The Global Citizenship Academy (GCA) is a response to the growing complexities—and immense opportunities—of the 21st century.
Aided by technology and magnified by our expanding population, humanity’s ability to impact the planet increases daily. Likewise, as our collective influence grows, so does the power and faculty of the individual. In recognizing the potential of such individuals, the GCA has been designed to magnify their capacity as agents of change who can effectively implement responsible and extensive social and environmental initiatives.
More specifically, our mission is to create a world-class, tuition-free gap year enrichment center that unites and empowers the most exceptional student leaders from around the world and provides them with the skills, resources, and networks required to ensure our future remains healthy, peaceful, and full of opportunity.
In focusing on gap year students and in removing all financial barriers the Global Citizenship Academy can ensure it remains both merit-based and globally representative. Crucially, this will guarantee that the GCA realizes an internationally distinguished cohort of students who share a desire—and ability—to initiate meaningful change that promotes global well-being.
Together these remarkable students will create a unique and unparalleled learning environment that is predicated on peer-to-peer engagement, cross-cultural understanding, and strategic global networking. In combination with the GCA's innovative programming, acclaimed staff and academics, and its robust resources, this program will become a powerful tool that enables tomorrow's leaders to effectively drive responsible and influential policies and programs; both within their own nations and beyond.
Although this is a long-term approach, we believe that empowering individuals to work upstream, where they can best address the root cause of complex issues such as inequality, conflict, and environmental degradation, is the most strategic way to benefit those most in need. In this way our donors can be seen shrewd social investors whose support of responsible global leaders promises to have far-reaching consequences.
Furthermore, once established, the Global Citizenship Academy has been designed with the capacity to generate significant internal revenue, which will enable it to finance an additional learning center every five years. As a result, contributions to the GCA can be viewed as high-impact seed money that facilitates the building of multiple learning centers, which collectively constitute a formidable instrument for social and environmental improvement.
To realize this initiative we require your assistance.
Financially our request is modest; however, your support is essential.
The Global Citizenship Academy’s flagship initiative is its Global Gap Year Enrichment Program (GGYEP), which has been developed to capitalize on the prospect of taking a gap year and thus delaying immediate entry to college. This is a critical—and too often missed—period when students are unencumbered, energetic, curious, and therefore strategically positioned to benefit from extensive and immersive learning experiences. By leveraging this unique opportunity the GCA is able to unite outstanding students from around the world and provide them with the skills and resources to magnify their effectiveness in college, in their professional lives, and ultimately, as responsible global leaders.
The GGYEP is poised to become an internationally recognized program celebrated for its distinct ability to develop effective global leaders capable of responding to the world's most pressing social and environmental problems. This eight-month, tuition-free program will unite one hundred outstanding students from across the globe and immerse them in an exceptional learning environment that is predicated on: peer-to-peer learning; cross-cultural understanding; systems level thinking; self-directed learning; and strategic networking. Magnified by its robust resources and facilities, innovative programming, acclaimed staff, and its specialized setting the GGYEP will enable its graduates to implement responsible policies/programs upstream so that future generations inherit a flourishing world that is full of opportunity.
The greatest asset of the Global Gap Year Enrichment Program is its distinguished and globally representative enrollment, which is a recent reality made possible through the growing universality of English as an international language. Through the GGYEP’s emphasis on community cohesion and cooperation these accomplished students (ie. high academic achievement, exemplary communication skills, self-determination, leadership, a history of service to others) will be positioned to build strong interpersonal relationships. These meaningful relations between inspiring peers will serve to both challenge and sustain these students as they strive to realize their fullest potential and will establish vital links between the developed and developing world. Ultimately, the strategic global networks of influence will become an invaluable asset as these students enter their professional lives and endeavour to initiate influential global change.
On site, the curriculum’s rigorous and accredited college-level academics are intended to provide them with a broad foundational understanding. The permanent courses will include: history, political science, economics, finance, the sciences, sociology, philosophy, cultural studies, literature, wellness/fitness, and the arts. Furthermore, by leveraging its digital infrastructure and extensive programming resources, the GGYEP will also seek to tailor its programming to accommodate individual student requests by retaining instructors who can teach remotely.
Underlying our curriculum will be an emphasis on interdisciplinary and problem-based learning, which in conjunction with the Socratic method is designed to accelerate students learning, skill acquisition, and capacity for independent inquiry. These techniques will be complemented through experiential learning modules and democratic governance, which will provide students firsthand experience in planning, negotiation, voting, and councils. Ultimately, these techniques are intended to promote active citizenship and ensure effective leadership. Additionally, in recognition of its extraordinary enrollment and the unique opportunities afforded by this program the GGYEP will prioritize the development of each student’s individual interests and talents by encouraging and financially supporting self-directed learning, internships, and attendance at conferences/workshops.
Furthermore, our curriculum is designed to be flexible and is not limited to a strict Monday-Friday format. Instead, the curriculum will take advantage of the opportunities afforded by nearby urban centers and will adapt to occasions for workshops, conferences, internships, community engagement, and cultural immersion.
Similar in intention to the Global Gap Year Enrichment Program, the GCA will offer an at-cost three-week Local Leadership Enrichment Program, which is designed to empower local students with the capacity to become agents of positive change within their region. Simultaneously, this program will also act to facilitate the building of strong relations between the GCA and members of its immediate the community.
We assessed regions based on their cultural, linguistic, and historical influences as well as their climate and ultimately decided to locate our program in Europe’s Mediterranean.
Our semi-rural campus will provide an idyllic, yet stimulating and dynamic space that will best promote focused learning and creative endeavours. Although intentionally removed from the daily distractions of the urban environment, the GCA recognizes the value and resources that large cities offer and will ensure it is strategically located so it can regularly access these areas. The GCA also anticipates integrating a farm, which will supply the kitchen, subsidize operational costs, provide opportunities for community engagement, and offer physical and intellectual nourishment. Both students and staff will commit 4 hrs/wk towards maintaining the farm/academy through planting, harvesting, landscaping, cooking, cleaning, and governance. Furthermore, this practice is also intended to introduce our future leaders to the natural world with the aim of facilitating an ethic of environmental care.
Additionally, students will benefit from the rich learning environment afforded by the the GCA’s location in Europe. More specifically, the GGYEP’s regular off-site excursions will offer opportunities for students to participate in academically focused travel, to engage in cultural immersion, and to attend relevant conferences/workshops/seminars. Beyond facilitating a deeper cultural/historical perspective, these excursions are intended to also provide students with experiences that will cultivate a heightened sense of self-awareness and a deeper understanding of—and connection to—others.
Onsite, facilities will include: five large high-technology classrooms, a library, an auditorium/cinema, four studies (music, art, fitness, mindfulness/worship), a technical workshop, a learning kitchen, dining facilities, an integrated farm, extensive landscaped grounds, and modern student residences designed to promote socialization.
As advocates for sustainable development we are committed to investing in ecologically responsible buildings, organic farming practices, clean energy, and conscientious waste disposal.
Echoing the words of Margaret Mead, we truly believe that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
And we also believe in the GCA's unique capacity to catalyze, accelerate, and amplify this process by attracting, connecting, and informing the world's future global leaders.
Admirably, it will be the Global Citizenship Academy's innovative, value-based, non profit structure, in conjunction with its numerous internal financial mechanisms, that will enable it to realize robust resources, offer tuition-free admission, and to develop an unparalleled enrichment program. And it is this combination of means, when strategically framed in the context of an immersive gap year, that will allow the GCA to unite a remarkable cohort of international student leaders and provide them with the tools to effectively drive influential global change.
To ensure the Global Citizenship Academy best fulfills its mission as a vehicle that promotes global well-being, it has been designed to remain a lifelong resource to its students long after graduation. Specifically, the GCA will act as a hub that actively maintains and builds connections between its cohorts, sister schools, and third parties. Sustained through the GCA's emphasis on community cohesion and cooperation, these multi-generational networks are certain to prove invaluable assets that allow alumni to greatly extend the breadth and magnitude of their impact.
Additionally, it is our conviction in the power of 'paying it forward' that inspired us to make the GCA tuition-free. For we believe that when deserving people are given a gift, as a reward for hard work, they tend to develop a sense of appreciation and gratitude, which is likely to manifest—and multiply—itself in good deeds to others. The power of this approach is that it can generate exponential growth. And the GCA believes that by embodying the merits of this philosophy—and in benefiting its students through it—it will encourage generosity and considerate leadership among its graduates. Ultimately, and compounded by the fact that a substantial number of these students will be poised to realize positions of power and influence, the long-term contributions from this way of thinking promises to be substantial.
Furthermore, once established, the GCA's value-based approach promises to provide full financial independence within ten years and will enable it to begin financing additional learning centers soon thereafter.