Alumni Leadership Action ProjectsGMF firmly believes that at the heart of transatlantic relations lies the collaborative force of individuals.
GMF is committed to the idea that the United States and Europe are stronger together. It champions the principles of democracy, human rights, and international cooperation, which have served as the bedrock of peace and prosperity since the end of World War II, but are under increasing strain.
Our diverse alumni community, spanning both continents, is uniquely positioned to build bridges, create positive impact, and fortify the bonds between Europe and the United States.
Building on GMF’s work around issues such as future of democracy, security and defense, geopolitics, technology and innovation we invite alumni from all our leadership programs to submit project proposals which further advance the transatlantic relationship. Projects should address the following overarching themes:
Transatlantic cooperation and understanding: projects should focus on renewing the transatlantic relationship for the future by:
- Developing awareness and understanding of the European Union’s values, culture, and policies among the next generation of American leaders (aged 15-30), especially those from minority communities, around the following topics: security and defense, trade, investment and an economy that works for all , data privacy and digitalization, justice and home affairs, learning and skills for a digital economy, tackling the climate crisis through sustainable urban transportation.
Future of Democracy: Projects should focus on advancing democracy in the transatlantic space by:
- Creating task forces on various current topics, such as addressing the intersection of innovation/new technologies and democratic development, its challenges, and opportunities.
- Rebuilding trust in public institutions and the media in a polarized and fragmented social space.
- Tackling misinformation and its impact on the principle of freedom of speech and information.
- Engaging the younger generation in conversations and activities to increase collaboration and develop a deeper connection to democratic values and principles.
Business and Innovation: Projects should focus on exploring how to strengthen the positive role of business by:
- Fostering a purpose driven approach for the role of business in today’s transatlantic society, that combines profit and positive societal impact.
- Exploring policy innovations that improve markets, foster innovation, and help communities develop in an inclusive and equitable way.
- Addressing the pandemic recovery and resilience with a special focus on inclusive economic recovery and access to healthcare
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Projects should focus on leveraging the diversity of the transatlantic community to make it more inclusive and equitable by:
- Developing, researching, analyzing, and piloting DEI solutions in the private and public sphere in various fields such as policy, education, etc.
- Exploring new global leadership models and skills that create societal impact, such as intercultural competency, emotional intelligence, innovation management, transparency etc.
Current ProjectsExpand All
Transatlantic Cooperation and Understanding
Turkey's Foreign Policy and Euro-Atlantic Vector
Hasmik Khachatryan (PDN ’19)
The project aims to contribute to the current debate on Turkey’s foreign policy—particularly toward the European Union, United States, and NATO—by researching core determinants with fresh insights and in-depth, comprehensive analyses.
Future of Democracy
Community SOUP Training
Amy Kaherl (MMF ’17)
The project aims to bring the United States-based initiative SOUP, a community crowdfunding model that supports local ideation growth and development through dinners, to 20 youth leaders from 13 EU countries. SOUP training will give these leaders the know-how to lead these funding projects and understand the philosophy, impact, documentation, storytelling, and social media components to advertise both the dinner and its impact.
Business and Innovation
Launching an Inclusive Transatlantic Innovation Ecosystem
David Rader (MWS ’19), Isaac Jenkins (MMS ’18), Maximilian Scheunemann (MWS ’18)
This project aims at identifying a pragmatic policy framework to protect and enhance inclusive innovation ecosystems in Europe by encouraging their growth in the face of numerous challenges (early-stage “killer” acquisition, nefarious technology transfer, and value-chain duplication) while fostering stronger bonds between communities of interest across the Atlantic.
Future of Industrial Cities
Anna Iemelianova (PDN ’19)
The project aims to open a discussion on the future of industrial cities in Ukraine by exploring the revitalization of industrial buildings and objects to positively affect local infrastructure and development. Examples of revitalized industrial buildings and industrial objects in the United States, European Union, and Ukraine will be discussed.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Female Tech Founder Fundraising Workshop—Lessons between Silicon Valley and Sofia
Austin Arensberg (MMF ’16)
This workshop offers a forum for female tech experts from the United States and their Bulgarian counterparts to share best practices and relevant personal experiences, and receive hands-on guidance on how to raise capital. The process will equip Bulgarian female founders with the necessary skills and expertise for their start-ups and help close the gender gap in this field.
Training for Building the Political Skills of Young Roma in Bulgaria
Atanas Stoyanov (TILN ’12)
The project’s goal is to strengthen the leadership skills of 15 young Roma to increase their involvement in the political and public life of Bulgaria. The project seeks to empower young minority leaders by introducing them to political campaign experts and acting politicians to build relevant practical skills and be inspired to join political parties.
How to ApplyExpand All
Criteria for Selection and Eligibility
Proposals will be judged on how they address one or more of the priorities included in the call. Special consideration will be given to proposals demonstrating collaboration efforts across the Atlantic as well as to initiatives based on partnerships across the GMF alumni network. 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.
We encourage alumni to develop initiatives which build collaborations and engagement within the alumni network, and which can leverage GMF’s expertise around these topics. Special consideration will be given to projects which engage citizens from rural, small mid-sized urban areas, minority communities, across different generations and socio-economic backgrounds.
Project activities that can be funded include but are not limited to: piloting or prototyping policy solutions, different types of convenings (workshops, trainings, seminars, debates, fora etc.), publications (research, policy papers, reports etc.), media interventions (investigative reporting, interviews, podcasts etc.) or artistic products (festivals, exhibitions etc.).
GMF encourages alumni who have not previously pursued this opportunity to apply. Alumni can be part of no more than two project applications in one cycle as a main implementer and partner, or as a partner in both initiatives.
Resources Offered and Requirements
Successful applicants will be awarded grants of up to $5,000 USD, which they will have to expend by October 31, 2022. Equipment will be considered as an eligible budget cost in case-by-case situations. Project implementers cannot be remunerated under the project budget in any capacity (project manager, expert etc.). Over the course of implementation, progress check-ins with the Leadership Programs Team are mandatory as well as the submission of a report at the completion of the project.
GMF recommends that you download and fill out the project narrative and budget proposal forms ahead of finalizing your application via our online portal below. Please feel free to visit the portal beforehand to familiarize yourself with the questions you will have to answer there, but our recommendation is that do the actual application in one sitting, rather than several.
The application window has now closed. Please check back later.
If you have any questions regarding the application process or would like to receive feedback on your idea, please feel free to contact Maria Florea at [email protected]
The Alumni Leadership Action Projects are made possible with the support of the Alumni Leadership Council, the KfW Development Bank, the European Commission and Archery Foundation.