Alumni Leadership Action Projects
GMF believes that the future of transatlantic relations will consist of new forms of collaboration driven by individuals across sectors, who strive to accelerate positive change on both sides of the Atlantic.
In support of this fundamental shift, GMF has set up a special fund to provide the leaders in our network with the startup capital to launch such new forms of collaborations and help us define the next era of relations, making it both citizen-centered and citizen-led.
GMF supports its alumni community initiatives in four key thematic areas:
Future of Democracy
Recent populist developments have highlighted weaknesses in our democracies. Europe and the United States are experiencing increased mobilization on the far right and the far left. Similar attributes characterize both including strongman leadership, opposition to elites, and calls for redistribution of rights and wealth. These movements exploit the discontent and unmet needs of ordinary people; while fostering a growing distrust in government and the core pillars of democracy such as independent judiciary, free media, and civil society. Policy innovations and civic initiatives 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 and trend in European and national elections. 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 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 is pleased to further make a deeper commitment to strengthen and build the global engagement capacities in American and European leaders.
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. 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 are therefore areas of focus in GMF's work through its Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative.
Business and Society
With attitudes toward corporate responsibility changing in regard to social and political issues, it is imperative that business leaders recognize the importance of acting beyond traditional frameworks, and to increase their efforts to be seen as leaders of society. As the chief engine of economic growth, a key driver in promoting global interconnectivity, and highly influential in regard to social attitudes, businesses on both sides of the Atlantic have considerable stake in positive relations between states, along with cohesive societies. As many top concerns for businesses in 2018 were focused on geopolitical uncertainty, cyber security, and the pace of technological change, it is evident that businesses must include themselves in this conversation.
Over the course of the last six years, these engagement opportunities have been made possible through the help of our different partners: the Dutch MFA, the KfW Development Bank, Meridiam, Nato and OSF as well as through the contribution of GMF’s own Alumni Leadership Council.