ComMutiny- The Youth Collective

Hello, sharing the introductory post about ComMutiny- The Youth Collective. We are super excited to engage and learn with the Grove community.

About ComMutiny- The Youth Collective and vartaLeap coalition

ComMutiny stands for the first ‘mutiny’ within a young person, symbolic of the fact that social and systemic transformation cannot happen without personal transformation. Founded in 2008, ComMutiny - The Youth Collective is a community of practice of youth work organizations across India, engaged in aggregating, accelerating and amplifying empowering youth spaces co-led with self-aware, pro-active citizens- we call Jagriks (Jagruk Nagariks).

In 2019, recognizing the need for mainstreaming youth-centric development across all sectors, we incubated the vartaLeap coalition. It is a cross-sectoral grouping of youth engaging organizations from the development sector, government, media, corporate, educational institutions, and UN agencies. The purpose of the coalition is to design, pilot and scale youth–centric innovations and enable narrative shifts with thought leadership coming from years of wisdom from our members. vartaLeap’s vision is ‘Every Youth a Jagrik, Every Space Nurturing Jagriks’

A brief on our strategies:

Aggregation: We have collectivized some of the best youth-focused institutions and youth-work practitioners in the country into an effective, collaborative ecosystem. We have 175 active members at the moment.

Acceleration: We design, pilot, and scoul (scale with soul) youth-centric innovations to address the current psycho-social, economic, and ecological needs of young people. Some of the cutting-edge innovations we have designed are: FLOWING principles for youth centric designs, Youth Duties and Rights framework, Samjho Toh- The Samvidhan LIVE! Dialogues, Samvidhan LIVE! Be a Jagrik, Gender Jagrik, Changelooms: Youth leaders for climate action etc.

Amplification: Building and disseminating norm-shifting narratives to build a case for youth-centric development by engaging diverse stakeholders.

Partnership with Rainmatter

With support from the Rainmatter Foundation, we aim to mainstream climate action as a priority agenda for young people and youth workers across India. Collaboratively with our coalition members we are-

  • Building narratives that help us move from a ‘frightening future’ narrative to a ‘nourishing now’ one
  • Influencing the influencers who can convince their own communities about climate action as an imperative need.
  • Co-creating norm shifting actions and narratives that inspire citizens to reimagine personal, social and institutional pathways away from business as usual
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Changelooms: Youth Leaders for Climate Action

“Seeing young children in the village playing cricket for the first time at night under solar lamps was the moment when we realised how far we have come in our journey. From restoring ponds to restoring lights in villages with no electricity, our journey with changelooms has been beautiful” - Rajeshwar and N.Ruban, Changelooms: Youth Leaders for Climate Action (2022-2023).

About the programme

As shared in the previous post, ComMutiny is working towards mainstreaming climate action as a priority agenda for young people with support from Rainmatter. With the intent to achieve the same, the Changelooms Youth Leaders for Climate Action was initiated in 2022, as an opportunity for youth leaders from India to enter the climate action space and build and sustain impactful change work.

This journey is envisaged an inside-out learning and leadership journey as well as a collective space for young Changemakers and early-stage Social Entrepreneurs/Intrapreneurs that identifies, celebrates, and nurtures their leadership capacities. They are supported and mentored to initiate ventures and projects to bring about norm change to build climate positive communities, where better choices are being made from a psycho-socio-cultural-economic and ecological perspective.

Journey Flow of the Programme

Every cohort undergoes a collective journey of learning, leadership, experience sharing, active experimentation, and impact creation through a series of touch points during their journey in the programme.

Cohort of last year

We started off with our pilot batch of 27 Youth Leaders last year implementing 24 projects around climate change across 13 states. In the process of running the individual projects either around kitchen gardening, climate education or solar energy, all Youth Leaders have been able to create their own identity and presence in their respective communities, especially in the space of climate action.

One of the examples is of Zahida from Kashmir who initiated the ‘Climate Friends Fellowship’ as part of the changeloom programme. In this project, she trained 10 young women to become ‘solar sakhis’ and built their capacities with the support of the expertise of the Bindi International on solar adoption solutions and livelihood building. They provided support to these 10 women on loan and cash flow, marketing and sales, technical and service as well as business scale-up support. It is a community-based model wherein all operations are owned, managed and run by the local women. These women are working in the field to achieve their long-lost dream of becoming women of substance, decision maker, strong independent women and keeping an eye on the ocean of opportunities provided to them for livelihood promotion and empowerment. The women, therefore, not only learn the skill but also attain the confidence to look at improving their lives with a fresh perspective. They have started youth groups in their communities, and each youth group consists of 10-15 young people. They converge together once a month and work on these issues – climate change, gender & caste as all these issues are interconnected. They are organizing workshops with people and inviting them irrespective of caste, age, gender to join the conversation.

Similar to Zahida’s story many youth leaders acted as potential sustainable livelihood models for young women and farmers. Mohalla sabhas and dialogue circles were frequently conducted by the Youth Leaders and their cohort of young people with senior community members, local youth clubs, government departments, panchayat members, farmer groups and SHG members to bring conversations around climate action into the mainstream agenda and make micro-level climate positive norm shifts within the local communities. For instance, Rajeshwar and N.Ruban from Kottakaram, Tamil Nadu wanted to address the challenge of the high amount of carbon emissions that were generated in their community because of burning coal to produce electricity. After learning at the program about how renewable resources can help to reduce carbon emissions, they initiated a project called ‘Green Energy Project’. As part of this, they installed Solar Street Light in the village where there was no street light and no electricity. Rajeshwar and N.Ruban did not stop at just solar street lights. They wanted to explore more and be creative with renewable resources and they installed a solar switchboard in one of the houses in the village. They also did a set up of solar-powered CCTV at one of their friend’s houses. The success of these installations gave them hope and confidence that if the right kind of space is enabled communities will find their own solutions that are wiser and more future resilient.

Visibilising local climate positive stories through partnerships

Sharing stories of climate action leaders, Zahida and Saddam, about their work on building climate positive communities in their respective areas. These stories have been featured by the Indian Development Review platform (One of Asia’s largest independent media platforms that advances knowledge and insights on social impact.)

Women Shoulder the blame for climate change kashmir, features story on capturing the intersectionality of climate and gender in the Baramulla District, Kashmir and reflected on why young girls and women in Kashmir bear the double burden of the climate crisis and gender stereotypes, and how they are tackling both of these issues.

From bird-watching to nonprofits , explains why Van Gujjar youth in Uttarakhand have transitioned from traditional vocations to working for nonprofits and collectives in the vicinity.


Introducing 26 dynamic youth leaders from the 2024 cohort of Changelooms: Youth Leaders for climate action. Hailing from 11 states of India with rich diversity, indomitable spirit, and the commitment to building climate positive communities across the country; these youth leaders are embarking on an intensive learning and leadership journey for 18 months and an additional 18 months to scale their interventions.
Through this journey, they will focus on either rewilding to capture carbon by building carbon sinks or renewable adoption to reduce carbon emissions through solar to start with.

Stay tuned to hear more about their adventure and impact.

Changelooms: Youth leaders in climate action has been designed to support social entrepreneurs/youth leaders to prioritise climate action using a youth-centric-nourishing-now approach; thereby contributing to building climate positive communities with reduced carbon emissions or enhanced carbon capture.

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Window to Changelooms Workshop 2024: Nurturing youth leaders to build climate resilient communities through Changelooms: Youth Leaders in Climate Action

Climate action is inspired by ownership for the environment and ownership cannot be given, it has to be taken. So, how do you get young leaders to take ownership for the environment?

As shared earlier we have a new cohort of Changelooms Youth Leaders in Climate Action. So how do we get these 26, young, passionate leaders, committed to social change, working on gender, wellbeing, education, health, culture etc to make climate action a priority in their work? From our experience of working on mindset change, we know it cannot be hammered in. It comes from visceral experiences.

The Changelooms journey is designed as an experiential immersion that creates the will and skill among young people, already committed to changemaking, to take up climate action and nurture climate positive communities.

Here’s a glimpse of what we did:

Created ‘being’ experiences: Youth leaders found a safe space for reflection, exchange, and learning free from judgment as they started unpacking so much that they don’t know yet.

Created ‘Seeing’ experiences: Dialogues around what does climate change even mean? What’s the urgency and fuss all about? Why should I care about it? What can I do about it? How and where rewilding and renewables templates can be used?

Created ‘Doing’ experiences: Before going back into their own communities, the youth leaders applied the capacities, skills, and tools they learned to synthesize ideas for climate action. Ones that can inspire them for what to do in their communities.

Throughout the workshop, shared leadership, learning, and collective action were the key pillars of the workshop and will continue as key threads throughout the 3-year journey.

Watch this space for more as this cohort next heads to Rajasthan to unearth how taking up rewilding or renewables as ‘Nourishing Now’ actions, creates an opening to begin dialogues and nurture climate positive communities.

With a doomsday narrative surrounding climate change, are people inspired enough to take action on climate issues?

We have learnt experientially, that young people will be inspired to prioritise climate change by ‘Nourishing Now’!

Here’s how inspire young people, change-makers, and social entrepreneurs can be inspired to imbibe a climate positive approach:

  1. Nurture holistic engagement: Address the diverse social, cultural, psychological, and economic needs of young people while encouraging their aspirations for positive change.

  2. Harness hope and agency: Cultivate and celebrate hope and optimism among young people, empowering them to believe in their ability to create a sustainable future.

  3. Nudge learning: Encourage a learning approach to build knowledge, awareness, and capacities for action, inspiring further action.

  4. Goal and Soul: Focus on feelings as well as facts. Advocate for solutions that enhance well being, connection, and a sense of belonging.

  5. Unearth intersectionalities: Integrate climate action into organisational values and practices, nurturing a culture of sustainability and inspiring collective action.

These and more are our guiding principles towards the ‘Nourishing Now’ framework, that focuses on hope and nourishment, instilling a sense of purpose and resilience among Indian youth as they confront climate change head-on.

It addresses the immediate socio-economic, psychological, and cultural needs of young people, engaging them in the climate agenda.

What will inspire YOU to act on climate?
Share your thoughts.

(Sneha Chauhan, Changeloomer: Youth Leader in Climate Action, MP. Facilitating dialogues to understand the impact of climate within her community. )