A U.S.-Austria Youth Leadership Initiative
The Generation Next Youth Leadership Initiative is an exchange program funded by the U.S. Embassy in Austria that aims goal to engage and inspire a generation of Austrians committed to increasing mutual respect and tolerance for cultural differences through leadership training and exposure to best practices in intercultural engagement and dialogue.

Program Information

The Generation Next Youth Leadership Initiative combines leadership training and community engagement with exposure to best practices in working with refugee and immigrant communities with the goal of bringing new perspectives to local, national, and global integration issues.

This will be done by introducing emerging leaders to effective design and implementation of community-based activities that help grow a ‘whole community ecosystem,’ one that draws in diverse representation to build communities which welcome and foster equal opportunities for all residents. The program will select and guide a corps of young leaders to collaborate, develop and implement action plans that bring communities together to address integration of immigrant and refugees by developing long-term transatlantic networks.

This program consists of three distinct phases:

1. Leadership Boot Camp in Vienna

Emerging leaders will be selected to convene in Vienna to take part in a two-day leadership skills development training.

2. Young Leaders Exchange

Virtual collaboration will take place over 2.5 months to become oriented to immigrant and refugee integration issues, responses and best practices in Austria and the United States, as well as American culture and history of civic engagement.

In July participants will have opportunities to demonstrate and fine-tune their skills through intensive leadership training in the United States through, site visits, seminars and community service activities with organizations and institutions in four U.S. cities: Baltimore, Des Moines, and San Diego, and Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Leadership Training will introduce participants to diversity in America, and ways in which immigrant communities are integrated into cities. Participants will conclude their training with a capstone in Washington, D.C. where they will shadow organizations implementing projects which support integration of refugees and immigrants into the community. During this time, they will design their action plan for a post-program project, and to work toward continued collaboration with the host organization.

3. Generation Next Congress

In collaboration with the U.S. organization at which they shadowed, participants will work in groups of two to design and implement education and service projects that highlight the learning that took place over the course of the program. All participants and representatives from their organizations will meet in Vienna for first Generation Next Youth Leadership Congress to report on the outcome of their projects, reconnect with peers and mentors, and develop new networks and opportunities for cooperation with other Austrian young leaders and organizations.


The U.S. Embassy in Austria and Cultural Vistas have together selected 20 rising Austrian student leaders, ranging in age from 19 to 28, committed to increasing mutual respect and tolerance for cultural differences to bring about sustainable change on the local, national, European, and global level.

The 20-member cohort is comprised of students pursuing degrees at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels.

Department of State seal and Embassy of Vienna seal

Program Calendar

30 November- 31 January 2017

Application Open

13-17 February 2017

Leadership Boot Camp Finalists Notified

11-12 March 2017

Leadership Boot Camp in Vienna

10 April – 30 June 2017

Virtual Programming for U.S. Leadership Training

9-27 July 2017

U.S. Leadership Training

1 September- 3 November 2017

Post-program Project Implementation

October 2017

Post-program Webinar

17 November 2017

Generation Next Youth Leadership Initiative Integration Congress in Vienna


About Cultural Vistas

Founded in 1963, Cultural Vistas is a nonprofit exchange organization promoting global understanding and collaboration among individuals and institutions. We develop international professional experiences that create more informed, skilled, and engaged citizens. Our programs empower people to drive positive change in themselves, their organizations, and society.

For more information about Cultural Vistas, please visit culturalvistas.org

For more information on the U.S. Embassy on Austria, visit at.usembassy.gov and join its social communities on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact Us

For more information about the Generation Next Leadership Initiative, please contact Cultural Vistas at GNYLI@culturalvistas.org