Home News & Stories New Fellows Orientation 2019: Recap and Rewind

New Fellows Orientation 2019: Recap and Rewind

From 15-20 March 2019 in Berlin, Germany, we convened our newest batch of Melton Fellows for the New Fellows’ Orientation (NFO) - a five day workshop focussed around intercultural exposure and development, harnessing inner and outer skills, social innovation and design thinking impactful projects and earmarking actionable ‘Commitments to Action’ around the Sustainable Development Goals. Led by experienced trainers, and seven project partners, this year’s event marked an effectual and authentic highlight on our Fellows’ journey to becoming global problem solvers.

An Experiential Learning Lab for Global Problem Solvers 

The New Fellow Orientation (NFO) 2019 kick-started with a welcome dinner and some ice breaker activities. New Fellows played some get-to-know each other games, exchanged gifts from their respective countries and our Senior Fellow trainers even hosted a game night on the arrival day! Here’s a peek into some of the fun!

New Fellows’ Arrival

New Fellows Training Evaluation and Navigating the Melton Foundation Network

The first working session at the NFO was the New Fellows Training Evaluation session. New Melton Fellows underwent a eight month online training program prior to attending the NFO and the reflection was a group-focused feedback-seeking session where the Fellows were encouraged to discuss their expectations and contributions to the Melton Foundation. The session was led by our Director of Learning, Alafia Stewart, and Fellows Isabel Jaki, Henrika Amoafo and Pranav Bijapur, who are currently serving as Leadership Interns. Alafia was quoted saying,

“In the New Fellows Training Evaluation, we picked apart the New Fellow training program to find what works well, what doesn’t and what areas can be improved for the next iteration.”

The ‘Navigating the MF’ session, a recurring session at every NFO, was led by our Junior Fellow Board Representative Henrika Amoafo, and our Director of Strategy, Lars Dietzel. Board member Julian Klauke was also in attendance and together, they introduced the New Fellows to the structure and nature of work of the Melton Foundation. Henrika shared,

“This session gave the New Fellows clarity about how the MF works, what roles there are and who occupies them and the general structure of the MF as it stands now. It was interactive and hopefully helped the New Fellows walk away with a better understanding of the foundation they are a part and the future of.”

Later in the day, Melton Fellows participated in a fun team building session with games, activities and trust-building exercises.

100 Acts of Global Citizenship: Pecha Kucha style!

A highlight of the NFO was when New Fellows showcased the change-work they have accomplished so far. The first batch of Fellows to have successfully completed an Act of Global Citizenship (an action taken locally, on an issue that has global relevance, and has tangible social impact) even before their New Fellows Orientation, they showcased their Acts in the form of Pecha Kucha presentations. Pecha Kucha is a presentation style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each. The format kept presentations concise and fast-paced, and New Fellows displayed their ‘Acts’ on global issues ranging from clean water conservation, access to quality education, teaching technology to women in rural areas, empowering indigenous communities and more. A special shoutout to our incredible New Fellows for tying their Acts closely with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Catch all the 100 Acts Action here!

A Cultural Night

A fun and enthralling evening at every of our events, the Cultural Night at this NFO was filled with performances from our New Fellows from China, Chile, India and Ghana. The fellows showcased authentic plays, music and art from their cultures and invited other conference participants to join in. Here’s a quick glimpse of the performances!

Inner and Outer Skills Workshops: Wellness & Wellbeing; Project Management and Social Innovation

The Wellness and Wellbeing workshop, led by Senior Fellows Dr. Johanna Stahl and Dr. Vernice Richards, was interactive, introspective and a whole lot of fun. A first of its kind Melton Foundation workshop, the session focus was around building inner skills and measuring talent and performance key-drivers. Titled ‘Your Talent, Your Performance’ the workshop enabled New Fellows discover their potential. Vernice, one of the workshop facilitators, was quoted saying,

“In this workshop we reflected on strengths, talents and interests, and identified the elements necessary for high performance. In a combination of reflection, hands-on activities and discussions, we learnt about factors for optimal achievement and discerned the New Fellows’ personal resources for success.”

The Project Management and Social Innovation workshop was led by Senior Fellows Diana Heuss and Tom Sebastian. The workshop was built around awareness of the concept Social Innovation and its wider benefits, clarity about ‘social innovation’ projects, and understanding of project life-cycles, tools for effective project management & pit-falls along the way (and how to overcome them). During the 3 hour workshop, New Fellows listened, learned and experimented with different project management strategies and tools to execute their projects.

Visit to Hasso Plattner Institute: SDGs and Design Thinking  

The field visit to HPI School of Design Thinking had New Fellows put their design thinking skills to use by tackling issues in a fast paced scenario. They were divided into groups and had to formulate projects in areas related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Fellows were divided into 4 project teams with each focusing on a different SDG- 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality) and 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) respectively, based on their interest and the global issue of their choice they had decided to address previously. Our trainers and partners at HPI, Claudia Nicolai, Majo Juárez Rodríguez, Mana Taheri, and Sherif Osman guided the fellows in narrowing down their issue and phrase their problem statement better, as well as set down ground rules for collaborating on their respective projects further.

Projects and Partners: On-ground Action!

New Fellows split up into four (project) teams continued from the previous day, and visited our project partners in Berlin – R3solute, EIT Climate-KIC, Schule im Aufbruch (Schools in Transformation), and Man-O-Meter, whose work is directly related to our four main themes of the NFO (Quality Education, Gender Empowerment, Sustainable Communities and Health and Wellbeing). During the visit, local project partners introduced their organization, the work they do and why it is relevant in the local context, challenges they are facing as well as approaches they have developed to overcome those challenges. New Fellows also shared impressions from their work in the same domain, and proceeded to discuss the underlying issue(s) further, shared good practices and unpacked strategies that can generate meaningful impact – in Berlin and around the world. An opportunity for mutual learning and network weaving between project partners and NFO participants, the on-ground events, preparation and reflection, opened doors for continued local and global impact through our projects.

An eventful, effective and fun NFO came to an end with a Reflection session and very many hugs, as our Fellows departed back to their local communities, with their ‘Commitments to Action’ and project ideas taking shape. All our favorite pictures and impressions from this year’s NFO are available here! Stay connected with us to follow our Fellows’ journeys in intercultural learning and tangible social impact. Until next time!