This is the 2nd post in our Future Leaders Summit 4 series. Read the previous posts:

Our new participants

“A better quality of life, one that values identity, culture and biodiversity” – one Future Leader’s dream for the future

What matters to our future leaders

What matters to our future leaders

We’re excited to report that the 2017 Future Leaders program received a record number of applications! Our Summit 4 participants are an incredibly strong and diverse group of young Peruvian leaders, including economists, lawyers, social activists, students and graduates in forestry sciences and environmental education, renewable energy professionals and even the President of a local rainforest community currently under threat from resource extraction. This post shares just a few of their hopes and dreams, and demonstrate how the Future Leaders program is helping them to build those dreams into reality.

Our participants all share a vision for a better future for Madre de Dios but have different passions for making it happen. Those include youth empowerment, culturally-sensitive ecotourism, the creation of new markets for local produce, sustainable growth through renewable energy, and more green spaces in the city.

The current situation in Madre de Dios

“People in Madre de Dios live one day at a time, resolving problems that directly affect them in the present. They forget they are part of a wider ecosystem and environment” – 2017 Future Leader

It’s not all trees! Puerto Maldonado residents need more green spaces. Credit:

It’s not all trees! Puerto Maldonado residents need more green spaces. Credit:

Rapid development within Madre de Dios is leading to intense deforestation, threatening the region’s wildlife and local communities. Many born in Puerto Maldonado, the capital of Madre de Dios, have never even been to the jungle, despite it being on their doorstep. It is crucial for us to conserve regions such as Las Piedras, which is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, and home to some of the world’s last uncontacted tribes living in harmony with their environment. This is where Future Leaders comes in, and in particular our upcoming summit.

How Future Leaders is making a difference

“Integrating traditional knowledge, new technologies and local empowerment” – Future Leader’s hope for Madre de Dios

Over the past 4 years, the program has continued to grow thanks to your support. This is the first year we will include participants from jungle communities – a very important part of the sustainable business development equation. Thus far in our journey, we have united 37 city innovators with the jungle and, after the 4th Summit, this number will have grown to 48, rapidly approaching our initial goal of uniting 50 young people with their local rainforest.

This year presents a special opportunity for the Future Leaders to spend an entire week there, taking full advantage of this beautiful, immersive location. We’ll work with participants and community members in new ways, breaking down assumptions and barriers between city and jungle communities to grow a network of informed individuals, while bridging the disconnect between society and nature. 10 returning participants (some attending their 4th summit!) will also be involved, enhancing the experience of new participants as they benefit from peer-assisted learning and support.

Waterfall at Las Piedras Amazon Center (LPAC)Future Leaders in Las PiedrasLas Piedras Amazon Center (LPAC)

Bringing Future Leaders to the jungle at the LPAC centre

Looking ahead to 2017 (and beyond)

“We need to remember that we don’t own this land, it’s merely loaned to us by nature” – 2017 Future Leader

The location for Future Leaders 2017: Las Piedras Amazon Center (LPAC)

The location for Future Leaders 2017: Las Piedras Amazon Center (LPAC)

The Future Leaders program works to affect real change Through building a network of empowered, local innovators equipped with leadership and business skills and by inspiring a model of sustainable development which unifies society and nature in the Madre de Dios region. Participants bring the passion, ideas and qualities for success, we just support them in achieving it through skills and leadership training and access to a growing support network.

Please follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to spread our message and support a brighter future of peaceful coexistence between people and environment—not just in Madre de Dios, but worldwide.

This is the 2nd post in our Future Leaders Summit 4 series. Read the following posts: