Global Citizenship Innovation for a new decade (2007-2011)
With the inception of social media, wider avenues for networking, and reaching out to newer audiences, the Melton Foundation started the process of scripting its journey into the second decade of the millennium. Incorporating major innovations along the way and continuing to uphold initiatives that furthered its vision, the years 2007-2011 were defined by enthusiasm and action!
The 2007 Symposium at FSU, Germany marked a shift in the topics dominating the conversation. It kicked off a series of broader conversations about the future of the Melton Foundation. Facebook and Twitter were slowly taking over the world and promising an increasingly connected world.
The symposium explored how the Melton Foundation could lead the way over the course of the next decade.
Melton Fellow Divya Tyam shares:
” The 2007 Symposium in Jena was my first one as a senior fellow. It was also my first time in Jena, so it was great to see the city and campus I had heard so much about. We had lots of field trips! I remember going to a local recycling plant, museums in Leipzig, the Carl Zeiss factory – all of which were very engaging and informative. But what I remember the most is one-on-one conversations with several of my beloved FSU friends – about life, career, and Germany. “
Some impressions from the 2007 FSU Symposium:
The same year, Melton Day was celebrated in March, and shortly after, the Junior and Senior Fellows at FSU took a retreat to focus on their work together along with enjoying an outing amongst themselves. The Melton Foundation also marked its presence in the German Foundations conference a few months later. Meanwhile, the Fellows at ZU Campus continued with their Social Service Projects, educating children and aiding them in their education. They even organized a film festival, open to their university’s community. At the UFRO campus, a weekend seminar, campus visit, and a forum on global warming were conducted.
The Dillard University campus, New Orleans, assumed the responsibility of hosting the 2008 Symposium. It went one step further and organized Melton Week as well, which memorably involved an ‘Indian films’ themed party. Melton Day for 2008 took place virtually and provided a platform for regional coordinators to put forth their views and updates. At BMS Campus, Fellows went to Green Valley resort for their weekend seminar and took the opportunity to discuss, exchange ideas, and showcase presentations. Notably, in 2008, fellows Tanja and Winthrop attended the annual NAFSA conference, which was held in Washington, DC.
In 2009, the annual symposium was relaunched as the Global Citizenship Conference (GCC), it was held at BMS, Bangalore, and involved a Melton Foundation fundraising campaign. The first-ever leadership fund was established and the board members contributed in cash by pledging to cover their own air travel to the next BOD meeting. The GCC was not without its usual but colorful share of cultural presentations.
Impressions from the first-ever GCC at Bangalore are below!
GCC 2009 in the words of Melton Fellow May Garces:
“2009 was my first year as a Senior Fellow and together with Javier Lorca, another Chilean fellow, we developed a project called “Music Innovation: Breaking cultural barriers through the universal language of music”. We were intrigued about Indian music and what is better than to learn from the source? Our contact on the ground was Hari Ravikumar who was a teacher at a classical Indian music academy. During the time that I was unwell, I couldn’t eat the food at the hospital so some fellows visited me and brought me food and a little bit of company. These memories will always be special!”
In 2009, the Indian Ambassador also paid a visit to the UFRO Campus in Temuco where fellows presented an India picture exhibition.
The 2010 Symposium at China, fondly christened as ‘China now!’ was a special and innovative event due to the integration of TEDx for the very first time. With participants, not only from the Melton Foundation but also from the university community and other special guests, the TEDx was an impressive event and set the bar high when it came to cultural presentations.
Karla Araya recollects:
“China NOW!” was my first symposium and the experience was mindblowing from the very beginning. I arrived dramatically late due to the travel from Chile, it was getting really dark and I was clearly missing the welcome dinner when the taxi finally got to the place. Suddenly, someone from the car that just parked next to us came to help us take out the wheelchair from the taxi. Once seated, I expressed my deep gratitude to the kind man who helped us and I asked for his name: “I’m Bill Melton” he replied, with a wide smile, while I was astonished.”
At Symposium 2011, held in Chile, Fellows and participants had the opportunity to visit different areas of the Araucania region and to interact with entrepreneurs and social business. They also involved themselves in the Mañuco school project and paid a visit to the Mapuche community.
UFRO organized the second Melton Foundation TEDx and the first one for the UFRO campus. Presenters from different countries and backgrounds shared their stories and Indian traditional music and dance were performed by two Senior Fellows from BMS.
Curious about how the Melton Foundation grew into a diverse network of individuals and organizations over a journey spanning three decades? Start your reading from here!