Global Collaborative (GC) Deepens Young Leaders’ Learning Journey

Organization: Global Collaborative
Author: Nga Trinh-Halperin

We find ourselves engaging with some of the most pressing questions of our times. The Global Collaborative (GC) gives us a chance to deepen our understandings and analyses of what’s happening in the world, both the problems and the opportunities, from a variety of perspectives.

In the GC, we are exploring our growing edges around questions of community building, healthy living, bridge-building (especially among antagonistic communities), solidarity, self-, social- and ancestral-healing, moving resources, etc. Because we come from a variety of communities (our 15 members come from 12 different countries), and different fields of work, this collaborative helps us to link issues and thus build a sense of the whole. It also helps us to push the envelope, to offer insights and new questions to conversations that are happening globally and locally, about social change.

Global CollaborativeWe also feel that it is vital to be part of a loving and supportive community of friends, whose mutual trust, respect, investment and shared values and perspectives make it possible for self- and co-learning to really happen. From the GC, a number of wonderful collaborations have emerged. Our energy and experiences have crossed borders, touched each other’s local communities, and been a source of support and inspiration on many levels. Through this, we all feel strengthened and more able to be of service to the communities we are part of.

What do we actually do together?

The GC has three main threads of work together:

  1. The World Jam: an annual week-long gathering of young people committed to internal, interpersonal and systemic change. This is hosted and facilitated by Global Collaborative members (to be held in Peru in 2008, and tentatively planned for Egypt in 2009 and Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2010).
  2. An Annual Meeting: four days together as a community, to engage in face-to-face conversations about what we are learning and where we are growing. To reduce expenses, this meeting typically follows the World Jam.
  3. A Flow Fund: to move resources into the collaborations and local work we are doing, or that other Jamily are doing, so that the Jam spirit can be nurtured and supported in other spaces. We aim to collect a pool of funds each year that are equally divided and allocated among GC members. In 2008, this pool is $45,000, or $3,000 per GC member.

The funding needs to support projects or connections that synthesize some meeting point of internal, interpersonal and systemic transformation/healing. It supports our collaborations and exploratory “probes” and envisioning. It is not intended for re-granting to other projects that do not directly engage any of us, nor for projects or activities not related to the themes or goals outlined above. As well for legal reasons, the funds cannot go to explicitly political work (campaigning) or illegal activities.

In general, we are using the funds to support:

  • Documenting what we are doing and trying (e.g. video, newsletter).
  • Disseminating these stories.
  • Supporting learning exchanges between young changemakers working at the intersection of internal, interpersonal and systemic issues (whether from GC, Jams, or our local communities).
  • Organizing transformational gatherings of diverse young changemakers.
  • Providing support for ourselves and aligned communities (e.g. for travel, bringing in facilitators, inviting guest elders to share with us).
  • Creating innovative new projects in alignment with our learnings.
  • Mentoring youth from our communities through/with the GC.

Some examples of how GC members have used their flow fund over the last two years:

  • Evon Peter (AZ, USA) launched a year-long program for Young Alaska Natives in collaboration with another World Jam alumna, Cathy Rexford.
  • Coumba Toure (Senegal) and Malika Sanders (AL, USA) worked collaboratively on the Invisible Giants Project, an intergenerational gathering for African Women to nourish, honor, and provide a reflective and renewing space for the everyday leaders.
  • Osmar Filho (Brasil) visited the 60+ Latin American Jam alumni, interviewing, filming, and deepening relations with them. He intends to produce a documentary about them and find ways to support their work.
  • Shilpa Jain (India) hosted two Jams in the subcontinent: the Rajasthan Jam, which explored ideas of Swaraj (self-rule) with young activists from around the state, and an intergenerational gathering on ‘Sharing Our Gifts and Privileges for Social Change’.
  • Ocean Robbins (USA) used his funds to support the launch of a Middle Eastern Jam currently planned for October 2008.

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