Connecting. Growing. Acting.


Stay tuned for more information on the 2016 application process!


The Caux Interns Leadership Programme is an opportunity for young people to experience the full richness of the Caux conference centre: to contribute their service to the conferences, and through the training program to engage with what it means to offer leadership for this century. Forget what you would expect from a ‘normal’ internship and traditional ideas of ‘leadership’ – this programme asks you to challenge everything, starting with yourself.


What makes this an internship with a difference?

The Interns Leadership programme is for people who care about personal and global change; and who care enough to challenge themselves – that includes the faculty. Much of the training programme will be based around the exploration of tools that address both these dimensions of change. An inquiring spirit - looking for better questions, not bringing pre-formed answers – is central to the experience.

The reason we do this is because people can study in a classroom about Politics or International Relations or Sociology, and yet so often the theory breaks down at the personal level, between people who can’t find the trust between each other to move a situation forward – with friends or family, with States in international negotiations, and everything in between. So this program is designed to invite more introspection, and develop a lifestyle of leadership that includes taking a hard look at ourselves and how we relate to people in everyday life?

The programme is structured around three cornerstones of workshops, department work, and space for reflection. And all this is experienced in community.


Aims of the Programme:

  • To challenge participants to apply the simplest skills of life – in listening, intercultural awareness, teamwork and cooperation – with effectiveness.
  • To provide workshops for participants in leadership and intercultural skills.
  • To provide an introduction to Initiatives of Change (IofC), and exposure to these ideas ‘in action’.
  • To contribute through departmental work to the effective and smooth functioning of the Caux Conferences, in a spirit of hospitality and service.
  • To feed into the long term sustainability of the Caux Conferences.
  • To provide a year by year process for engaging into the spirit and responsibility of IofC.



Caux international conference centre, 1000m above Montreux, Switzerland.


The Programme

The International Caux conferences attract hundreds of people from all over the world. As part of the community-building process, elements of the day-to-day practical work of the centre are done by conference participants, led by Inside Change participants. Participants have a unique opportunity to develop skills and receive training in leading international teams, as well as follow a series of leadership workshops offered specifically for the participants team. Completion certificates are given.


Interns in the kitchen service
Interns in the kitchen service
Hospitality is a core value of the Caux conferences and of the Interns Leadership Programme. The spirit in which we welcome people from all corners of the world, make them feel at home and include them in hosting the house, is central to the Caux approach.

This "community in service" is the place where we put into practice the values we talk about – teamwork, trust-building, inclusion, multiculturalism, and community-building. We experience it by becoming aware of the skills needed to create authentic communities. The departments where participants will be involved, for roughly 26 hours each week, include: dining room, kitchen, economat, housekeeping, technical, secretariat, allocation, reception and flower arrangements. Participants may spend some time in different work areas depending on the needs at any given time. A willingness to serve and help where needed is important. If you don’t believe that there’s any link between making a bed, or cooking a meal, and finding ways forward in intractable international conflicts, don’t apply. But if you’re intrigued by that link, come and explore it with us! For more information about each of the different department roles, please click here.


Training session
Training session

Beyond the service contribution to the day-to-day running of the house, and the orientation sessions of the programme, there will also be a parallel training programme, which is central to the Interns Leadership Programme experience. This will primarily be structured around the Leadership course, which is a series of 14 two-hour workshops. If you want a training course that gives you volumes of ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’, that’s great – look elsewhere! If you are looking for a training course where you can challenge yourself to explore your own life and experience more deeply, to challenge yourself, and unlock your creative potential, apply now! The course aims:

  • To explore the relationship between personal change and societal change – the link between the intimate and the global
  • To encourage personal and collective initiatives that are grounded in an application of personal values and standards
  • To develop an understanding of the nature of change, and the conditions that create change
  • To provide concrete tools for effectiveness in teambuilding and communication

The facilitation and training will draw on:

  • Interactive tools and models that deepen insights into the different themes (identity; the nature of change; listening and communication; cooperation and trustbuilding; intercultural dialogue; personal values and moral standards)
  • Group facilitation methodologies, including World Café, the Technology of Participation (ToP) and Open Space Technology;
  • Exercises in teamwork, cooperation, communication and listening skills
  • Discussions in large and small groups
  • Sharing of life-stories
  • Daily times of quiet reflection

Interns will also have the opportunity to meet with conference participants. You should note that opportunities to attend the conference sessions will be limited by commitments in the training programme and the departments – if you want to experience a conference fully, you might consider taking part as a participant directly after the Interns Leadership Programme (for the first session) or immediately before the programme (for the second session).

For a flavour of the Interns experience, have a look at this webpage created by one of the interns from 2013

Optional workshops

There will also be a number of optional workshops, and details of the plan for these will be updated as they are refined for 2016 – watch this space!


Dates for 2016

Session 1:
24/6 - 25/7/2016
Session 2:
22/7 - 21/8/2016
The dates subject to change. Interns are required to arrive and depart on these dates. Some exceptions will be made to accommodate people traveling from far away. We will address this on a case by case basis when the intern is accepted to the program.



interns on the terrace
interns on the terrace
Applicants must be at least 18 years old by June 2016 but no more than 30 years, and with a good command of English and preferably another language. French is especially useful (and is a requirement for work in the reception). Previous leadership and organisational experience is an advantage, as are skills related to the areas of service. That said, one of the riches of the programme is the huge diversity of experience, education and background, injecting unexpected elements.

There are also some basic expectations that all applicants should have of the programme. Please read these before you consider applying:

  • Early starts are often unavoidable. Breakfast is at 8.00am and all participants will be expected at an 8.30am daily briefing every morning, except days off. Some days will include activities before breakfast and those involved on the breakfast service, for instance, begin at 6.30am. Be prepared for the early morning mountain air!
  • Caux is a dynamic community and participants should come expecting to engage with the breadth of the programme as fully as possible. Days off are a great opportunity to explore further afield, but it is an expectation that participants will, in general, remain on the conference centre campus at other times. If your priority is a summer holiday base to see the sights of Switzerland, you have come to the wrong place. Any periods off campus of more than 12 hours will need to be approved by the Inside Change coordination team as they tend to disrupt the flow of the process. If you intend to use the opportunity to travel, we strongly suggest you schedule it before or after the program, to avoid disappointment.
  • On the hours: we’ll aim to have no more than 35 hours of compulsory programmed activities in a week. But if you like internships where you can check-out the minute your shift is over, and earlier if possible, there are plenty of other organisations who work with their interns in this transactional way. In Caux, it’s a community of service. Plenty of fun, plenty of responsibility.
  • Living in Community: you will be sharing a single-sex room with up to three other interns. This is not just about saving space; it adds to the experience of living in community and the application of all that we discuss throughout the day in the programme.


Selection Timeline

More information available soon, stay tuned!

Contribution to Costs

Board and lodging are fully covered, but participants are expected to fund their travel costs to and from Caux. As the Caux centre is charitably funded through the contributions of many volunteers' time, talents and money, any financial contribution you are able to raise for your stay will be greatly appreciated.

If you or someone you know is able to contribute to the cost of an accepted intern that otherwise would not have the opportunity to attend the program, please contact us. Diversity of background is of the highest importance to us and in no way do we want to limit anyone's ability to participate due to their financial situation.

For all Participants who are selected, there will be a registration fee of 250 CHF for the Programme.

Once your application as an intern has been accepted, you may pay this fee by clicking the button below or by direct transfer to a Caux account.


CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation, CH-6002 Lucerne:

  • Postfinance: 60-12000-4
  • Bank Account (CHF):
    - Credit Suisse, Lucerne, 249270-61-5
    - IBAN CH38 0483 5024 9270 6100 5
    - Swift code CRESCHZZ80A


To donate, click the button below or download a one page donors' brochure here.


Further Information and Application

For updates, follow us on facebook