Apply Now to Attend the 2016 Mandela Dialogues in Cape Town, South Africa & Sri Lanka (Funded)

Application Deadline: April 16th 2016

Applications are now been accepted for the 2016 Mandela Dialogues; an initiative by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Global Leadership Academy and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), with support from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth (SDSN Youth). 

The Mandela Dialogues are providing a unique opportunity for thought leaders from Member Organisations of SDSN Youth to participate in this project, which aims to make space for new perspectives, and enable profound reflection, experiential learning, and tangible action to empower participants to significantly further their work and that of their home organisations. The entire process is geared to promote and enable change. 

Mandela Dialogues: 

The Mandela Dialogues are an international dialogue series for thought leaders and change agents that tackles two interlinked questions which emerged from the first Mandela Dialogues on Memory Work (2013-2014) as key challenges facing those engaged in memory work; How do we create spaces safe enough for the unsayable to be said and in which those who do not even want to see each other (former enemies, perpetrators and victims, winners and losers) can begin to listen to one another’s stories? How do we provide the foundation for sustainable cross-generational action that leads to societal change and transformation? Reckoning with the past for future generations is complex and requires creativity, sensitivity and recognition of the inter-generational transfer of trauma, long-term emotional impacts on family and other societal structures, and other forms of damage.

Application Criteria:

The Mandela Dialogues will bring together twenty-five thought leaders and change agents in the field of memory work who should ideally:

  • Be between the ages of 18-25 at the time of applying
  • Have experiences in and are currently working in the field of initiating safe dialogue spaces in post-conflict situations between former enemies or across generations
  • Are current residents or originate from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United States of America, Colombia or Argentina 
  • Have networks and outreach capacities that enable them to transfer new impulses and insights into their home systems and to contribute to institutional and systemic change
  • Can bring in their diverse perspectives on the two guiding questions (see factsheet), are open-minded with regards to different viewpoints and new ways of thinking and are striving for positive impact in the field of memory work and creating safe spaces
  • Can speak English and are able and committed to participating in the Mandela Dialogues encounters in Cape Town, South Africa, from June 14th to 19th, 2016, and in Sri Lanka from 31st October to 5th November, 2016

Dates and Locations 

  • Two in-depth dialogues will take place over a period of six months in countries which exemplify the challenges in creating safe inter-generational dialogue spaces – South Africa and Sri Lanka.
  • The visits are planned as week-long dialogue processes, including experiential learning and intense engagement with local projects and institutions wrestling with the two questions shaping these Mandela Dialogues. 
  • Cape Town, South Africa: June 14th to 19th, 2016 
  • Sri Lanka: 31st October to 5th November, 2016 

Selection Process: 

  • Please fill out this application form BEFORE the Saturday 16th of April 2016 in order to be eligible.
  • The Project Team at SDSN Youth will review the applications and nominate shortlisted individuals to the Global Leadership Academy for the second round of the selection process.

Apply Now to participate in the 2016 Mandela Dialogues For More Information:Visit the Official Webpage of the 2016 Mandela Dialogues




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