A discussion with Lisa Yasko about the importance of youth at the Caux Forum

Caux Dialogue on Land and Security 2019

Lisa Yasko CDLS 2019


June 2019. It’s the fourth time that Lisa Yelyzaveta Yasko has participated in the Caux Forum. Before joining the organising team for the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security in 2018, Lisa took part in the Caux Artists Program in 2015 and the Caux Scholars Program the following year. This year she is also the Emerging Leaders Programme Coordinator which runs in parallel to the conference and aims to bring together young people who would like to be involved in promoting peace, the environment and the restoration of ecosystems.


Bremley Lyngdoh CDLS 2019


‘Caux could play a big role in the future of Europe where a common goal, a raison d’être, is currently lacking,’ says Lisa. Passionate about leadership, conflict resolution and diplomacy, Lisa is convinced that the Caux Forum has great potential to develop creative solutions for Europe and the world. However, she thinks it is critical to increase the involvement of young people.

The idea of including young people in the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security is at the heart of the Emerging Leaders Programme. It aims to create a safe space where young entrepreneurs, passionate students and engaged advocates regularly come together over the course of a few days. Music, storysharing and other activities are all used to strengthen the participants’ communication and team work skills. Participants also attend the plenaries and workshops organised as part of the main conference where they can interact first-hand with the speakers.

Born in Ukraine, Lisa met John Bond, who was working for Initiatives of Change (IofC) during a security forum in Kiev in 2014. This sparked the desire to discover the Caux Forum.

After participating in the Caux Artists Program the following year, she decided to return for the Caux Scholars Program. ‘These programmes have changed my life. I’ve made many important decisions here,’ she tells me. The meetings and discussion she had during the programmes with other young people who shared her passions combined with the activities and quiet times all changed Lisa on a personal level. She has also increased her knowledge in the areas of the environment and international relations.


CDLS 2019 painting


Lisa has sought out the best education possible as can be seen in a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in political sciences from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev. She also has a master’s degree from Oxford and another one from Moscow. ‘I wanted to understand the world and take that knowledge back to Ukraine,’ she explains.

This year she will undoubtedly become one of the youngest members of the Ukrainian Parliament. During the Caux Forum she took the opportunity to check her knowledge of global issues and to nourish the links that she had created in previous years. For Lisa, Caux is a unique place to recharge your batteries, to take the time to understand your decisions and prepare for the next steps in your life.


Report: Apolline Foedit

Photos: Leela Channer

Featured Story

related stories

Open House Day group with kids

Internship: Open House Day & Project Support (40%)

IofC Switzerland is looking for an intern who will be in charge of the Open House Day on 5 July 2020. The intern will also support IofC's projects in the area of trustbuilding, in particular with rega...

Caux Palace

3 Job Offers: Dining-Room Assistant / Technical Services Assistant / Reception Desk Assistant

You would like to work in an inspring place with people from all over the world? IofC Switzerland is looking for a Reception Desk Assistant, a Technical Services Assistant and a Dining-room Assistant...

Biliana Vassileva

My Learning Story: Biliana Vassileva:

Our new feature ‘My Learning Story’ hopes to become a global learning experience, connecting people around the world as they share their stories of what we all do every day: learning to build a bright...

Rainer Gude

My Learning Story: Rainer Gude

The UN’s fourth Sustainable Development Goal is about access to quality education and life-long learning – both essential to bringing positive change into the world. Our new feature ‘My Learning Story...

Alan Channer Bremen prize

Dr Alan Channer shortlisted for the 2019 Bremen International Peace Prize

Dr Alan Channer, who has been one of the organizers of the Caux Dialogues on Land and Security since their inception, was a runner-up for this year's Bremen International Peace Prize....

Bo Sprotte Kafod

Saving a sacred grove

Bo Sprotte Kafod volunteered to help organize the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS) in 2019, after meeting former CDLS participants at the UN climate change conference (UNFCCC COP24) in Katowi...

Oliver Gardiner

Filming regeneration

One-man film crew, Oliver Gardiner, travels to remote regions around the world to tell stories of how people have addressed complex issues through food, farming and land use....

Michael Akampa

Making investment work for the people

The Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS) in 2017 was a ‘turning point’ for sustainable investment professional, Micheál Akampa, who was invited to speak at its Invest in Peace conference. ‘I met ...

CDLS 2019 Tom Duncan

Empowering communities to restore mangroves

Tom Duncan is passionate about problem solving and strategic systems thinking, primarily in regenerative economics, green finance and financial technology, as a means of restoring relationships betwee...

Nhat Vhuong

Plucking water from the air

Webmarketing consultant and social entrepreneur Nhat Vhuong is passionate about tackling water scarcity. A Vietnamese refugee, who grew up in Switzerland, he worked in Japan for eight years before ret...

Meghalaya CDLS 2019 Conrad Sangma

Meghalaya’s lighthouses of sustainable development

‘Our goal in Meghalaya is to build a low-carbon economy through complete involvement and ownership of communities,’ Conrad Sangma, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, told the opening session of the Caux...

CDLS 2019 Chau Duncan

Bridging the financial divides

Chau Tang Duncan is applying over 20 years’ experience in banking, trade and commercial diplomacy to improving the financial access of disadvantaged communities. ...

Aibanshngain Swer CDLS 2019

Protecting Meghalaya’s water sources

Some billion people rely on water sourced in the hills of Meghalaya, in North East India. One of those responsible for water conservation in the State, Aibanshngain Swer, took part in the Summer Acade...

Hartmut Behrend Mali

Combatting climate change in Mali

Taking part in the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS) 2014 encouraged  German climatologist Hartmut Behrend to move out of the bubble of well-intentioned international activism to work on the g...

CDLS 2019 Alan Laubsch

Restoring nature’s superheroes

Alan Laubsch is passionate about restoring nature’s ‘climate superheros’ – the mangrove forests. He believes that democratizing natural capital investment is key to this. He has over 20 years’ experie...