Young Professionals Program

A SDG leadership journey that rewires your thinking, transforms your mindset and creates positive impact!

“I am honoured to carry the mission of the UN Global Compact forward in its efforts to mobilize businesses through its Ten Principles and in support of the Sustainable Development Goals” 

Sanda Ojiambo

Executive Director and CEO of the United Nations Global Compact

“It is abundantly clear that a much deeper, faster and more ambitious response is needed to unleash the social and economic transformation needed to achieve our 2030 goals”

António Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General

68 young professionals from these organizations already participated

Global Compact Network Netherlands proudly  presents the renewed and enhanced Young Professionals Program (YPP)*. This advanced leadership program is based on action-learning. It is specifically designed for future leaders that are eager to:

Embark on an exciting SDG-journey and step out of their comfort zone

Be part of a mixed team of young professionals that makes a difference

Transform from an individual contributor to a high-performing team player

Discover how to unlock game-changing potential in themselves and others

DISTINCTIVE ADVANCED LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

During a period of 12 months, you are working and learning in a multidisciplinary team of 8 to 12 young talented professionals coming from different organizations to work on three key learning objectives :

  • Understanding what the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are about and together with your team deliver an impactful and innovative SDG project.
  • Building and sustaining an effective multidisciplinary and cross-company team, getting insights in team building, team roles, team performance and team dynamics, understanding your own role within and contribution to the team.
  • Developing leadership skills that will contribute to become an inspiring, sensitive, innovative, effective and responsible business leader.
Sofia Teles

Sofia Teles

ING

Matthijs Pluimers

Matthijs Pluimers

PostNL

Lotte Jongstra

Lotte Jongstra

SNS Bank

Yorick Schut

Yorick Schut

Philips

Felicitas van Alphen

Felicitas van Alphen

Shell

Have a look at the testimonials of some of the former participants

Sofia Teles

Sofia Teles

ING

Matthijs Pluimers

Matthijs Pluimers

PostNL

Lotte Jongstra

Lotte Jongstra

SNS Bank

Have a look at the testimonials of some of the former participants

DEVELOPING ESSENTIAL LEADERSHIP SKILLS


The YPP is a smart and effective concept that stimulates the development of a unique set of core leadership skills. The top 10 soft skills participants are empowered to work on are:

  1. Strategic, analytical thinking and (social) innovation
  2. Collaboration, team building and team dynamics
  3. Creativity, originality and initiative
  4. Reasoning, problem solving and ideation
  5. Listening skills, judgement and decision making
  6. Effective communication and dealing with feedback
  7. Persuasion and result driven project management 
  8. Adaptability, cognitive flexibility and self reflection
  9. Emotional intelligence
  10. Leadership and social influence

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

The YPP is primarily designed to target high-performing young talent at organizations participating in the UN Global Compact. The program is in 2020 also open for top talent from non-member public and private organizations. However, there are only limited spaces for organizations that are not a member of UN Global Compact.

For the teams that are kicking-off in June 2021 we have 30 spaces available. So, if you are eager to join, don’t hesitate and apply now. We are seeking for young professionals who are:

  • Aged between 25-35
  • Based in the Netherlands
  • Have at least 3 years of professional working experience
  • Have the commitment and permission to invest 1 working day each month (for the total program 12 working days)
  • Are highly motivated and have a genuine Interest in sustainability, the SDGs, innovation and teamwork
Jan van den Herik

Jan van den Herik

Executive Team Coach and Program Director

My purpose is to inspire business leaders to make a difference!

In my role as Executive Team Coach I am empowering and stretching future leaders to go beyond the ordinary.

Click here for more information.

+31 (0)6 51222450

jan@teampactor.nl

Marco Swan

Marco Swan

Program Manager

My purpose is to create a sustainable transformation together!

In my role as Program Manager I am the primary contact and I am responsible for a smooth operation of the YPP.

+31 (0)6 51146829

swan@gcnetherlands.nl

Linda van Beek

Linda van Beek

Executive Director

My wish is to engage as many entrepreneurs as possible with the Sustainable Development Goals.

In my role as Executive Director, I am responsible for the integration of the Young Professionals Program in Global Compact Network Netherlands.

beek@gcnetherlands.nl

SDG PROJECTS & DELIVERABLES OF THE FIRST FOUR PILOT TEAMS:

Team 1 (2017-2018)

One of the two first YPP-teams that participated in the pilot phase of the YPP focused their project on SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

The team made a deep dive on the issue of Food Waste. Each year, an estimated one third of all food produced – equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes worth around $1 trillion – ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices.

Their final deliverable was an impactful Global Waste Dinner to raise awareness around this important issue. The event took place at the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam. With inspiring speakers like Ron Simpson of the Avocado Show and Maurits Groen van Kipster and a dinner made of food waste served on signs of Amsterdam rejected trees. And in collaboration with BrightVibes the YPP-team created online content to further increase awareness!”

Team 2 (2017-2018)

In 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for a safer, cleaner and more prosperous world by 2030. The second YPP-team that kicked off in 2017 decided to generate greater awareness about the SDG agenda and get everyone involved. The YPP-team created a board game that has been developed for companies throughout the world, to be played by managers and employees in all positions at all levels. To learn about the SDGs in a light-hearted and competitive way.

The YPP-team was responsible for content development and for the game dynamics in close collaboration with the company ‘Identity Games International BV’. The YPP-team tested the first versions of the SDG Game with stakeholder groups (nationally and internationally) and learned how to improve the SDG Game with the feedback given by these stakeholders. The SDG Game was finally produced by Identity Games International BV and financed by Global Compact Network Netherlands.

Team 3 (2018-2019)

Within the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest sustainability initiative, businesses and their stakeholders join forces with the United Nations to create a world that is more sustainable and socially equitable. In this enormous global network of private and public organizations millions of young professionals are active. But how involved are these highly talented future leaders with UN Global Compact, the Ten Principles and the SDGs? And how could the involvement of the upcoming leaders with the SDG agenda be further stimulated and activated?

The YPP-team that started their leadership journey in 2018 did thorough research and discovered that there is a huge potential to engage and involve the next generation of leaders actively. The YPP-team developed a vison document to set-up a global movement of young professionals under the flag and umbrella of UN Global Compact. At the international Local Networks meetings of UN Global Compact in Dubrovnik and in Copenhagen they presented their plan to create a global SDG Young Leaders Network. The first step forward is that UN Global Compact created and launched the SDG Young Innovators Programme in 2019. And in 2020 a SDG Young Leaders Board was formed and formally installed within the governance structure of Global Compact Network Netherlands.

Team 4 (2019-2020)

The last YPP-team that participated in the pilot phase of the YPP focused their project on the SDG Ambition. SDG Ambition is an accelerator initiative that aims to challenge and support participating companies of the UN Global Compact in setting ambitious corporate targets and accelerating integration of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into core business management. The need for SDG Ambition today is clear. The world is not delivering progress towards the SDGs at the pace and scale needed. 

The YPP-team decided in the second phase of their learning journey to organize an inspiring virtual event for young professionals. An event from young professionals for young professionals, with the slogan: ‘Get Involved, Get Inspired, Take Action!’ The aim of the event was to help and inspire young professionals to draw up their personal SDG Ambition. The YPP-team wanted to enable young professionals like themselves to learn more about the SDGs, understand how they can contribute best to the goal of their choice, hence translate their ambition into daily work and projects, involving their colleagues and management.

SDG PROJECTS OF THE CURRENT TEAMS

Team 5 – Listen Up – June 2020

The Listen Up team is going to deliver an inspiring Podcast. Listen Up is a short podcast series about making great choices for a better future. How can we as individuals all make a little bit of a difference in our daily lives to contribute to a healthy, fair and sustainable planet? We are all consumers and we can make choices in our household, in the supermarkets and shops, online, in the way we travel to work or are going on holiday, how we use energy, produce waste or try to reduce our individual footprint. Listen Up is trying to find answers.

Although most people want to make fair choices and contribute to a better and sustainable world, it is not easy. Not easy at all. Making great choices for a sustainable future seems to go along with dilemmas. As individuals we are often confronted with the dilemma for example between the citizen and the consumer. As a citizen you are convinced that sustainability is the right way forward. But as a consumer you seem to make total different choices. Choices that are not in line with what the citizen in you is convinced about.

So you often have to make difficult choices as consumer, as professional, as family member. In these defining moments it shows if you really want to change something or that you will stick to your traditional lifestyle and choices. So if you want to make a difference, really go for individual change than be inspired and Listen Up!

Team 6 – Tiny Forest – June 2020

This team of young professionals has set out on a mission to address climate change, biodiversity and the heating issue in urban areas in a tangible way. Partnering with Netherlands-based organisation for nature education, IVN, the team has the goal of planting a Tiny Forest this year, and applying learnings from that experience to collaborate with IVN and develop a corporate strategy: Tiny Forest for Business. To inspire Dutch companies to become a partner and join the Tiny Forest for business movement.

The Tiny Forest concept was initially developed by Shubhendu Sharma (TED Talk: Tiny Forest), and was then adopted by IVN, with the first Tiny Forest being planted in the Netherlands in 2015. Tiny Forests are densely packed native forests, about the size of a tennis court, and can deliver significant benefits to the surrounding community and environment. They boost biodiversity, increase CO₂ uptake, improve local water management, and regulate temperatures. And they’re good for people. As well as giving people the chance to be closer to nature, there are also numerous health and educational benefits.

Check back here later this year to see our results!

Team 7 – Green Gurus – December 2020

As the Green Gurus team we are aiming to address the h, specifically #12: Responsible Consumption and #13: Climate Action. Our problem statement points out the gap between perception and the actual practice of sustainable consumption; people -generally- know about irresponsible consumption patterns and their impact on climate but lack practice in acting sustainably. As the team we want to achieve this by implementing a project which incentivizes the participants to act in line with this perception. Hence our headline mission statement is “to make the most sustainable version of oneself.” The statement might be too ambitious, yet it captures the greater motivation of the project.

Our team consist of young professionals from seven different companies, including Albert Heijn, Shell and Rabobank, which gives us a strong network to collaborate with and implement in our project. Our strongest channel would be Albert Heijn in reaching out to customers and influencing their decisions towards more sustainable ones. We primarily determined our target group as children, aged between 4 to 16, with the reasoning that they have the biggest impact for the future given their long life span, as well as their potential influence on their parents. The age group, or the target group might be altered based on how the project further shapes. So, the essence of our project is to change behavior / set of actions of people.

Team 8 – CoPycat – December 2020

Our idea as CoPycat team is to build a report generator which helps SMEs to make their annual Communication on Progress (CoP). This tackles the following suggested change from the UNGC Informational Note review of the CoP: “Offering support services to meet the new requirements”, in which it is stated that the new CoP should be accompanied by support services for participating businesses, particularly SMEs, such as guidance on how to measure and answer the different questions.

The CoP is often something SMEs have more trouble with than larger companies, as there is less time for such activities that are not directly part of their core business. During our study of CoPs of Dutch SMEs, we noticed that CoPs were often missing or very brief. It seems that SMEs have difficulties in measuring their progress and reporting on their future plans in terms of sustainability. The report generator can make CoP reporting easier for SMEs and simultaneously provide a tool to measure and manage their company progress on sustainability.

We aim to first focus the tool on reporting about the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, which are the basics for the already existing CoP. Next to this we hope to expand the tool, so there will also be more reporting about the SDG’s. Which would make the CoP more integrated with the UN sustainability agenda and the Decade of Delivery for the SDG’s.

In 2016 Global Compact Network Netherlands started the YPP. In the pilot phase (2017-2020) 4 teams of in total 32 participants joined the program. Due to the success of the pilots we decided to renew and further enhance the YPP, and scale it up to offer more young leaders the opportunity to benefit from it. In June and in December 2020, 4 new teams of in total 36 participants joined the renewed and enhanced YPP and started their leadership journey 2020-2021.

PROGRAM BENEFITS

The YPP is designed to engage your organization’s brightest and best talent. In this advanced leadership journey young professionals are challenged on sustainability, teamwork and responsible leadership. Continuous guidance will be offered by a professional team coach.

Good for you

  • Learn about UN Global Compact, the Ten Principles and the SDGs.
  • Get involved in Global Compact Network Netherlands. Have access to a large network of experts, businesses, NGOs, governments and other local networks of UN Global Compact on a global scale.
  • Dare to challenge yourself to work in a multidisciplinary and cross-company team and gain insights in your own contribution and that of other team members to the team’s success.
  • Get guidance from a senior Executive Team Coach with extensive business experience (e.g. Corporate Governance, Sustainability and Strategy & Innovation) that will also help the team to reflect on team dynamics and team performance.
  • Add value to society by accelerating the realization of the SDGs by delivering an impactful project.
  • Become member of the ‘SDG Young Leaders Network’ Global Compact Network Netherlands

Good for your organization

  • Development of essential teamwork and leadership skills will strengthen and empower responsible leadership within your organization.
  • Participants become agents of change. They will support the acceleration and integration of the SDGs and the commitment to sustainability in your business.
  • Strengthen your branding as an employer of choice for top talent.
  • Participants will receive after completion of the program an official certificate.

TIMELINE

Application Deadline:

16 June 2021

Program starts:

As from 27 June 2021

FINANCIAL INVESTMENT

€3.950 ex. VAT

Is the fee for participants from members of UN Global Compact

€4.950 ex. VAT

Is the fee for participants from non-members of UN Global Compact

If a team consists of only Dutch speaking participants the main language of the program will be Dutch.