FOUNDING STORY: We want to hear about your “Aha!” moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution’s potential to change the world.
The participation of young journalists in this project is a direct outcome of the Next Generation Initiative’s participation in the U.S. Secretary of State's Global Diaspora Forum, held in May 2011 in partnership with USAID, the Migration Policy Institute and other partners, which recognized the importance of diaspora community programs as important vehicles of people-to-people exchange and global partnerships for diplomacy and development. During the Forum, exchanges with leaders of other youth-oriented diaspora organizations revealed the need among many different diaspora communities to engage their youth in dialogue and encourage youth participation in promoting positive social and economic change in their native lands. This Media Project is an attempt to provide a model for how the Greek and other diasporas can engage and empower youth, coupling student-led journalism with widespread youth access to the Internet to strengthen youth participation and activism.
Specify both the depth and scale of your solution’s social impact to date
Five organizations, including a university program, non-profit organizations and business/entrepreneur associations and two government agencies have already reached out to discuss potential partnerships or collaboration. Before the website has officially launched, there has been a great amount of traffic, mainly from Greece and from cities in the United States with large diaspora communities, eager to gather and share information. The twitter account is already followed by quite a few Greek and American journalists interested in the Project and what the Team has to say.
Team members have been contacted by local and national radio stations with interview requests, thus allowing students and recent graduates to be recognized for their unique and valuable opinions and insights.
One of the recent graduates that participated in this project founded an innovative online start-up company. Inspired by her experience with the project this summer, and utilizing the network she built in Athens, she is considering ways to include young professionals in Greece in her efforts.
What is your projected impact within the next 1-5 years? Is your idea replicable? If so, how?
From September 2011 to May 2012 the Project will train this year’s Team to serve as mentors to two teams of six students and young professionals being sent to Greece in the summer of 2012. The Project will also recruit contributors and encourage the participation of those in the Initiative's pre-existing network (currently over 10,000 students and professors) in addition to members of Greek American student associations at over 50 universities.
In the next two to five years, the Project plans to serve as a model and potential training partner for diaspora groups from countries other than Greece who want to engage the youth in their own communities, and increase their active participation in volunteer and service programs.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and mark growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Establish a network of 15 contributors in addition to the launch team. Establish a plan for 3 partnerships with local orgs.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Fund two fully trained teams traveling to Greece in 2012.