Home News & Stories #JenaGCC2022 Begins: Connect, Empower, Transform!

#JenaGCC2022 Begins: Connect, Empower, Transform!

The Global Citizenship Convention 2022 kicked off in Jena, Germany with the official welcome ceremony on the 15th of October! Read on to dive into some interesting insights, conversations and captured moments!

The much anticipated official welcome ceremony of the Jena GCC 2022, which took place after 3 years due to the pandemic, began with the fellows entering the venue full of energy and excitement. Their enthusiasm and spirit set the tone for the rest of the ceremony, as most were meeting in person for the first time.

Our Program Manager, Sonali Keshwa Murti, kick-started the ceremony with a warm welcome speech for all the fellows, the BOD members, the Task Team, the Global Solver Accelerator participants, and panelist Dr. Prof. Christoph Vatter. The beauty of the student city Jena was talked about in length and the political, academic, and historical significance of this year’s host University Friedrich-Schiller-Universität was explicated through the speeches made by Prof. Vatter and Jena Task Team member Alvaro.

The official welcome ceremony ended with very touching and motivational words about the relevance of the Melton Foundation, the SDGs, and the Inner Development Goals, as well as how important it is to shape the young generation to become dynamic leaders with whose help we will be able to solve pressing global issues that our world is currently facing. Steffen Bethmann, Executive Director, talked about “finding fortune through tragedies”. Melton Fellow Henrika shares:

“It’s in our hands to create the experience we want to have!”

Next, the Ice-Breaker session featured an energizer session aimed to get everyone in the rhythm to break out of their comfort zones and get to know each other on a deeper level. We kickstarted the GCC activities by getting to know each other better and testing how well we could work together as a team. This fun energizer got individuals moving and thinking with music, pens, strings, and paper thrown into the mix! Melton Fellow from Germany, Nikita, says:

“This was one of the most unique ice-breaker sessions I’ve ever taken part in. The setting and space to share were done so organically that it took the pressure away from being part of such an exercise. Planning on adapting it for future workshops!”

The Scavenger Hunt, which began as the clock struck noon, was spread across the city and covered most of the significant places. It was a fun city exploration activity with clues to solve while unraveling the local culture and history in the city of Jena, Germany. The format was also kept old school with no phones allowed, but one could always ask the locals for help. This event on the first day of the GCC was an amazing way to explore the wonderful city of Jena with fun and exciting clues! Melton Fellow from the Chile campus, Cami explains:

“It was really fun to get to know the city in teams and find the clues! It was interesting to see the city from different cultures and perspectives.”

Trust Building through Transparent Communication” was an exercise meant to guide people safely through different spaces of vulnerability and truth-telling through several intimate conversations. In order to tackle our current societal crisis of communication and social alienation we need to train our capacities to relate to each other and learn how to be honest with ourselves and others. This session was a practical experience in authentic communication and therefore a possibility to directly experience a new culture of relating. It was therefore a tangible part of the Inner Development Goals which we need in order to create a healthy and sustainable society. The exercises empower people to feel more present and identify themselves more deeply and closely. With these talking sessions, fellows show their honest and vulnerable sides, while expressing what they felt in the now, in a safe space free of judgment. Quoting a Fellow:

“It felt so freeing to have an open space to speak about myself, without worrying about being judged.”

Follow the Global Citizenship Convention 2022 and explore the theme and schedule!