Request for Proposals
The Transatlantic Leadership Initiatives team recently closed its competitive RFP for proposals for alumni leadership action projects this year. Applications will reopen in Summer 2018.
Future of Democracy
Recent populist developments have highlighted weaknesses in our democracies. Europe and the United States have experienced increased mobilization on the far right and the far left. Similar attributes characterize both including strong leadership, opposition to elites, and calls for a different distribution of rights and wealth. These movements exploit the discontent, need, and desire of ordinary people that must be addressed. They are also bringing forth a growing mistrust in government, international institutions, and global trade. Core pillars of democracy such as independent judiciary, the media, and nongovernmental organizations are no longer guaranteed. The increase of violent extremism contributes to a state of fear which can lead to irrational choices that impact civil liberties and international alliances. Policy innovations that address these challenges are urgently needed.
There is growing concern for the future of U.S. global leadership both at home and abroad, as is the future of the European Union in light of the Brexit vote. Mounting skepticism of the importance of trade and international relations and resistance to immigration and inclusion fueled by security concerns continues to feed inward thinking by the public and their representatives. These factors, on their own or in combination, demonstrate the increasing need to invest in a more global outlook of our domestic leaders. Elected leaders at all levels need to understand and translate these global trends for their local constituencies now more than ever before. GMF’s Transatlantic Leadership Initiatives team has pioneered innovative programs and powerful curricula to help leaders expand their global professional networks; gain access to GMF’s policy expertise; and think, engage, and act at the international level. GMF is pleased to further make a deeper commitment to strengthen and build the global engagement capacities in U.S. and European leaders over the next three years.
Identity and Inclusion
The need for diverse and inclusive leadership has never been clearer, as Europe and the United States strive to strengthen social cohesion and to leverage the innovation and creativity of diverse teams in a highly competitive global environment. On both sides of the Atlantic, we continue to witness tensions that underscore the need to reverse trends of social fragmentation and scale up successful models of inclusion. A failure to do so may intensify tensions across such diversity markers as race, ethnicity, faith, and gender, despite legislation and innovative practices that have grown from civil rights movements on both sides of the Atlantic.
The inclusive leadership competency empowers leaders across sectors to access the full potential in our societies to address such pressing issues as refugee and immigration flows, equity in cities and economies, new majority-minority demographics, inclusive security, and civil and human rights for all.
While the inclusive leadership competency has never been more essential, it is not yet widely understood and implemented in 21st century-oriented leadership circles. Making sure the full range of stakeholders are represented, effectively utilizing resources to equitably serve populations, and ensuring inclusive leadership skills for next generation leaders will therefore be areas of focus in the next three years for GMF's work through its Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative.
GMF is pleased to invite Alumni to apply for Leadership Action Project grants with the following aims:
- Creating New Dialogues — Projects in this area will aim to bridge intergroup divides, such as rural-urban, age gaps, cross-sector, and social and economic diversification or a new pluralism.
- Igniting New Leadership — Projects in this area will aim to enhance the leadership skills of our network, facilitating connectivity among alumni and transfers of knowledge, skills, and contacts between or among organizations in or among particular regions, professions, fields of engagement, youth and other demographics, strengthening the ability of alumni to effect change.
- New Thinking on 21st Century Leadership — Projects in this area will aim to identify issues and trends that are present on both sides of the Atlantic, account for their similarities while recognizing differences, and put forth solutions that work well in some communities and could be applied elsewhere too.
Criteria for Selection
Proposals will be judged on their ability to engage the local or regional alumni network on a substantive topic or issue of relevance to the transatlantic community. Special consideration will be given to proposals demonstrating collaboration efforts across the Atlantic. Proposals should include details of matching funds or resources equivalent to the amount to be provided by GMF. Particular attention will be given to innovative or creative proposals that break new ground for the alumni network. Proposals submitted jointly by groups of alumni, or that ensure a high level of participation by a wide range of GMF stakeholders, will receive higher marks. GMF will make all final decisions and will feature winning proposals on its website.
Resources Offered and Requirements
Winning submissions will be awarded mini-grants in the range of up to $5,000. This amount can also be used as seed money to secure additional support from other institutions. It is also possible to apply for a multi-year project (up to three years) where awards will be paid at a decreasing ratio. Therefore, we encourage winning proposals to seek local partnership and the leveraging of resources equivalent to the amount invested by GMF. These resources may take the form of matching funds from a local business, the donation of event space from a local vendor, or the contribution of resources by the local community. Events and projects using the funds must be executed between October 2017 and May 2018. GMF will offer winning teams support from its headquarters to publicize the initiative among the alumni community. Winners will be asked to hand in a mid-term and a final report, and are encouraged to blog about their projects during execution. Payment will be made for the reimbursement of expenses or directly to vendors.
Request Format and Instructions
Please submit a project narrative, timeline, and proposed budget. In addition to contact details of the project’s leader and information about other participants, the form prompts you for the following information: the project or event title; a summary description; its goals and objectives; its target audience; an explanation of its relevance to the alumni network; an explanation of its relevance to the transatlantic community; a description of matching resources; and a project budget. Applications that are started cannot be saved for future editing. We recommend you look at this form in advance, draft text for these categories separately, and then fill in this form and press submit in one sitting.
The application portal is live and accepting applications between now and August 31st. Winning proposals will be announced in October 2016.