Join the Transatlantic Conversation in 2016
Dear Alumni and Friends of German Marshall Fund leadership programs,
As the transatlantic community faces increased challenges — from rising inequality, to terrorist threats, to continued economic recovery and trade — the importance of well-informed and collaborative leadership is higher than ever before. You, as an esteemed member of GMF’s leadership network, enjoy a unique opportunity in your community to leverage transatlantic relations for the benefit of those you serve. I write to you now with an overview of what we have done together last year and what we plan to do in 2016.
As I look back at 2015, I am inspired by your active participation in the leadership initiatives offered by the German Marshall Fund. Over 300 alumni served as selectors of incoming fellows as hundreds of others put forth stellar candidates. Seven alumni joined the ranks of our program coordinators and 75 members entered network after having met more than 200 leaders in over 40 communities during their Marshall Memorial Fellows experience. More than 31 alumni joined our Marshall Seminar on Global Security in Brussels to examine 21st century threats as 30 new Manfred Worner Seminar participants joined our transatlantic security network. The thinkers and doers in our Transatlantic Inclusion Leaders Network continued to grow and bring under-represented communities into the transatlantic discourse. The Transatlantic Leadership Seminar took a delegation of 20 to Athens, Rome, and Turin for strategies to lead and manage change. GMF awarded $47,500 in Alumni Leadership Action Project mini grants to 14 alumni driven projects to address pressing issues across Europe and the United States. Taken together, our network is the most active and vital linking leaders across the Atlantic.
We at GMF would not have been able to achieve any of this without your involvement and support. I am humbled by your commitment, your dedication, and your strengths. Together we will continue to build coalitions and address issues critical to your communities and the transatlantic relationship. Looking ahead to 2016, I am excited to announce several upcoming engagement opportunities for you to begin to calendar through Summer 2017.
The Marshall Seminar on Democracy and its Future, April 6 to 8, 2016, will bring together civically minded leaders in Bucharest to explore trends affecting democracy today and identify solutions to strengthen civic engagement, as well as democratic values, principles, and procedures for the challenges and opportunities of our era. The seminar will address critical issues including inequality, money in politics, digital activism, the rise of populism, and future of democracy. Registrations are now open. GMF has received donations to offer a limited number of scholarships.
As Europe and the United States continue to face evolving challenges, we at GMF have recognized a need to bring leaders together to address shared global challenges. GMF’s inaugural Triennial Transatlantic Leaders Retreat will be held from June 3 to 5 in Turin, Italy, on the topic “Transatlantic 20/20: Preparing for a New Era” to meet this need. Transatlantic 20/20 will offer you the opportunity to meet face-to-face with high level leaders to discuss important policy challenges linked to transatlantic leadership, inclusive leadership, youth engagement, business and social entrepreneurship, innovation and social change. The retreat will feature inspirational leadership of high potential leaders within GMF’s Alumni network of over 3,000 leaders as well as a senior key note address, all of which will take place in the tranquil surrounds of the ancient countryside of the Italian Piedmont region.
Detroit’s path from bankruptcy to newly regained solvency, as well as its thriving creative economy is a testament to the power of civic leadership, cross-sectorial coalitions, and strategic global engagement. Our Marshall Seminar series will reconvene in September to examine leadership insights into how to lead and manage transitions in your city or organization and tap into niche global opportunities. The Marshall Seminar on Leading through Transition toward Global Engagement will take place from September 21 to 23 in Detroit, Michigan.
Finally, our Transatlantic Leadership Seminar series continues in 2017 with a much-awaited immersion into issues shaping the relationship between the two largest nations in North America, the United States and Mexico. Migratory patterns, integration strategies, border security, regional economic integration and trade, issues related to organized crime and trafficking, and local reform efforts and leadership of change will all be examined. For now, please save June 4-10, 2017, for the event.
I look forward to growing and working with you as we continue to create a positive impact on transatlantic relations and the world.
All my best,
Kevin Cottrell (MMF '08)
The views expressed in GMF publications and commentary are the views of the author alone.