Awards Granted for the Third Round of Alumni Leadership Action Projects
The Transatlantic Leadership Initiatives (TLI) team at GMF is pleased to announce the winners of the third Alumni Leadership Action Projects Competition.
GMF was able to grant fourteen awards: five in the U.S. and nine in Europe. All proposals proved to be substantive, interesting, and compelling. The finalists represent:
- a range of regions
- a balance of topics relevant to the transatlantic agenda, and;
- a variety of formats strengthening the transatlantic alumni network.
We invite you to read about the winning projects below.
Combined Arms: Combined Arms: Comparing British and American Military Transition Systems
Description: British forces have endured the 2nd highest number of combat-related casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, second only to America. Like the US, they have struggled to address veterans’ unemployment, homelessness and suicides among their returning veterans. However, per capita, their statistics in these categories outperform their American counterparts. The goal of
the project is to bring British and American experts together to conduct a comparative analysis of how British Afghanistan/Iraq war veterans make a more successful transition to civilian life compared to their counterparts in the United States, in order to better prevent and address these issues in the future. We are pleased to announce this is a continuity grant based on the excellent project results from the previous year.
Project Leads: John Boerstler (MMF’12, USA) & Nathan Cook (MMF’11, USA
Applying German Utility Sector Innovation to Achieve California’s Clean Energy Goals
Description: As the world’s clean energy leader, Germany’s utility sector is transforming from a centralized, natural monopoly to a decentralized, competitive market. Germany’s ‘‘Energiewendeʼ’ clean energy transition is pioneering a new model that overcomes traditional utility economics and regulatory models which have historically obstructed clean energy innovation. In California, and across the US, those same obstructionist forces are impeding America’s transition to clean, renewable energy. This project will apply insights from the German utility sector to California, with the goal of developing a transition roadmap that allows California utilities to both protect their shareholders while also benefiting from de-carbonization.
Project Lead: Todd Achilles (MMF’01, USA)
Transatlantic Trilateral Information Program for Media
Description: The project will see 12 journalist alumni from the U.S. and Germany travel to Germany and Ukraine to meet and travel with a group of six Ukrainian media representatives, and immerse themselves in the ongoing topics of international dispute, the expectations to the Western world and other, they will also explore and receive training on the use of digital media and how to address the challenges of state controlled media and propaganda misuse of media outlets.
Project Lead: Dirk Schattschneider, (MWS’98 and MMF’03, Germany)
Transatlantic Social Entrepreneurship Exchange
Description: The idea is to connect potential social investors, foundations, distributors, successful social entrepreneurs also to strengthen the ties between the US and European social entrepreneurs. The goal is to share experiences, learn how can help each other and to lower barriers to enter the US or European market. The project seeks to establish a Transatlantic Social Entrepreneurship Exchange, strengthen know how and network among European and US Social Entrepreneurs, meet social investors, think tanks, foundations, and experienced social entrepreneurs in the US to identify interested participants, help US social enterprises enter the European market, and reveal opportunities for European social enterprises to enter the US/Northern American market.
Project Leads: Andrea-Victoria Noelle (APSA’07-08,Germany) & Annika Busse (APSA ’05-06, Germany)
Social Enterprises Scaling
Description: Social enterprises address some of today’s most pressing issues. However, the great majority of them struggle to grow, especially to scale internationally. The aim of the Social Enterprises Scaling project is to allow social enterprises, that are ready, to grow through a unique scaling infrastructure for ; currently in and across eight European countries. The second goal of the Social Enterprises Scaling project is to present European lessons learned in scaling social enterprises and to align vision and strategic plans on both sides of the Atlantic for local, US-‐‑wide and transatlantic scaling of social enterprises.
Project Lead: Andrea Lelovics (MMF ’05, Slovakia), with team members Guus Valk (MMF ’05, The Netherlands), Adam Snyder (MMF ’09, USA), Galya Hubanova (MMF ’05, Bulgaria), Abby Benson (MMF ’09, USA), Vasilios Margaris (MMF ’05, Greece)
Entrepreneurship without Borders: Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Across the Atlantic
Description: The aim of this project is to leverage GMF’s platform and begin a larger transatlantic conversation about business, industry and commerce across the transatlantic. We envision a recurring multi‑day conference to do just that. This would afford alumni and stakeholders the chance to discuss industry, commerce and the private sector. Our alumni leadership project is the first step in a larger journey to build the broader discussion. The theme will be on Fostering Entrepreneurship and Creating Entrepreneurial Eco‑Systems. Topics covered will examine the differences in Europe and the U.S in all aspects, as it relates to the role of government, philanthropy and NGO's to promote entrepreneurialism and small business growth.
Project Leads: Damon Taseff (MMF’14, USA) & Petra Despot Domljanovic (MMF’14, Croatia), with team member Terry Bruner (MMF ’14, USA)
Dutch Inclusion Leaders
Description: The Dutch Inclusion Leaders project will be a diversity and inclusion initiative in the spirit of GMF's leadership vision. We will choose young talent from each of the 12 provinces (2 per province) of the Netherlands based on a very simple application where the young people express their motivation to be in the program and give an example of the way they lead in their home community. Topics such as communication skills, networking, innovation, and the transatlantic role will be discussed. Budgets for these events will be very modest and as the program develops we will be seeking Dutch corporate sponsors also at a modest level. By educating young people to be inclusive leaders, we are preparing them for the challenges they may be facing. In this way, they can best contribute by bringing people together across visible and invisible barriers to solve rather than creating problems.
Project Leads: Mpanzu Bamenga (TILN’15, The Netherlands) & Ahmed Larouz (MMF ’08, Morocco); Mei Ling Lim (MMF’12)
Network Inclusion Leadership Training
Description: A democratic and inclusive society needs strong, well connected and well trained minority leaders at the end of the talent pipeline that ensure a new dynamic among the current leadership circles. The follow‑up workshop of the Germany/Austrian-based “Network Inclusion Leaders – NILE” endeavors to: Identify, network and empower young (19‑27 Year old) minority leaders in their respective identity communities, increase the visibility of minority leaders from and in NGOs, the private sector and the policy realm (minority advocacy), and provide the participants access to decision makers and change agents for an inclusive society. We are pleased to announce this is a continuity grant based on the excellent results last year.
Project Leads: Gün Tank (TILN’13, Germany) & Daniel Gyamerah (TILN ’13, Germany)
Youth Leadership Project - Youth Engagement Workshop
Description: The aim of this project is to establish a wide-based community movement, which encourages the positive involvement of young people in solving issues, which affect them, treating them as resources, not as problems. The focus will be on four main areas: Education, Employment, Engagement, and Empowerment. Each area will feature expert presentations, interactive sessions and easy-to-follow guides that contain community-based strategies and resources. This workshop will be driven on providing relevant capacity building skills, tools and knowledge to youth participants. It promotes understanding and respect about both differences and common values in the society and is also an important contribution to prevent radicalization. The Youth Engagement Workshop will be held in March 2016 on the campus of the University of Stavanger. It is an initiative of African Youth Leadership (AYL) under the Youth Leadership project.
Project Lead: Farhia Bashir Nur (TILN’15, Norway)
Building a Political Movement for Immigrant Communities
Description: In the presidential election season, the ugly spectre of xenophobia and the potential voting power of New Americans are hot topics once again. Without an enduring and progressive movement, New Americans risk being continually demonized and permanently isolated from authentic political power that could move an immigrant integration agenda. This program will be part of the National Immigrant Integration Conference in NYC, where it presents a transatlantic panel featuring GMF alumni on the topic. This will be followed by a workshop examine what a New American movement could look like, and explore the strategies and challenges involved to bring new voices into government and deploying strategies to transform political systems.
Project Lead: Carlos Menchaca (TILN’15, USA) with Raquel Castañeda-Lopez (TILN’14, USA), Ruben Gallego (USA), Mpanzu Bamenga (TILN’15, The Netherlands), Gün Tank (TILN’13, Germany)
US Latinos & German Turks: An Analysis of Immigrant Integration Efforts
Description: In hopes of establishing an annual series, this inaugural two-‐‑city exchange between Berlin and Detroit seeks to explore the dynamics and experience of immigrant integration efforts for Turkish immigrants and Latino immigrants in Germany and the US, respectively. As migration patterns and demographics shift globally, this dialogue is essential to developing more informed policies and initiatives to truly support and welcome immigrant communities. We hope this project stimulates future panels and/or projects exploring the experience of marginalized immigrant populations, across borders, in multiple cities. It will also be integrated into the upcoming Detroit Seminar in May 2016.
Project Leads: Raquel Castañeda‑López (TILN ’14, USA) & Orkan Ozdemir (TILN ’14, Germany)
Building Inclusive Leadership Capacity in France
Description: The project aims at organizing a one day workshop on inclusiveness and unity with the French society. A diverse group will be selected in terms of ethnicities, religions, and social backgrounds from politics, civil society, media. They will work on a capacity building process and training with professional on community organizing. The outcomes will be on the first hand to give them new skills and empower them and start a community of leaders working for inclusiveness.
Project Leads: Samia Hathroubi (TILN ’13, France) & Orkan Ozdemir (TILN ’14, Germany), with Assia Benziane (TILN ’14, France)
El Camino of Refugees
Description: This project follows, documents, and reports from the so called Balkan route had a very positive response in and beyond Hungary. It reports from Greece and the epicenters of the crisis there, the islands of Kos and Levsos, as well as Athens, where the refugees are being shipped from the islands. It also include Turkey, where almost 2 million Syrian people now live, including the coast around Bodrum which became the "Mecca" of human traffickers. It also includes Lebanon, the country of 4 million people which accommodates almost 2 million refugees to see how the Lebanese people and authorities cope with this extraordinary situation.
Project Lead: Gyorgy Kakuk (MMF ’96, Hungary)
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