September updates on IDF Europe’s Youth Leadership Lab

02 October 2020

The Youth Leadership Lab (YLL), IDF Europe online-based youth leadership development programme, has reached its cruising speed and is successfully taking place every two weeks.

Third session of the Youth Leadership Lab: healthcare systems in Europe and access to diabetes care across Europe



The third Lab session, held by Dr. Lauren Quinn, former YLC participant, and Dr Iryna Vlasenko, IDF Board Member, focused on healthcare systems and more specifically on access to diabetes care across Europe. Participants were asked to present what they consider to be one of the most innovative approaches to diabetes care recently implemented in their countries. Our Russian and Serbian “Labers” highlighted online initiatives developed to support people living with diabetes during the Covid-19 crisis, while Markus gave a live demo of the hybrid closed loop system he is currently testing in Austria. Our guest speakers encouraged YLL participants to keep sharing their experiences and to always think “bigger”.

“…a quick note regarding today’s session. Lauren’s energy was sooo infectious, I absolutely loved it. It was a pleasure to be part of this, I’m feeling incredibly motivated right now.” – Anna, YLL from Austria

Fourth session of the Youth Leadership Lab: communication, #languagematters



For the fourth Lab session, focused on communication, we had the pleasure to welcome the Diabetogenic blog creator, Renza Scibilia. Renza gave an inspirational presentation on “Language matters”. She compellingly demonstrated how language used by healthcare professionals can have a profound impact on people living with diabetes and how messages from the media can also be stigmatising and hurtful, undermine self-care and have a negative effect on clinical outcomes. A person is not defined by his/hertheir condition, a call that has been immediately relayed by our YLL participants on social media and to their diabetes associations.

“Keep in mind that our diagnosis can’t and won’t define us as a person. Thank you Renza for the inspiring talk”, – FB post from Rafaila, YLL from Cyprus.

Fifth session of the Youth Leadership Lab: project management

Session 5 Facebook


The fifth session of the Lab was held by Jaivir Pall and Sophie Hindkjær, former YLC participants and active diabetes advocates. They shared their insights on project management and helped the participants feel confident starting, running and sustaining a campaign/project/business. What emerged from the discussion was that a diverse team is essential to develop good ideas, and that funding should not be the priority when developing a project. Rather funding will follow if your project is purposeful, well thought-out and with clear benefits. An important point made by our guest speakers was that failing is a natural part of the process; their advice to the Labers was to “fail fast, fail hard, fail often”, and to welcome mistakes as a fundamental part of the learning process. Being agile is then a key requirement when it comes to actual project development and implementation.

“Thank you for the presentation, those sessions are getting amazing and more amazing every time!” – Arnilda, YLL from Albania