We believe in the power of learning first-hand from other people‘s experiences. Students in our programs encounter people whose daily work revolves around the issues of global significance that we care about.
Envoys draws on our decade of experience operating travel programs in twenty-six countries to bring students into direct contact with individuals and organizations that are making a difference in communities around the world. Summit participants have the opportunity to engage directly with a global network of innovators, explorers, and changemakers.
All summit speaking engagements are live and unscripted, moving beyond pre-recorded lectures to create shared experiences that challenge and inspire. We focus on finding those who are “doing the work” and prioritize speakers with high-level knowledge, ability to engage with youth, and authentic experience.
Through these interactive conversations with experts in the field, students learn what gives these leaders passion and what shapes their distinctive views of the world. By bringing in diverse perspectives, we empower students to imagine their own leadership role, and encourage them to engage more proactively and compassionately with the challenges we face in the 21st century.
The globalized world has created the possibility for frequent connection across borders - but online exchanges don’t necessarily help young people build an understanding of each other’s vastly different real-world contexts. We have more information, technology and knowledge available than ever before, but both the present moment and the future require us to navigate ambiguity and solve problems together. To overcome challenges, students and educators alike must seize the moment to develop meaningful connections and bridge differences.
During every summit, students from diverse geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds are drawn together into small groups to engage in a respectful process of intercultural dialogue. Through structured and unstructured activities, students learn what matters most in their peers’ lives, how their cultural context informs their reality, and how they might perceive our rapidly changing world.
“I really enjoyed this program and thought that I got a lot out of it. The amount of experts that the Envoys program was able to pull and make available for us to ask questions was impressive and was definitely my favorite part of the program.”
“My favorite part was getting to meet and befriend new people from around the world, which is especially hard right now.”
“I liked being able to listen to people who make solving the SDGs their life's work. Not only was it interesting, but they offered valuable insights which I think most people enjoyed.”
[What was the best part of this program?] “Meeting new people from different backgrounds, making real relationships and understanding each other face to face despite what we see on social media, news...and avoiding stereotypes .”
[What was the best part of this program?] “The different points of view and opinions about many topics, which make the discussion more interesting” -- Program Rating: 10
“The best part of this program was the ability to learn about other cultures (even those within my country) while simultaneously learning about global issues that need to change.”
“I loved being able to interact and collaborate with people all around the world. I really liked learning about other people’s cultures, and I loved how even though we all came from different backgrounds, we were able to come together and work on something we were all passionate about. Some of my favorite parts of the virtual exchange was when we went into breakout rooms and got to know each other through different activities.”
“It's an amazing program and has amazing qualities. I believe that the best part of this program is not only that you are able to learn more and talk about the important issues occurring in today's world, but also that you are able to meet such amazing people and make new friends.”
[What was the best part of this program?] “The best part was how it forced me to think outside of my experiences, of issues faced by people in other communities in the U.S. and around the world.”
[What was the best part of this program?] “Watching the students take leadership roles and learn about each other's lives. I liked the final project- giving options for student ownership, also letting them choose the SDG and getting appropriate speakers”
The work that matters in the 21st century will be performed by small teams using diverse skill sets and technologies to work across geographic, cultural, and temporal boundaries.
Envoys summits provide students with unique opportunities to develop the capacity to do meaningful work on issues that matter to them with their global peers. Each summit culminates with a collaborative 'pay-it-forward' project that helps students to bring their learning back to their campuses and home communities and inspire personal, sustained engagement with the issues. Students are encouraged to draw inspiration from individuals and organizations already hard at work on the issue, and to support or expand existing efforts rather than erase or replace them.
While standing as the culmination of their summit experience, pay-it-forward projects are designed to initiate and catalyze action by student groups, leading to the development of initiatives that grow and evolve over time.
Alex Ianchulev, Devin Caddle, Isabelle White, Jake Craner, Megan Miantsoko, and Simi OgunsolaSee more
Max Gerber, Nada Bennani, Sebastian Rome, and William TideySee more
Abner Chun, Alexander Stirling, Verena Bhagat, and Walker CoxSee more
Arav Misra, Boyan Xu, Fahad Shabahz, Raymond Huang, and Yoheidy FelizSee more
Felicity Franklin, Lilly Ross, and Virginia LillySee more
Eesh Majithia, Jackie Rappold, Juana Salgar, and Lea von HilgersSee more