Our most recent batch of Fellows convened in Berlin (Germany) to build collaborative relationships and develop core-competencies to drive change together.
The New Fellow Orientation (NFO) 2019 took place from 15-20 March 2019 in Berlin (Germany). CLICK HERE for a day-to-day account of what happened!
Over the course of five days, our most recent batch of fellows will immerse in the Melton Foundation intercultural experience, and explore new ways to work together and address global issues across borders and cultures. NFO activities and sessions are designed to boost fellows’ leadership capacity, teamwork abilities, critical thinking, and motivation to work together on solving the challenges in an interconnected world.
A stellar group of trainers & mentors, along with inspiring collaborators & partners will work with the fellows, as they deepen relationships through mutual understanding and trust, develop essential skills, learn about diverse cultures, unpack how global issues affect communities across the globe, identify shared interests, and gear up to work together in addressing pressing issues in meaningful and tangible ways.
Meet the stellar team of trainer and mentors, who will accompany us at the New Fellow Orientation. Coming from all over the world, they will guide and train New Fellows throughout this unique learning journey!
Meet Claudia Nicolai
Academic Director, HPI School of DesignRead Bio
Meet Majo Juárez Rodríguez
Social EntrepreneurRead Bio
Meet Mana Taheri
Design Thinking ReasearcherRead Bio
Meet Ashitha Nayak
Documentation SpecialistRead Bio
Meet Diana Heuss
Talent DeveloperRead Bio
Meet Johanna Stahl
Meet Neli Blum
Educator & EntrepreneurRead Bio
Meet Tom Sebastian
Strategy & Innovation ExpertRead Bio
Meet Vernice Richards
Performance Psychology ConsultantRead Bio
Meet Henrika Amoafo
Junior Fellow Board RepresentativeRead Bio
Meet Isabel Jaki
Leadership InternRead Bio
Meet Pranav Bijapur
Leadership InternRead Bio
Academic Director, HPI School of Design
Claudia is academic director of the HPI School of Design Thinking. She develops the curricula, trains, coaches and works with students as well as executives. Claudia is also responsible for cooperation with international academic institutions. Claudia studied Business Administration, Economics, and Social Science and received her Ph.D. in Strategic Management. She worked as Assistant Professor at Witten University and as Professor for Strategic Communication at the University of Arts Berlin. In her former life, she has also gained experience as a brand manager and strategy consultant for human centered innovation processes.
Majo is currently co-founding Sistas, a project focused on cultivating fruitful community spaces for support and development to tackle loneliness and gender inequity in Berlin, alongside studying a masters in Public Policy at the Hertie School of Governance. For her, Design Thinking is more than an innovation method executed by an iterative process: it’s a mindset that challenges competitive social behaviors and fosters diversification which leads to collaborative innovation. Seven years ago, she also founded Mexico, an NGO focused on sustainable development and women empowerment in her come country alongside studying a BA in Political Science.
Design Thinking Reasearcher
Mana Taheri is a researcher at the HPI-Stanford Design Thinking Research Program and a PhD student at the University of Potsdam. Her research interest lies in investigating and exploring the potential and impact of teaching Design Thinking at scale, with a strong interest for online education. She holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Management from Humboldt University, where she completed her studies in Berlin, Havana, and Istanbul. Mana was born and raised in Tehran where she also obtained her bachelor’s in Economics. She enjoys teaching, drawing, and (recently) long boarding.
A Computer Science graduate who fell in love with Global Communications, Ashitha writes and reviews content, curates press releases, and cooks up media recipes for a living. A content and communications executive by day, the storyteller in her is channeled late evenings as she digs out inspiration from daily life. Ashitha has hosted
about 50+ events, and public speaking is her high.
Follow Ashi’s blog at https://askashiblog.wordpress.com/
After growing up in Heidelberg, Diana move to Jena to study in Psychology at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. Later, she pursued a master’s degree in Augsburg, Germany in the field of Conflict Research. Besides her studies, she’s been a Melton Fellow since 2013, where she had the privilege to make unique intercultural experiences and develop her capacity to become a global citizen.
Currently, she is working as a training facilitator, HR and talent developer at an international company in Munich, Germany.
Johanna studied psychology at the University of Jena and received a Doctor’s Degree in Cognitive Neurosciences in 2010. She is a postdoctoral researcher at the Austrian Research and Support Center for the Gifted and Talented (ÖZBF) in Salzburg, Austria. Her work focuses on the effects and long-term benefits of different support models for gifted students as well as on the development
of diagnostic and coaching approaches for gifted
In her spare time, she enjoys photography, reading, swimming and frequently explores her Alpine surroundings via bicycle, skis or hiking boots.
Educator & Entrepreneur
Holding a master degree in social work & social management, Neli enjoys facilitating self-reflection through a systemic counseling mindset as well as creating new ideas for social innovations. With the start-up Benatna, a social web-app providing culturally sensitive sex-education, Neli and other Melton Fellows implemented their learnings and skills gained through the MF in a real-life challenge.
A yoga session every morning is a must for her!
Strategy & Innovation Expert
Tom is an industry expert and experienced project leader coming from a background of political affairs and technology strategy. He specializes in strategy execution, public & corporate innovation with more than a decade of experience working for leading Fortune 500 companies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. Most recently Palladium Group, a social innovation firm and one of the leading partners to the United Nations and countries like the US, UK and Australia. His passion as an entrepreneur enables him to uniquely identify positive impact delivery through the use of technology and research.
Performance Psychology Consultant
Vernice is a Sports and Performance Psychology Consultant, that has worked with athletes and other performers for the last 11 years. Her expertise includes developing programs and workshops focusing on a developmental approach to Increased Human Performance.
With a personal motto of ‘learning never ceases’, she emphasizes the development of character and uses mental health, counseling techniques and various technology assisted techniques to help her clients in achieving Peak Performance in their sport, profession and/or everyday life.
Junior Fellow Board Representative
Henrika is currently a Leadership Year Intern and the JF Rep in the Melton Foundation, which she joined in 2016. She is currently in her final year at Ashesi University studying Business Administration. From the intercultural experiences that she has had so far she has learnt the importance of shared stories and the impact that small acts can have all across the world. She is interested in a vast array of topics from communications to mental health and sustainability and is looking forward to learning more about all of them.
A psychology student at Friedrich Schiller University, Isa is currently a Leadership Intern at the Melton Foundation. Graduating from a bilingual school with a German-French diploma and growing through international experiences such as living a year in Chile, made her believe that the only way to address successfully today’s challenges of the world is through intercultural understanding and collaboration.
Pranav graduated from BMS, Bangalore last year, having studied electronics engineering. Currently he is working as a software engineer in the travel industry and he is also a Leadership Intern at the Melton Foundation. He is passionate about sustainability and believes that conscious living is the start to fixing the world’s problems.
When not busy with work, Pranav can be found (re)watching The Office or reading xkcd webcomics. He recently started mountain biking and learning Spanish and he would appreciate any tips on either. Or both!
The New Fellow Orientation 2019 is made even better, thanks to the incredible support of the following partners and collaborators:
Meet HPI School of Design Thinking
Meet EIT Climate-KIC
Meet Schule im Aufbruch
Meet Refugio Berlin
Meet Jugendherberge Berlin Ostkreuz
The HPI School of Design Thinking in Potsdam, Germany, is a school for innovation and offers academic advanced training in Design Thinking since 2007.
Click here to read more about their work!
R3SOLUTE is a non-profit organization that works in conflict management, mediation and mental health, with a focus on refugee empowerment, striving to boost mutual integration in the local community. R3SOLUTE’s approach centers around understanding needs and perspectives and working closely with communities to craft creative solutions for most pressing concerns.
Learn more about R3solute and the inspiring work they do here!
EIT Climate-KIC is a European knowledge and innovation community, working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. They works on transformative, systemic innovation that involves many connected innovations developing in parallel to trigger a shift in the system.
Curious for more, click here to get the full picture!
Schule im Aufbruch, or “Schools in Transformation”, promotes a new, appreciative and up-to-date learning culture in our schools – together with all those involved in school. Founded in 2013, the initiative supports people in schools to change their school towards a learning culture that achieves the development of ones full potential.
Find out more about Schule im Aufbruch here!
Refugio is a collaborative space where new and old Berliners live and work together. Established in 2015, it offers a space to create an instance of innovation, collaboration, and peace. Refugio is a project of Berlin City Mission.
Visit their website to find out more!
Man-O-Meter is the oldest LGBT initiatives in Germany and has served as a model for other centers across the country. Founded in 1986, Mann-O-Meter is an open cafe and Berlin ‘s first address when it comes to information and advice around gay life, including counseling, advice and support services on discrimination, hate crimes, STD and more.
For more about Mann-O-Meter and their work, click here!
Located centrally in Berlin near the Ostkreuz station, Jugendherberge Berlin Ostkreuz is a modern Youth Hostel run by the German Youth Hostel Association (DJH) and our home during the five-day New Fellow Orientation 2019.
For details about the hostel, click here.
Over five days, we will trigger deep conversation and spark action over a wide variety of global issues.
Here’s what’s happening day-by-day!
For more information, download your PDF version of the 2019 NFO Booklet here, and don’t forget to chime on Social Media using #NFO2019!
Curious to learn more about our Fellowship and how we build a community of global problem solvers, based on mutual interests, synergies, and complementary experience?