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Becoming a YSI Guide

Teachers & Educators

Becoming a YSI Guide

A YSI Guide is an educator who guides young people on their social innovation journey by offering encouragement, support and advice. The educator guides students through the social innovation pathway with the help of our resources and with support from our dedicated education team.

The YSI Guide helps to create an environment where young people feel empowered to lead social innovation. YSI’s role is to support Guides and to give them you and give you the necessary resources and tools to do this.

Training, Networking and Certification

YSI provides in-service training throughout the year along with resources to educators who plan to facilitate youth led social innovation teams.


Attendance at our key workshops and guiding a YSI team to programme completion gives eligibility for Certification as a YSI Guide. A special ‘Let Them Shine Award’ is awarded to YSI Guides who have been involved in facilitating programmes over a number of years (5 and 10).



The role of the YSI Guide

The role of the YSI Guide is to facilitate a team of young people on their social innovation project, you will lead the following aspects of learning:


Facilitating youth led learning

You facilitate youth led learning - this is learning by doing and is critically important to the YSI model. The educator allows the team of young people to explore the social issues which they care about. As a team they will decide which to work on, the decision is theirs.

Recognising talents, views and expertise

The social innovation process recognises and uses the talents of all team members. Your role as a Guide is to help them reflect upon and identify the talents and skills of all its members.

Emphasising Participation and Inclusion

All YSI projects are completed by teams. As a Guide, you ensure that everybody is included in the processes and decision-making of the YSI project.

Supporting all abilities to shine

Social innovation suits all abilities. Our model works well for young people with varying academic abilities. The Guide encourages all team members to shine.

Blending the learning

We encourage you to use a blend of learning methods and tools including digital. Digital can range from video, photography, online surveying, film, social media, internet research and so on. 

Facilitating different perspectives


Social innovation learning encourages debate, reflection and often challenges the status quo. You, as the Guide ensure that different perspectives are heard, considered and respected.

Creating a learning space

Your job as a Guide is to set up a physical learning space that is conducive to creative thinking and team work.

Making it safe

Social innovation learning should be underpinned by values of human rights, fairness and respect. A Guide supports young people to explore sometimes sensitive and controversial issues in a safe, responsible and respectful way. 

Niamh Sheridan, Teacher, YSI Guide and Facilitator
"Being a Guide has given me some of the highlights of my teaching career. I always say that but it’s true. I have seen students blossom, grow and develop, tackle issues and really make a difference. There’s been good times and bad times, but there’s always learning and they love it. So I feel very lucky to be part of it."
Niamh Sheridan, Teacher, YSI Guide and Facilitator