What if ... ?

… there were more spaces for young people to explore what really drives them and matters to them?

What if ... ?

… more effort was devoted to help youth workers grow as leaders, followers, human beings?

What if ... ?

… leadership was not used to put others down, but rather to lift people up and use it for something larger than oneself? ​

Well, we thought, Why not?

The need for good leaders is universal and timeless across the human experience. It is our firm belief that… 

there is a need for aware, skilled and value-driven leadership!

And that this need might be greater than ever in today’s increasingly complex and highly interconnected world.


because, only when we look, explore and reflect with an open mind, we can question our status quo and begin to notice qualities and aspects ready for change.


because, only with the tools to catalyze action and experience to guide our judgement, we can lead capably and allow ourselves to grow beyond our perceived limits.


because, only when we know where our inner compass points to, we can inspire others to follow in that direction and, in doing so, lift them up with us.

Today, and increasingly so in the future, it is expected of a leader to be aware of their own values, to promote peace, diversity, and sustainability wherever possible, and to always put people in the focus. Leading for a peaceful, inclusive and sustainable world is, and has always been, in the core of YFU’s mission.

Looking around, however, both in YFU and elsewhere, we notice a distinct gap between what the world expects of its leaders and what they are actually being prepared for. Because leadership doesn’t begin with an organization or a position, it begins with the individual.

It begins with you.
Warren Bennis

Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself.

It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult.

Warren Bennis

— Pioneer in the field of Leadership Studies

The powerful idea

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Every person has the capacity to positively influence the world around them, creating ripple effects amongst friends, family, school, community – as well as in arenas that extend far beyond their immediate proximity. We believe it is essential to empower youth workers with the necessary tools and networks to do this. The foundation of this changemaking is personal leadership: a person’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to their ability to lead themselves and others.

However, it is our firm view that the development of one’s personal leadership cannot simply be reduced to being a byproduct of their work and commitments for organisations. On the contrary, it is a whole field of competence of its own that needs to be actively nourished.

This simple, yet profoundly powerful insight is what sparked the conception of the Value-driven Advanced LEadership (VALE) course. With this course, we have aimed to bring the participants with us on a profound learning journey to better understand and develop their personal leadership skills, to help them become the value-driven leaders our common future needs.

As a leader in intercultural exchange and youth empowerment for more than 60 years, YFU constantly provides opportunities for youth workers to practice and develop their leadership. Over the course of decades of YFU’s existence, many young people have emerged from our different programs and career paths as competent leaders.

With the VALE, we aim to give these individuals the chance to further deepen their awareness of their values and approach to leadership, to level up their skill sets, and to equip them with the drive to bring these newfound insights into their own future projects.


Our goal has not been to create a regular training course. From the outset we’ve been determined to create something more than that: An experience with lessons that can be applied to all aspects of life, and a journey, with challenges to reflect and continuously grow. We have built the course that we would be beyond excited to attend ourselves – a journey of a lifetime that we’d want everyone to participate in.

Our Goal

We go
a regular

what if ... ?

all of this was actually happening? 

The real answer to that question was just too intriguing to be left unexplored.
We wanted to find out for ourselves and are now on the verge of making this a reality.

This project is a work of passion and we hope this project marks just the beginning of a value-driven leadership movement from YFU outwards; a movement we have every intention of continuing to be in the forefront of.

And as we now continue on this adventure of exciting exploration and growth,
we invite you to follow us along the way.
We’re so glad to have you here.