Founded in 1990 by Ocean Robbins and Ryan Eliason (then ages 16 and 18), YES! connects, inspires and empowers young changemakers to join forces for a thriving, just and sustainable way of life for all. Today YES! is directed by the husband-wife team of Ocean and Michele Robbins who serve as Director and President respectively.
YES! has held 90 week-long events for young leaders from 60 countries, and spoken in person to more than 629,000 people in school and conference presentations, providing support and skills to empower the next generation of leaders. In addition, YES! has distributed hundreds of thousands of books and action guides, and co-produced the award winning video based on footage from a World Youth Leadership Jam, “Connect,” which has been shown in 70 countries on MTV.
Each YES! Jam brings together approximately thirty outstanding young change makers for a week of networking, skills sharing and community building. YES! Jams create transformative fields of shared inquiry in which young leaders deepen the root system behind the commitments, prayers and actions that move through their lives.
YES! alumni have started more than 400 non-profit groups working for positive change, and increased membership to hundreds more. Among other things, they have negotiated gang truces, inspired peace movements, won class action lawsuits on behalf of oppressed refugees, led tribal nations towards sustainable economies and environmental protection, trained monks and nuns for spiritually engaged social action, produced globally distributed award-winning films on social transformation, organized campaigns to unseat racist politicians, led empowerment trainings for hundreds of women and girls living under Muslim law, and catalyzed initiatives to save thousands of hectares of tropical rain forest. They have taught yoga and meditation to thousands of young leaders, organized hundreds of marches and rallies, and founded dozens of socially responsible businesses.