Emerging changemakers work in isolation without an adequate support network beyond their discipline, location or practice. They seek spaces where they can explore ideas with peers in a multidisciplinary process of sustained reflection. They yearn for the camaraderie of like-minded people facing similar challenges and look for opportunities to bring their ideas to a broader public. Bringing together changemakers fuels innovation and collaboration for positive transformation of a needy world.
The Global Environments Summer Academy (GESA) is the cornerstone of GDF's effort to diminish this isolation through peer-to-peer education and sustained interactions. Entering its fourth year, GESA provides emerging environmental leaders with networking opportunities, communication skills and a venue for cutting-edge, multidisciplinary reflection. Over three years, we have hosted 59 emerging changemakers from 38 countries, and we will accept another 40 participants for GESA 2014 and 2015.
The success of GESA encourages us to create a Global Environments Network to promote interactions among brilliant, proactive people. We started an Alumni Innovation Fund to support their efforts to embrace advocacy, environmental justice and ethical approaches and to communicate the results of applied research and practice to the general public. We are planning regional academies and community exchanges to expand this powerful interconnected group of emerging changemakers around the world.
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