications and Leadership Programme brings together young emerging leaders from across eight Arab countries, in addition to international institutions, media mentoring networks, and European peers. The overarching aim of the programme is to develop the participants’ ability to make their voice heard in the public realm and to turn their ideas into action.

The programme combines innovative methodologies to support the participants to work together in a fresh and exciting way, with a focus on tackling a common challenge relevant to societies to the south and north of the Mediterranean. The challenge for this training is “How can we make a step change in the ability of young leaders to get their messages across?”, exposing the trainees to new approaches to advocacy and communication.

The challenge set for the programme aims at helping participants to grow as leaders and ambassadors for dialogue in their region, build social capital, grow their media skills, develop their influencing and advocacy skills, enhance and stretch their analytical and creative skills, and develop their Cultural Intelligence. The programme includes expert training and mentoring sessions with professional journalists and media experts, and practical sessions with decision-makers and senior leaders.