A decade of Learning and Growth with the Melton Foundation 🌍

Find the original post here

Hi There! My name is Vigneshwar Shankar and I am a Senior Fellow of the Melton Foundation from Bangalore, India. Way back when I joined the Foundation, we were both still in our teens. Looking back over the years, to me the Melton Foundation is that organization with which I have been associated for the longest period of time, completing one decade this year.

In my early days as a Junior Fellow (JF), both the Foundation and I were still figuring out our purpose, vision, and calling. After all this while, we both certainly find a lot more clarity on our focus today, relative to 10 years ago. However, in some ways, there’s still more left to be defined as we move forward.

This post is my attempt to offer you a unique insider perspective on the opportunities presented by the Melton Foundation and what I was able to take away from them.

Why did I join the Melton Foundation?

When I was a Junior Melton Fellow, it would have been an enormous task for me to articulate my reasons for joining the Foundation. Fortunately enough, that did not matter as I was one of the few people to nonetheless be given the opportunity to become a Melton Fellow and I am grateful for everything that followed.

Later on, I discovered that the reason for me to join the Melton Foundation (MF) was that it was the perfect culmination to my search for the following opportunities:

If you’re reading this in 2020 and want to apply for the Fellowship, you will find more information here about the cohort of 2021.

How the MF changed over the years

In 2010, I joined a very different MF from what it is today. During my Junior Fellowship, the MF pursued the idea of Creating Positive Change in the world through Intercultural Communication. While this was quite abstract, as fellows we did manage to interact with peers from across the world and leverage this opportunity to learn about each other, our cultures, and exchange ideas, thus broadening our horizons in our formative years.

Around the time when I graduated and became a Senior Fellow, the MF pivoted to focus on a specific aspect of this abstract purpose, zeroing in on Global Citizenship advocacy and action. Since then the Foundation has done well to crystallize this purpose even further, to make it accessible to more people across the world and drive the effort of its community towards initiatives such as 100 Acts of Global Citizenship and Global Solvers Co-Lab to create impact centered around some of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by United Nations member states.

Through this period, I witnessed a sea-change improvement in the quality of projects championed by Melton Fellows, with them laying an ever-greater focus today on inclusivity and wide-reaching impact in their local communities.

5 things I learned over the years as a Melton Fellow

Recognizing Multiple Perspectives

Working on projects within the community has taught me that

The necessity for Open Communication

Embracing Multiple Identities

Strategic Planning

Learnings from the Grant Committee

As a member of the Melton Foundation Grant Committee for the last 5 years, I have learned that for an organization to make meaningful progress towards its goals, it helps to adopt this 3-Phase continuous approach to resource allocation:

My years with the MF have given me a unique insight into the growth and maturity of the foundation. Through this post, I hope that I was able to convey some of it to you along with an insider perspective on the opportunities presented by the Melton Foundation for learning, personal growth, and creating impact.

After nearly a decade of sharpening its area of focus on Global Citizenship, the Melton Foundation finds itself at the cusp of a new and exciting chapter in its story.

If you too wish to be a part of this journey by learning more about Global Citizenship, taking action towards Sustainable Development Goals, and creating impact in your communities, apply now to become a Melton Fellow in 2021.

#globalcitizenship #leadership