Central Leadership-in-Action Projects 2024

A showcase of the centrally offered Leadership-in-Action projects for summer 2024.
Central Leadership-in-Action Projects 2024

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Dear Scholars, 

Below is a list of projects offered jointly, across all universities for your 2024 Leadership-in-Action experience. Each project has a specific application process. Click Find Out More under the project you are interested in to view the separate room all about the project where you can find out further particulars and a link to the application form for that partner organisation. Please note, you may only apply for ONE PROJECT at a time (and if successful, there is an expectation that you will take up your place on that project). If your application is unsuccessful, you will be informed and can then apply for a project with one of the other three partner organisations.

Rating Scale:

To support you in finding the most suitable Leadership in Action experience for you, we have provided a rating on a scale of 1 (easy) - 5 (challenging) for the following criteria:

  • Social & Political Situation
  • Challenging Physical Environment
  • Complexity: including cultural complexity, level of project structure, and untested, breakthrough initiatives
  • Group or individual-based
  • Level of individual initiative required



The Kasiisi Project


The Timothy Smith Network


makesense logo


🚀 Registration deadline: Jan 30th, 2024  -  Register here!

The make_sense projects will boost your leadership through Design Thinking methodology, which you will also be able to apply in your future professional life. Scholars will be joining a global community of more than 100,000 young people generating impact.

Project 1: Climate Change and Its Social Impact

SummaryWith more than 20 million people living in Mexico City, the negative impact of climate change is a priority challenge for leaders and activists. Impacts can be seen in air quality, water and energy security. as well as constant change in the social tissue.

This leadership in action seeks to support social perspectives to understand and tackle climate change. Scholars will collaborate with environmental entrepreneurs and local organizations to develop a project plan and mobilize volunteers to implement it together. Join the Mexico experience to build creative ways to raise awareness and drive positive change in key areas: circular economy, waste management, promotion of sustainable practices and empowerment of local communities.

Based in: Mexico 

Project 2: Indigenous Communities and Empowerment of Minority Groups

SummaryWith more than 71 indigenous ethnicities, Peru is a country that has learned the importance of building innovative approaches to engage, collaborate and include its native communities in all sectors. Scholars will collaborate with entrepreneurs and local organizations to develop a project plan and mobilize volunteers to implement it together. Join the Peru experience to build creative ways through which minority communities can be given better opportunities to prosper and preserve their cultures.

Based in: Peru 

Project 3: Peace and Social Resilience

SummaryAs the most innovative city in the world in 2013, Medellin offers a great opportunity to explore new ways in which a society rebuild its bonds, integrate previously rejected communities and see culture as a path to bring peace. This leadership initiative provides an immersive experience in initiatives that promote citizen engagement, social inclusion, and cultural transformation. Scholars will partner with local entrepreneurs and organizations to develop a project plan and mobilize volunteers to implement it together. Join the Medellin experience and become part of initiatives that have contributed to this city’s reputation as one of the most socially innovative places in the world.

Based in: Colombia

Find Out More About the make_sense Projects in the make_sense LiA Room 👉

Kasiisi project logo

The Kasiisi Project   

🚀 Join a discovery session to learn more about Kasiisi

Friday, November 3 at 9 am Eastern.

Join using this link.

Project 1: Village Health Team Training

Summary: For Scholars, the goal of this Leadership in Action health team is multifaceted. First, they will support our existing health programs by working with our Ugandan team to lead health education in our 16 partner primary schools. Additionally, they will help create a video project that highlights the impact of our girls’ health initiatives. Second, Scholars will travel with our mobile clinic to remote areas to assist in intake of patients seeking medical care. Finally, they will continue the past work of Laidlaw Scholars who put together a training handbook for village health workers. During the 2024 cycle, we will distribute these handbooks and continue with their training.

Based in: Uganda  

Project 2: Conservation Education

Summary: The goal of the Leadership in Action conservation team will be to support the existing conservation education activities in our 16 partner primary schools. A focus in 2024 will be a Conservation Career Day series to connect students with Ugandan professionals working in conservation. Scholars will interview conservationists and students, develop activities for school wildlife clubs to complement the speaker part of the Conservation Career Day series, and produce a short film to document the program. In addition, the scholars will help organize a World Chimpanzee Day celebration and assist our elephant and bee conservation efforts by monitoring beehives that have been placed along the forest edge as deterrents to elephants traveling outside of the forest and into local farms. We have an ongoing project examining the health of these hives and the value and perception of these hives to people living on the edge of the forest. Scholars will assist us in collecting and analyzing data for this project.

Based in: Uganda


Project 3: Cultural Storytelling

Summary: The area of western Uganda where the Kasiisi Project operates is home to the Batooro people who have a rich cultural heritage including the use of Empaakos or ‘pet names’ which have been recognized by UNESCO on their list of Intangible Cultural Heritage Practices. Working closely with our project staff, this Leadership in Action culture team will explore the culture of the region through stories. Building off of work done by previous Laidlaw teams, Scholars will use previously recorded traditional stories and work with primary school students to collate and illustrate these stories in a book for school libraries to encourage the re-telling of stories that are fading with cultural change. Scholars will also create and catalog visual assets that support this and other Kasiisi Project programs. We currently have a conservation storytelling project underway involving village elders and students. Scholars will support this work by helping to analyze collected stories for conservation and other themes of interest.

Based in: Uganda

Find Out More About the Kasiisi Projects in The Kasiisi Project LiA Room 👉



Project: CraftHER

Summary: Imagine seeing someone in New York, London, or Amsterdam carrying a Swara tote bag and knowing you played a pivotal role in making it happen.  Welcome to "CraftHER," an extraordinary opportunity for Laidlaw Scholars to shape a growing social enterprise that will bring handcrafted art and craft products from rural Kerala to the global stage. "CraftHER" is not just about business; it's about creating a bridge between rural women artisans and the world, empowering them and leaving a lasting impact on the ethical fashion and lifestyle industry.

Based in: Kerala, India

Find Out More About CraftHER in the Swara LiA Room 👉

Timothy Smith Network logo

Timothy Smith Network 

Project 1: Elevating Agricultural Technology

Summary: Students enrolled in EAT will focus on product design and development to elevate and create an indoor garden device that aims to help their community combat food insecurity. These technologies must solve an issue including lighting, water, and pest control. EAT students will gain an awareness of
local, state, and national initiatives focused on food insecurity, current urban gardening practices, and participate in a robust guest speaker series that includes community members, medical professionals, urban farmers, and government representatives. They will also participate in design thinking workshops, explore NASA and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) patents, learn product design utilizing CAD software and rapid prototyping techniques, program electronic components, and use 3D printing technologies.

Based in: Greater Boston area, US

Project 2: Digital Design Intensive

Summary: TSN will be conducting another iteration of its Digital Design Intensive project-based program to prepare students participating for a digital and visual communications career for technology educational pathways. Participating students will be exposed to digital and product design creation platforms during this three-module program including creating a personal brand and program portfolio website while learning social media graphic design, 3D modelling, and digital sketching. Students will be taught to utilize small business-approved open-source platforms such as Wix, Canva, TinkerCAD, Paint 3D, and Google Sites.

Based in: Greater Boston area, US

Project 3: Administrative & Programme Development Support

Summary: TSN is looking for an administrative and program development support intern who will work with the Managing Director to conduct a STEAM program gap analysis and curriculum outline. The gap analysis will focus on evaluating the local STEAM education ecosystem including creating a directory of organization, facilitating a meeting with TSN Executive Director and Managing Director and key community partners, and suggesting and creating new Boston Design Academy programs to fill and address skills gaps.

This position is ideal for candidates interested in working in community-based non-profits with community leaders, students, and families. Also, the selected scholar will be working alongside executive management in a hybrid capacity including attending executive, board, and staff meetings to understand the infrastructure of the organization.

Based in: Greater Boston area, US

Find Out More About The TSN Projects in The Timothy Smith Network LiA Room 👉

Timothy Smith Network logo


Project 1: Making Impact Visible

Summary: SOS Children’s Villages started working in Nepal in the late 1960s, a diverse nation in the heart of the Himalayas. For about 55 years, we have been giving children without parental care a loving home. In addition, we strengthen vulnerable families, so that their children can grow up in a stable, caring environment. Our teams work with children and families at ten locations throughout the country. 
To promote our work, we rely on up-to-date material that showcases what we do on-site. Testimonials from coworkers and beneficiaries in Nepal, reports, and images are vital to inform current and potential donors about how their contributions are used, and to ensure their future support.

“Making Impact Visible” is a rare opportunity for students to make a hands-on contribution to the work of an international non-governmental organization – and the lives of vulnerable children. By creating photos and videos to share with our supporters, you will experience up-close how we implement programs for children, youth and families, ranging from alternative care to education, medical, and income-strengthening measures. 

Based in: Nepal, with time spent in Kathmandu, Itahari and/Pokhara

Requirements for application:
-    Proven experience in either photography or video production and editing (ideally both)
-    Experience in VR-compatible video production is an advantage
-    Police certificate of good conduct
-    Fluency in English
-    Interest in children’s rights

Find Out More About The Making Impact Visible Project in The SOS-Kinderdorf LiA Room 👉

If you have any questions, please get in touch with your University's Laidlaw team.

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