We Need This in Sri Lanka. In India. In Australia.
This summer, we debuted the Amani Institute idea at the annual Bologna Symposium hosted by our friends at The International Peace and Security Institute in partnership with the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. The Symposium comprised 60 students from 35 different countries, all of them selected for their commitment and potential to be peace builders in the future.
While the students had several questions and suggestions for our model, the overwhelming feedback (and challenge to us) was that we cannot be an organization focused largely on the United States and European countries. Students from Sri Lanka, Australia, East Timor and other nations all asked us to consider launching The Amani Institute in their countries too. Ideally, yesterday.
We had always planned to work across boundaries. However, this reaction, while gratifying, also opened our minds to the fact that we have to figure out ways to operate globally from the start. We’re excited for the challenge!
Some of the other suggestions we received were:
- Make sure you integrate with the local Ministry of Education.
- Ensure the internships are meaningful and worthwhile.
- Have a clear path for Ph.D.s also to engage.
- Find leading thinkers to endorse the idea.
- Be clear about the return on investment.
- Have clarity on how people with families can participate.
- Ensure a balance of theory and practice.
We’re working on all of these. In the meantime, what other suggestions do you have for us?