About Us

AMENDS is a student initiative at Stanford University that enables the most promising youth change agents from across the Middle East, North Africa, and United States to learn from each other, advance their work, and share, through TEDtm style talks, their ideas and experiences with the world.

Our Approach

AMENDS has three main components: Mentorship, Summit, and the AMENDS Talks.

Mentorship | The AMENDS Mentorship program seeks to create a worldwide network of youth leaders, academics, activists and professionals that promotes an exchange of ideas and advances of youth leaders’ initiatives. Our first Mentorship program had 17 mentors (Link) from all the United States and MENA Region. The program began three months before the 2012 Summit with Skype calls, emails, and when possible, meetings between the mentors and their respective mentees. They discussed the goals, obstacles, and resources of the delegates’ initiatives. The mentorship often produced enhanced action plans for the youth leaders’ work. Moving forward, we hope to continue the growth of this network so that past Delegates can continue to use it in their future endeavors while new Delegates have greater resources and guidance available to them as they seek to create positive social, political, and economic change.

If you are interested in potentially becoming a mentor for the 2013 Delegates, please email AJ Sugarman at:

Click here for a list of our 2012 mentors.

Summit | The AMENDS Summit is a five-day gathering at Stanford University of exemplary youth leaders from all across the Middle East, North Africa, and United States. Through collaboration, networking, and leadership training, the Summit seeks to create lasting solutions to pressing challenges and a global network of the most promising change agents in the United States and MENA region. The delegates collaborate on their social, political, and economic initiatives, participate in workshops on team-building and social entrepreneurship, engage with world leaders in networking events, and present their AMENDS Talks to their fellow youth leaders and the Stanford community. In turn, we hope to help promote greater understanding and respect between the regions, and create a generation of world leaders who can solve problems through international collaboration.

Please click here for our 2012 Conference Report.


AMENDS Talks |  The AMENDS Talks are an opportunity for all of the youth leaders to share their ideas, experiences, and initiatives with each other, global leaders, and the world. Modeled off of TED Talkstm, AMENDS Talks are presentations on ideas that weave in our delegates’ experiences and work. At the April 2012 summit, Talks topics ranged from the power of photography in community development to the role of nonviolence in political and social change. The talks are currently hosted on AMENDS’ website and will also be featured on Stanford’s official Youtube channel. We hope the AMENDS Talks will not only amplify our delegates’ voices and gain support for their initiatives, but also will promote cross-cultural understanding and inspire others to work towards a better future as well.


Our Story

In February of 2011, as protests were erupting across North Africa and the Middle East, two Stanford undergraduates met at a coffee shop. They had been born and raised in Bahrain and Chicago respectively. A conversation ensued about the power of youth leaders to create positive social, political, and economic change, the necessity of sharing their ideas and experiences with the world, and the profound potential of collaboration and understanding between the Middle East, North Africa, and the United States. This conversation gave birth to AMENDS – a student-led initiative sponsored by Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. It has since grown to a team of 15 Stanford students hailing from all over the world.