Every individual and organisation can play a positive role.
In 2019 UPG successfully trained 60 UPG Sustainability Leaders from 30 countries around the world. They have gone on to train over 4,000 people (and counting) and to implement projects within their communities. Learn more on this site and in the 2019 UPGSL Report.

For 2021 UPG is training and certifying 500 young leaders from all over the world and flying 60 of them to a FREE, complementary and immersive 1-week experience on an island in the USA: the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership. If this could be you or someone that you know, then take action and apply now or share this link.
UPG Sustainability Leadership is FREE for young people thanks to the wonderful support of our Partners who believe in positive citizen leadership on sustainability.

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UPG Sustainability Leadership - Taking Action
UPG Sustainability Leadership is about positive citizen leadership on sustainability. It is a movement that encourages and enables citizens at all levels to take positive action. A movement inspired by the UPG’s commitment to do what we can with what we have, rather than wait for someone else to act. It is accurate to think of UPG Sustainability Leadership as a state of mind. UPG believes that sustainability includes BOTH the usual “green” issues such as planting trees, recycling waste, managing energy, protecting the oceans AND that it also includes other issues that have been central to our societies for a long time such as: education, health, jobs, gender equality, sustainable consumption, sustainable production and more. For those who are familiar with it, UPG uses the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  as a guide.

This initiative is currently comprised of several activities which appear below and which are described further below. Please explore and join any part of the initiative that you can contribute to.

Sustainability Leaders

This program began in 2019 with 60 people from around the world trained as Sustainability Leaders. Flights, accommodation and training costs were all covered. These 60 Leaders committed to two objectives within the communities that they inhabit:

-Lead personal projects of their own choice

-Deliver training sessions to other Sustainability Leaders

Stay connected
Please contact us with the form above with any enquiries or to receive the latest news. And for regular general updates, please follow us on your favourite social media platforms:

2019 UPG sustainability Testimonials

UPG sustainability leaders Information

With the support of courageous people and organisations, a total of 60 leaders, aged 18 to 35, from 31 countries in 7 world regions came together at the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership in Penobscot  Bay,  Maine, to learn about sustainability in an immersive environment during a full week.

The first generation of UPG Sustainability Leaders was composed of 32 women and 28 men who were trained over three separate cohorts, in June, August, and September. Their training included a primer on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs) and also on how to use UPG’s Four Pillars to move from “ideals and goals” to “positive action”.

After certification, the 2019 class of Sustainability Leaders has already trained more than 4,000 citizens through local mini-training sessions in universities, schools, organisations, and communities across the world.

Access Past UPG sustainability leaders' Projects


For UPG Sustainability Leadership in 2021, we have decided to bring this incredible training to up to 500 young leaders all over the world via an online program.

The syllabus includes training in project management, stakeholder engagement, communication, digital communications, and much more. Sustainability Leaders also explore how sustainability is related to economics, politics, law, culture, technology, education, and more.

After completing the online training, all UPG Sustainability Leaders will receive a certification, and 60 of them will have the chance to attend to a complementary 1-week training at Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, in the USA, in summer 2021.

*Covid-19 pandemic regulations permitting.

“The goal of this training is to increase the capacity of UPG Sustainability Leaders to lead at least one project of their own choosing in their community. In addition, upon the conclusion of this training, UPG Sustainability Leaders conduct a secondary wave of mini-training sessions within their communities; contributing to a ground swell of informed citizens taking positive action and demonstrating sustainability leadership.”


The following conditions apply to prospective candidates who are interested in becoming UPG Sustainability Leaders.

You demonstrate a strong motivation to become UPG Sustainability Leader combined with strong capabilities and you also have initial ideas that can have impact.

Your age is minimum 18 years or maximum 35 years by 1 October 2021. This ensures that all participants are within this age group for the duration of the training and experiences that are planned.

UPG is looking for young determined people from all different paths of life and regions of the world. From well-experienced professionals to freshly graduated students.

The selection process considers four factors:
A. Your Profile – this helps us to strive for diversity
B. Your Motivation – we select the most motivated
C. Your Capabilities and
D. The Potential for Impact

UPG Champions have an advantage in the process as they demonstrate the required motivation. UPG Champions that are part of a local “Community of Champions” or Champions who are from a organisation that is a UPG Champion also have an advantage in the selection process as this contributes to a supportive environment for their work.


OCT. 0 ,2020
Application Begins
DEC. 0 ,2020
Application Deadline
FEB. 0 ,2021
Selection Announcement
MAR. 0 ,2021
Opening UPGSL 2021 Online Program
MAY 0 ,2021
Closure UPGSL 2021 Online Program
JUNE 0 ,2021
Invitations begin for 60 UPG Sustainability Leaders to go to Hurricane Island

UPG Sustainability Leadership Application

Thank you for your interest. Applications for the Class of 2021 are closed and we invite you to follow us for updates about many ways to be part of #UPGSustainability. You can follow us on social media or signup for updates or contact us

At this time, Partners and selected collaborators are able to submit applications ahead of an extended deadline by using a password


What is the UPG Sustainability Leadership Program?

UPG Sustainability Leadership mobilises people and organisations to support Positive Citizen Leadership on Sustainability. We bring together people who are committed to impact by taking positive actions. In 2021 UPG is training and certifying 500 young leaders from all over the world and flying 60 of them to a FREE, complementary and immersive 1-week experience on an island in the USA: the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership.

How Do I Apply?

To apply, head over to https://act.unitedpeople.global/upg-sustainability-leadership/ and click APPLY NOW. You will be directed to an online application form which you can complete.

How do I complete the application form?

• Applications must be completed online; applications that are mailed, faxed or emailed to UPG will not be accepted

• Questions that are marked with a red asterisk are mandatory and must be answered

• Individuals may only submit one application. If an applicant submits two applications using different email addresses, then the individual will be disqualified

What are the Eligibility Requirements to apply?

• Candidates must be 18-35 years of age

• Candidates must be self-motivated, capable of overcoming major challenges and able to think outside the box

• Applicants from all nationalities are eligible to apply

• Candidates from all genders and candidates with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Is there a language requirement to apply?

Yes. All applicants to the UPGSL program will need to have a good understanding of English to apply. Application forms, all training and all supporting materials will be in English so to get the most out of the program a strong English language capability is required.

I am 35 years old now, can I still apply?

Applications are welcome from all candidates who will be a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 35 years of age on 1 October 2021. This ensures that all candidates are within this age group for the duration of the training and experiences that are planned.

I am 17 years old now, can I still apply?

Applications are welcome from all candidates who will be a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 35 years of age on 1 October 2021. This ensures that all candidates are within this age group for the duration of the training and experiences that are planned.

What are the selection criteria for UPG Sustainability Leadership Program?

Competition for the UPGSL is merit-based.

How can I make my application more competitive? Or How can I increase my chances of being selected as a UPG Sustainability Leader?
  • You can become a UPG Champion. Becoming a UPG Champion indicates to us that you are already doing your part to spread ideas of peace and sustainability wherever you are based. To learn more about becoming a UPG Champion, click the link here.
  • Make a Goodwill Vow. Making a Goodwill Vow is an easy way to stand out from the crowd. Goodwill Vows makes philanthropy more accessible to all.
What is an Affiliate Institution and is it mandatory to include one?

An Affiliate Institution is a School or University that commits to engage in sharing the news about the UPG Sustainability Leadership Program with its network. The first 50 Affiliate Institutions worldwide which mobilize at least 50 applications get at least 1 seat secured for the 2021 class (this means that at least one applicant from their network will be selected to become a UPG Sustainability Leader).

It is optional to nominate an Affiliate Institution, but applicants that do so have an advantage in the selection process.

How many institutes we should affiliate?

You can nominate as many institutions as you want and our team will make contact with them, but nominating more institutions does not mean more additional bonus points.

What happens if two people affiliate the same institute?

There is no problem in having duplicated nominations, the bonus point is related to the engagement of the applicant into generating impact and it is not linked to if the institution becomes an Affiliate or not.

Do we need recommendation letter from college/institute?

No, you just need to inform the name of the institution and, if available, the contact e-mail. The UPGSL internal team will take care of getting in contact.

Do I have to upload a video and how do I do this?
  • Yes, we would strongly advise you to include a video as part of your application. This is an opportunity to add personality to your application and for us to get to know you better. To upload a video, create a video on YouTube and share the video link with us here: https://act.unitedpeople.global/share-content/. Please provide all details requested when uploading you video, specifically your name and the purpose of the upload i.e. UPG Sustainability Leadership.
Will the UPG Sustainability Leadership training be offered online or in-person?

The 2021 cycle of the UPG Sustainability Leadership program will be offered entirely online. This means you can participate from wherever you are in the world. From our 500 selected participants, 60 will be chosen to join a one week immersive trip to Hurricane Island* to continue their learning at the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership.*Covid-19 restrictions allowing

What is meant by 'Mini-training sessions' and 'Sustainability Related Project'?

UPG Sustainability Leaders commit themselves to execute at least one SDG related local project and host one mini-training session in their community to share the knowledge they have gained as part of the program.

  • A mini-training session is a one-tie event where the UPG Sustainability Leader runs a training session in their local community, a school or organisation (usually between 1-2 hours) to raise awareness about the SDGs and/or about the sustainability-related project.

  • The project is something broader that will not only raise awareness but also impact your local community and it usually involves actions.

  • Sustainability Leaders will be provided with the tools to carry out this project and training as part of the program.

When will I know if I have been selected to participate in the UPG SL Program?

Applications close on the 31st December 2020. Applicants can expect to hear the outcome of their application by 31st January 2021.

What will it cost to join the UPG Sustainability Leadership Program?

Nothing. Participation in UPGSL is FREE for selected participants. All 500 participants will receive online training free of charge and all will be certified as UPG Sustainability Leaders after completion of the course.

Participants selected for the 1 week immersive excursion will have the costs of the program covered – training material, accommodation, subsistence, local transportation, international flights (a round trip flight from participant’s home town to the US);

I have been selected to go to Hurricane Island in the USA. Will my Visa costs be covered?
  • No. Visas are not included in the costs of the program, and selected applicants are entirely responsible for covering these expenses. UPG will send visa application letters to assist with the process (if necessary).
I have a question that has not been answered in the FAQs, where can I contact UPG SL?

You can contact us here  and we will get back to you shortly.

Our Partners & Supporters

Supporters and UPG Champions who all make this possible. Please contact us if you would like to collaborate with us in any way.

Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in UPG Sustainability Leadership. Let us move together on the journey to a more sustainable world. Please contact us with any comments, questions, ideas and suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you.

UPGSL Contact Us

Information Session

UPG Sustainability Leadership hosts regular Information sessions for stakeholders. If you would like to be informed of future information sessions that may be open to you, please submit the contact form above.

We thank you all who took part in our information sessions in November and December. In the next few days, the last recorded session is now available on our website. View Here