Unlocking avenues of collaboration and growth (2002-2006)
As the Melton Foundation transitioned into the first decade of the millennium, it initiated Senior Fellow Orientations and International Travel Groups. Notably, it opened up to organizations and external speakers and guests, setting in motion the formation of partnerships that last up to this day!
It was the year 2002. It was also the year the Melton Foundation continued its tradition of Symposiums, with Dillard University playing the host this time. Organized under the banner, “Reimagining a Global Leadership for the 2001 century “, this symposium offered United Nations workshops, expert panel talks, and cultural presentations. Take a look at some of the moments from the 7-day long conference below!
The next year, the FSU campus took the responsibility of conducting the annual Symposium, with the overarching theme of Getting closer – reaching out. With the intention to produce more bonding amongst the fellows, the Melton Foundation had in-store special activities related to the motto. The fellows were organized in groups that served as discussion groups during the Melton year 2003- 2004. The fellows also flexed their collaborative muscles in a team-building exercise with a group of trainers in Jena. As special guests for the Symposium, Chuck and Harriet Semke, Directors Emeriti of the Melton Foundation were invited to the Symposium.
Some impressions from the Symposium 2003 at FSU, Jena, Germany –
The 13th Annual Melton Foundation Symposium was hosted by BMS College of Engineering in Bangalore, India, starting on August 25 and ending on September 2, 2004. The theme for this year was “Integrating Cultures by Leveraging Technologies”. The inaugural session began with a lot of aspirations and promises. After a melodious invocation by fellow Manasi Prasad, the keynote speaker, Mr. Nandan Nilekani from Infosys Technologies Limited, gave a wonderful talk about global markets and opportunities. Throughout the week, the participants enjoyed cultural presentations, local operas from different parts of China along with some local art, insights into the Mapuche people presented through music and dance; learning about the strengths and progress of African Americans through a powerful journey through time and encouragement to continue in their footsteps; and lastly, the concept of Europe and the European Union presented as a play by FSU members. Some impressions from the India Symposium:
In 2005, the symposium was organized in Hangzhou, China, and was a perfect amalgamation of local culture and global perspectives! See impressions below:
The 2005 symposium at ZU is best summed up in the words of Johanna Stahl:
“At the symposium, I remember a lot of things. An event that stood out to me at that symposium was the cultural afternoon. It was a wonderful melange – savoring fine tea at a traditional tea ceremony, trying my hands at Chinese calligraphy (and failing miserably). At the same time, the DU fellows had just escaped hurricane Katrina, so their experiences and discussions on how the Melton Foundation could possibly support the DU fellows further enriched the symposium.”
To get insights into the 2006 Symposium which transpired in UFRO University, watch the video below!
New Fellow Orientations
New Fellow Orientations have happened every year since 2000. During these 5 years, each time the orientation was carried out in Berlin, Germany. Some impressions of our earliest New Melton Fellow orientations:
Melton Fellow from India, Hari Ravikumar recollects:
“At a time when the internet was in its early stages and when accessibility to people from other countries/cultures was limited, I had the great fortune of becoming a Melton Fellow. And when I landed in Berlin on a chilly afternoon in 2003 with four of my friends from BMS, I spent the rest of the evening feeling like I was inside a Science Fiction movie. My interactions with college students from different corners of the world opened my mind and bolstered my faith in the inherent oneness of the human race. And even for someone coming from the cradle of diversity—India—it was an eye-opener. I realized truly the power of listening to different voices and its potential to change the world!”
Always an opportunity for new Fellows to get together face to face, to share, know each other, have fun, learn more about the Melton Foundation, receive tools regarding leadership, intercultural communication, teamwork, cultural presentations beside others.
Senior Fellow Orientations
The years from 2002-2006 marked the onset of the Senior Fellow Orientations. Event for all Senior Fellows to be, the congregations comprised workshops delivered by our own Senior Fellows, space to learn about opportunities for Senior Fellows, but also a space to think about the takeaways and learning that the Junior Fellowship leaves to each of them!
Sharing his memories from Senior Fellow Orientations, Navneeth quotes :
“Milestones are memorable. They signify the end of one phase and the beginning of the next. My Senior Fellow Orientation at Dresden in 2007 was one such milestone. I fondly recollect the letter each of us wrote to our future selves. This letter arrived five years later. I was pleasantly surprised by the optimism and aspiration I was filled with as a greenhorn stepping into the corporate world. Not everything in the letter turned out to be true – climbing Mt. Everest was one of the wishes, but I definitely got a closer glimpse from 15,000 feet above sea level and multiple expeditions to the Himalayas.”
Another innovation during this era was the implementation of International Travel Groups. Jiayuan (Jerry) reminisces :
“When we started the group cultural trip after the GCC, I was ready to fully rely on Lars and Karla to take us to unknown places. Oh yes, one of them was the boat trip to backwaters, and one evening we parked our boat near a small island with a palm tree, thinking it was a nice place to set up a tent, but soon got chased back to the boat by biting red ants. Those experiences have certainly unleashed the adventurous part of me. Cheers to the bonding, friendship, and the opened-up mind!”
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