Run a new Summer of Solutions or Local Initiative in 2013

An off-grid solar panel in Detroit. A bike shop in South Minneapolis. A chicken coop at the Coal River Mountain Watch homestead. Two hundred filled-out surveys on visions for the community in Portland. Five summer camps in Oakland, Raleigh, Lexington, Chicago, and Hartford. A dozen farm plots across the country.

Members of Middleton Summer of Solutions in their Children’s Garden.

Over 300 participants trained in community organizing, sustainable venture development, and distributed leadership. Young people who learned how to plant a seed for the first time. How to help a child believe in herself. How to develop a community owned solar business. How to listen. How to build something that works.

This is a small slice of the legacy of the sixteen 2012 Summer of Solutions programs. We are inviting other young people to join in and become a part of the Grand Aspirations network of empowerment through getting things done.

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Apply for the Summer of Solutions

Please join the Summer of Solutions! The youth-led grassroots program is already growing rapidly – we had 1 program in St. Paul, Minnesota – last year it blossomed to nine nationwide. Dozens of grassroots activists have jumped on board the process of “making it happen“, and are generating climate and energy solutions that also build economic opportunity and social justice all across the country. As one of our grassroots leaders wrote last spring as the 2009 wave of solutions was ramping up – this is just the beginning. Its a grassroots movement led by young people who are creating solutions with their communities while building careers growing the green economy. We know you have the solutions, so please join in! If you need even more convincing, you can check out our video by Matt Kazinka on our Get Involved Page.

APPLY HERE to design and lead a Summer of Solutions program in a community you know and love!

Priority deadline is Wednesday, November 11th, so please act fast.

Seeking solutions? We’ll meet you there. Let’s make it happen.

Bringing our aspirations within reach

Its the end of the summer, and I have a lot of reflecting to do.  The Summer of Solutions (SoS) has been a wild learning experience for me from the moment I joined on in spring 2008.  However, rather than share some of my reflections in this post, I’m gonna clue y’all in on how to build on your reflections

This program is at a huge turning point.  Last summer, the first SoS gave us some insights on how to do local solutionary organizing (and how not to do it).  This past summer gave us some ideas about how to do it on a national scale (and, well, how not to do it).  As we begin to prepare for our third year, we can take all those lessons and figure out how to make solutions the next big thing – and we want you to be a part of it.

Apply to join a Grand Aspirations working group here by Monday, August 17.

Many folks involved in the Summer of Solutions have had national conversations about how to move forward into the fall while increasing our capabilities.  The strategy we identified will be to create working groups of leaders to handle everything from organizational development to building SoS programs for next summer.  This will be the temporary structure that will move us towards more formality, better communication, better funding, and better programs.

The work we are doing with Grand Aspirations is solutionary – at once revolutionary and, at the same time, just common sense.  We’re building community development solutions that are sustainable, long-term and replicable. We are not shooting for one-time fixes – we are building the conditions for accelerating and ever-expanding change to occur.  We can’t get the future we want without implementing local solutions that everyone, everywhere, can plug into.  In order to get those built, we will need to rapidly coordinate in places across the country.

Our success in this stage will rely on the innovation and energy of volunteers who are willing to seriously build this – and we need that to include you. You can be a part of it all by joining a working group by August 17th

It has been an incredible experience this summer to work with young folks all over the country who strove to make their summer solutionary.  I’m constantly blown away by all your capabilities and I am really hoping to work with many of you through the year.  Keep blogging your successes and thoughts as the year continues!