Community

YES Impact Spin-off's

The impact of the YES is truly global. After the YES, participants return home new skills and knowledge and the motivation to be a change agent. Follow the links below to find out more about some of the businesses, organizations and projects started and implemented by YES Alumni since the year 2000!

Success Stories

Tulsi Giri: ,,I am founder/chief executive officer at Development Voyage Pvt. Ltd. and president at THE BAZAAR Agriculture Cooperative in Pokhara, Nepal. I have initiated ventures like THE BAZAAR: Market for Fairtrade & Organic, Saathi Bio Farm and Organic Living through these companies. I started all those projects after being involved in YES course. It actually provided impetus to my sustainability knowledge to start-up my own ventures and projects. It also provided a network and friends circle around the world that keep you up inspired and motivated in your works towards sustainable communities.“
Louisa Chinyavu Mwenda: ,,My company promotes tender love and care (TLC) for the environment by creating awareness; providing a platform where different people from all over the globe can share experiences and solutions towards environmental conservation and sustainable development and supporting and organizing events and projects linked to the same The YES Switzerland course was a brilliant way to start the year 2015, with new experiences, new friends and definitely the beginning of a new exciting journey in advocating for sustainable development and environmental conservation! I understood very crucial concepts such as sustainable development, land use, systems thinking; and learnt skills and practices as well as different tools like the business & iceberg model which I now use in assessing situations and deriving solutions. Due to the course’s diverse nature, I interacted with wonderful and skilled people from different parts of the globe who I am still in contact with, hence continuing to share experiences and materials necessary for our day-to-day activities. The experience was great as it also exposed me to different traditions, cultures, beliefs and religions. Also, the personal coaching sessions taught me to believe more in myself and to trigger my personal creativity as well as to be positive and innovative hence enriching my personal development. I believe the YES course has equipped me to be a young confident leader and I admit that it is more than a lifetime opportunity which encouraged, motivated and inspired me to take action in promoting sustainability with a mission to enthuse positive change. I look forward to establishing a YES Kenya chapter which is an initiative I have taken, which will aim to actively engage YES Kenya alumni in creating a deeper sensitization and impact in Kenya by promoting and supporting projects linked to sustainability and also create awareness on the YES course to encourage others to participate.“
Guillermo Vidal: ,,Tikari, a peruvian NGO, develops learning centers on permaculture, land management and social development for native Andean communities. At the moment we have a 45ha hands-on learning center in the Sacred Valley near the city of Cusco. We sell farm products to pay for social programs that allows the community to thrive and develop as EcoVillages. At the time of the course I was preparing a Business Plan as the final project for obtaining my Business Management degree at EAE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. I knew I wanted to start an NGO that could help diminishing inequality in my country (Peru) by empowering communities which live under the poverty line. During the course we worked on the concept of an ecovillage and I found in it a great possibility to adapt it to the situation and needs of my country. I finished my Business Plan in November and a couple of days after I was back in Peru starting the project. Now we are a team of 7 plus 2 volunteers working with a community of 200 indigenous peruvians.“
Ana Pantelic: ,,I am the Director of Business and Partnership Development at Fundación Capital, working to promote economic citizenship for low-income and vulnerable people throughout the world. The YES experience is truly that: an experience. For the twenty or so days that the course lasts, you have the change to land in an unfamiliar place and to truly disconnect from your everyday life, only to find yourself enthralled in energetic conversations about changing the world. The like-minded individuals you meet during YES come from all over the world, and you will find that they are even more passionate about changing the world than you are! Their energy is infective! I always say that it´s the people that make up the experience, and this is true for both for the fellow participants and the professors / staff members. The YES course gave me the opportunity to take a break from the routine and to immerse myself in sustainability. Some of the professors taught me new techniques and approaches that I never would have considered (which have later served me greatly in my work), and others provided fodder for further thinking, analyzing sustainability through new and unusual lenses. More than anything, I emphasize that YES is community. I made some amazing friends during the course, some of whom I have met up with again during my later travels. One of them even convinced me to accept a job in her home country of Colombia and has become (along with her large family) one of my best friends. This sort of closeness does not happen in other courses or programs, and it is why I have repeatedly recommended the YES course to any and all who ask (and even those who don´t).“
Ivan Huang: ,,I'm working on a Mini EV Project. Our company is developing a personal transportation vehicle suitable for the 21st century urban environment. We're launching our first Limited Editions, as first step towards commercialization. Also, we are actively looking for exposure on international media. I never have regretted and in fact am grateful to have participated in the YES program. Not only did I meet many great minds from academic and industry, I met also many friends with all kinds of background and cultures, and had so many eye openers of the ultimate challenge of sustainable development; YES also brought real opportunities to put ideas into action. For example I have met with the founders of Southpole, with whom I learn about carbon trading and eventually worked with Southpole on developing Green House Gas emission reduction projects. I also have met Mr. Ernst, the former Environmental minister of Luzern, he introduced me to Prof. Janach and we've been working on our project since. Moreover, the program organizers, especially Prof. Baud has provided incredible support all these years. What is extremely valuable for me is that through meeting the right people and discussing the right topics, I eventually realized what I want to do and what I can do. With a little bit of luck, it is possible to find a pointer or two to make a difference in the world. YES taught me a simple lesson: sustainability is not up in the air, it is down on earth right under our feet.“
Erna Megawati Manna: ,,I just would like to develop and establish biogas plant for household in Sumba to reduce deforestation and provide alternative combustible for energy source. Meanwhile almost every household in Sumba has livestock such pig, cow, horse, or buffalo in their back yard. The goal is it to reduce deforestation and provide an alternative combustible as energy source. The bio-gas project helps to promote the use of a renewable energy that is available in the surrounding, to increase livelihood conditions, to reduce health problem from smog and to save our environment. I would like to thank myclimate (YES) that I got the opportunity to share my knowledge with other colleagues. I am grateful for the scholarships I received for my course with YES. I can proudly say that YES is one of the best experiences in my life. Long live YES!“
Katy Lannas: ,,The purpose of our company is the conservation of wetlands and African wild dogs. We're trying to conserve the remaining wetlands in Harare which are an important water source for the city. We're also protecting African wild dogs from poaching and habitat loss and raising awareness through environmental education in rural communities. YES raised my awareness of sustainable development and connected me to a wide network of like minded people. I went on to work with a sustainable development project in Zimbabwe with UNDP and studied for a year in Switzerland in a project on climate change.“

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