Urban Change Makers UK seeks to build the capacity of emerging urban leaders and their urban contexts to see real transformation grow from the ground up.
Engaging Emerging Urban Leaders as Learners
The vision is to identify, invite and incubate twenty high potential urban leaders together and grow their capacities as Christians in advocating for change in their spheres of influence from within their urban contexts.
We especially focus on those who are:
- Urban (i.e. from urban neighbourhoods)
- Emerging (i.e., aged between 18-35 with high potential to make a difference)
- Diverse (i.e., not from mainstream, establishment backgrounds, paying attention to class, race and gender access and equity challenges)
- Raw Talents (i.e., have catalytic potential that traditional education systems will probably not bring out their best)
Investing in such leaders is especially strategic in a rapidly dividing, shifting and urbanising world. Who better to see real change from the ground up over the next few decades than these emerging leaders? Further, if their potentials are not channelled in positive ways, then serious tragedies could result for the planet, society and church.
Engaging Urban Contexts as Learning Hubs
We also want urban contexts and their communities to grow in their capacity for change. Emerging urban leaders are not simply isolated individuals. They are part of complex social eco-systems. To simply pluck young leaders out of their context and invest in them with new insights, resources and networks may actually create unintended, negative consequences for the community they come from. These can include: socialising young leaders out of their community; creating ‘brain-drain’ as young leaders feel they need to go elsewhere; frustrating experienced urban leaders and organisations.
To take urban contexts and their communities seriously we support experienced urban leaders in developing Learning Hubs and help them identify, nominate and invest in three kinds of leaders for the Urban Change Makers leadership programme:
- ‘Remainers’ who stay in the urban neighbourhoods they grew up in for the sake of seeing urban shalom.
- ‘Returners’ who leave the neighbourhood they are from to gain skills, confidences, but then return to seek urban shalom.
- ‘Relocators’ who can help pioneer new urban initiatives in places they are not originally from.
Investing in both emerging urban leaders and their contexts as a Learning Hub could help see sustainable grown and change emerge that wouldn’t happen if we focused on solely on either the community or the leader. Together change can happen.
Today even the most sympathetic and innovative Christian leaders, ministries, churches, social entrepreneurs, colleges, business leaders and politicians are having trouble identifying and developing such leaders and/or Learning Hubs. Urban Change Makers, therefore, is much needed and being launched at a crucial time.