I recently spent a busy day in New York, serving as a judge of the 2018 Echoing Green Fellowship finalist round. 64 inspiring finalists spent the day sharing their passion and ideas for achieving their vision.
Echoing Green's portfolio of more than 700 innovators speaks for itself: Teach For America, City Year, One Acre Fund, SKS Microfinance, Public Allies, among hundreds of diverse ventures all over the globe. I was honored to participate in helping shape the next cohort of Echoing Green Fellows.
My Global Cohort of applicants was a brilliant line-up of entrepreneurial thought-leaders striving to advance topics such as environmental sustainability, local economic prosperity, and human rights. On the flight to NY, while reviewing my notes of what questions I’d like to ask, it occurred to me that I was about to examine closely topics that constitute the very fabric of our society. These candidates were realistic about the formidable issues we are facing but were coming with solutions, rather than a list of impossible problems. They took me to an inspiring mental space. It was an exercise of engaging with the original, sui generis thinking of a new generation.
The day was rewarding beyond my expectations. Echoing Green had orchestrated an impressive group of people – both the judges and finalists. They all filled the space with elegant solutions, contagious energy, positive intentions, and genuine desire to collaborate. Their ideas demanded attention and aroused my curiosity. There was no fake news that day. I turned off my phone and transported myself in what felt like a parallel universe. I remember thinking: If the Straubel Foundation could contribute to making the world an enlarged version of the people in this building, it would be something we could be proud of.
It was an honor to take part in the Echoing Green Fellows selection process, and I can't wait until I can publicly celebrate the future Fellows I met in New York.
I flew home with an overwhelmingly optimistic outlook. Our future is bright – I saw the evidence at the Echoing Green finals.
Post author: Boryana Straubel