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

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