Our vision is a community of schools and partners committed to building a global movement of socially conscious young people who are equipped to be leaders in their lives and society


We aim to achieve our vision through:

  • GSL School Membership: this provides a framework of support to headteachers and teachers looking to ensure that service leadership plays a central role in their schools
  • Leadership courses: designed for young people aged 11-17 aspiring to become effective social leaders 
  • Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for teachers: CPD training for teachers and opportunities to connect with our global network of schools and partners 
  • GSL Global Goals Competition: a project-based learning programme for young people aged 11-17, which includes training, support for team leaders and access to expert advice
  • Partnership campaign: designed to secure support for students and schools who would otherwise be unable to access all the opportunities that GSL offers and to strengthen and improve the impact of the work that we do


At GSL we recognise the need for a change in education and are supporting schools to catalyse this change, by transforming their students’ learning about sustainability and how to take action to solve real world issues.

Today’s global learning crisis provides an opportunity for “critical education reforms that ensure all children receive the education and holistic support they need and deserve” (World Bank, 2022).

In September 2022, the United Nations Secretary-General is convening the Transforming Education Summit (TES) during the 77th UN General Assembly, in New York. 

The Summit seeks to mobilise political ambition, action, solutions and solidarity to transform education to: 

We are excited to confirm we will be holding this event for the second year, on the 12th to 14th November 2021

Last year, 191 students from 31 COBIS schools in 19 countries took part.

Registration for schools will be opening soon.

To register interest in your school taking part, please click the button below and complete the form or email our team using the following email address with the subject line COBIS GSL World Catalyst:


Once registration opens, we will contact you to invite your school to register and confirm your participation.

Last year the Student Leadership Weekend organised annually by COBIS in Madrid could not take place due to COVID-19. In response, COBIS and Future Foundations developed an exciting online opportunity.  

The programme was a real success with 191 young people from 31 COBIS schools taking part.  At a time when students could not travel, this programme provided the opportunity for a global community of COBIS students to connect.  Whilst we are disappointed that restrictions remain and with travel uncertainty likely to continue throughout 2021, we are delighted to be able to be able to offer this programme for a second year.

Watch last year’s Graduation Event

Watch last year’s Afternoon Graduation event

Watch a student panel at the COBIS annual conference, with students speaking about the impact of the programme

“The three most important things that I have learned is to be myself, be confident, and to always value others opinions.”

“I loved meeting new people, hearing their voices and interacting with people from across the world. It helped me gain even more confidence as I have never met so many people at once.”

“I enjoyed it because I got to increase my confidence and I got to talk to new people.”

“I learnt I should always be open minded to new opportunities and experiences otherwise I won’t be able to properly succeed.”

“I enjoyed talking to people and building my confidence on how to be a leader. GSL has helped me understand myself A LOT more.”

The ability to cope with uncertainty, develop new attitudes and values, and act productively and meaningfully, even when goals shift, remains, for the moment, a uniquely human skill

Aims and Outcomes

  • Future World of Work Skills: The Four Cs of 21st century learning

The future employment landscape is always changing, and there are lots of choices facing young people around education, jobs and their future!  We want to support you to build these skills on our courses by focusing on The Four C’s. 

“If today’s students want to compete in this global society, they must be proficient communicators, creators, critical thinkers, and collaborators (the “Four Cs”). Students need to master additional subject areas, including foreign languages, the arts, geography, science, and social studies.  Educators must complement all of those subjects with the “Four Cs” to prepare young people for the global workforce”

[Extract from research carried out by the National Education Association]. 

  • OECD Learning Compass

We have shaped our programme based on The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Learning Compass which has focused on what knowledge, skills, attitudes and values students need today to thrive in and shape their world. 

The COBIS GSL World Catalyst is shaped to focus on building knowledge, skills attitudes and values through independent learning as well as live sessions connecting young people.  We believe in building the right attitude and values in young people as the foundation for GSL programmes. 

Reflection is a key component to any GSL programme, as part of the learning processencouraging young people to reflect on their experience throughout the programme, their own individual learning and building their insight. “We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.” [Dewey (1933:78)] 

The Learning Compass highlights the need for students to learn to navigate by themselves through unfamiliar contexts” [OECD Learning Compass 2030]. 

  • Transformative competencies

The OECD highlight the need to acquire three transformative competencies to help shape the future we want: creating new value, reconciling tensions and dilemmas, and taking responsibility. 

When young people create new value, they ask questions, collaborate with others and try to think “outside the box” in order to find innovative solutions. This blends a sense of purpose with critical thinking and creativity 

Young people need to be able to balance contradictory or seemingly incompatible logics and demands, and become comfortable with complexity and ambiguity. This requires empathy and respect. 

Young people who have the capacity to take responsibility for their actions have a strong moral compass that allows for considered reflection, working with others and respecting the planet. 

[OECD Learning Compass 2030] 

  • Wellbeing

We are in unprecedented times. Now more than ever we need to learn to navigate ourselves to changing contexts and adapt in ways that ensure wellbeing. The COBIS GSL World Catalyst is an opportunity to learn new skills, develop the right mindset and prepare for the future we want. 

We believe it is important to give time and space to develop good mental health and wellbeing.  We will work with the young people on the programme to develop their own toolkit they can open anytime in the future when they need it. 

  • Social Action and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs). If these Goals are completed, it would mean an end to extreme poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030. 

The COBIS GSL World Catalyst will challenge students to THINK GLOBAL and ACT LOCAL, examining the issues behind the Goals and understanding the part they can play by joining the biggest attempt in the history of the human race to make the world a better place. 

We also feel that connecting young people from different countries and backgrounds will help shape meaningful discussions on issues as well creating collaborative solutions as Global Citizens. 

Many young people are already running their own projects in their school or community, and the aim of the programme is to build and develop knowledge around the SDGs.  We will help you to either improve existing projects or start new ones.  We will focus on areas such as understanding the users, measuring impact and how to make a project more sustainable. 



After the programme, you will be challenged to start your own social action project working in a team of 3 to 7 students which will make tangible changes within school and the community (local, national or global).

You will be invited to enter the GSL Global Goals Competition.

Registration for schools will be opening soon.

To register interest in your school taking part, please click on the button below and complete the form or email our team using the following email address with the subject line COBIS GSL World Catalyst:


Once registration opens, we will contact you to invite your school to register and confirm your participation.


young leaders around the world


reported social action projects


schools involved in GSL courses & competition