The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Mini-Grants

The 16th Annual Africa Business Conference - Africa Accelerates: Equipping a Vibrant African Economy

At the Africa Business Conference at the Harvard Business School, I attended three panels - two centered around entrepreneurship on the African continent and one centered on mitigating investment risks in African countries. In the first entrepreneurship panel, the esteemed panelists shared their thoughts on doing business in Africa. My biggest takeaway from this panel was a comment one of the panelists made. He said, and I paraphrase: “Many people think that the business environment in African countries is unstructured. That is not true - everything is structured. You just have to learn the structure and how it operates and you will be able to navigate and succeed there”. This statement was a refreshing response to news articles and popular belief that African countries do not have structures that enable businesses to thrive. The fact that African structures are different from Western ones does not mean that there are no structures - anyone interested in doing business in African countries simply has to master the structures present in that country.

Working as a Crew Guide for the Boy Scouts of America's National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience

While working as a crew guide for the Boy Scouts of America’s National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE), I had the unique opportunity to transform a leadership course from its backpacking roots at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico to a sailing program at Florida Sea Base in the Florida Keys. I learned to be a leader who is not only confident and poised, but also fluid and willing to take risks in helping design a new course. 

Mini-Grants Recap: Discussing the Strategic and Political Challenges to Arms Control in the Middle East

Ala Alrababah (second from left) along with other panelists

This opportunity was funded by the Rockefeller Mini-Grants Program. For more information, please click here. 

Presenting at a panel and a scholarly conference on my research was a particularly valuable experience. My research, which I did while interning at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, focused on the strategic and political challenges to arms control in the Middle East. I discussed the traditional challenges that existed before the Arab uprisings. 

One main challenge is the trust deficit among countries in the Middle East, which prevents them from cooperating on arms control. Another challenge relates to timing. Should arms control be implemented before or after a lasting peace agreement in the Middle East? Moreover, specific countries have their own concerns with arms control. 

Mini-Grants Recap: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference

Leehi Yona (second from right) at a press conference
during the COP19 United Nations climate conference in
Warsaw.

This opportunity was funded by the Rockefeller Mini-Grants Program. For more information, please click here.

My experience at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference (UNFCCC COP19) in Warsaw, Poland, was indescribable. I'm deeply interested in the intersectionality of climate change from social, political, scientific, and health-related perspectives, and being given the opportunity to attend a series of international negotiations helped ground my understanding of the policies surrounding these issues.

Mini-Grants Recap: Student Reactions after Attending the UN Social Good Summit

Digital Media Lounge

This opportunity was funded by the Rockefeller Mini-Grants Program. For more information, please click here.

I learned a lot about activism and how to get people involved and excited about issues in a new world of technology. Personally, one of the most influential insights for me was the theme of empowerment over awareness. I had always imagined the world of activism revolving around of the issue of getting people to care. Progress seemed dependent on the age-old question of whether people were inherently good or bad; either people would plow ahead with the classic “build it and they will come” mentality, or they would sign off altogether, convinced that others could not be brought to raise their attention off their own lives. 

Mini-Grants Recap: Student Reactions after attending Powershift

Dartmouth Undergraduates that attended Powershift 2013

This opportunity was funded by the Rockefeller Mini-Grants Program. For more information, please click here. 

"Powershift 2013 will be one of my enduring memories as an environmentalist during college. It was utterly inspiring and humbling to be present and part of a movement that is ever growing and powerful. From multi-faith services to the logistics of setting up worker-owned cooperatives, the break out sessions were practical and motivational in equal measure. I particularly appreciated the sessions aimed at fossil fuel divestment student organizers, of which I am one. It's a small but growing movement at Dartmouth, and it was so powerful to be in a room with hundreds of other students working on the same thing. I have already worked again with some of the students I met there, and anticipate further collaboration in the future."

--Morgan Curtis '14

Mini-Grants Recap: Powershift - Putting a Face to the Environmental Movement

Powershifters asking for peace

This opportunity was funded by the Rockefeller Mini-Grants Program. For more information, please click here.

Held on from October 18th to the 21st, Powershift put a face to the environmental movement. It's not about saving the polar bears for me anymore, it's about stopping our obsession with consuming fracked fuels that are polluting the lands of Candi and her tribe in North Dakota, making the air unbreathable and the land toxic. It's about the women in Tanzania who spend 50% of their income on fuel for cooking because deforestation has hiked up the prices and they have no alternatives to turn to. 

Mini-Grants Recap: Becoming a Part of a National Political Advocacy Movement

Asher speaks at the student session of the
J Street National Conference.

This opportunity was funded by the Rockefeller Mini-Grants Program. For more information, please click here.

This past September, I had the privilege of attending the J Street National Conference. There, I had the opportunity to engage in deep and substantive discussions about US foreign policy in the Middle East. But for me, what was even more exciting was the opportunity to lobby Members of Congress to support Secretary Kerry’s efforts to help the Israelis and Palestinians reach a two-state solution. That provided me a forum to put my values into action in the political realm.

Marianne Schnall talks about "What Will It Take to Make A Woman President?"

Marianne Schnall speaking to students in
Collis Commonground.

This event was partially funded by the Rockefeller Center Mini-Grants Program. For more information regarding Mini-Grants, click here.

On Tuesday, January 28th, activist and interviewer Marianne Schnall visited Dartmouth College for a packed afternoon engaging with students, faculty, staff and community members. Schnall was a guest in Janice McCabe’s Sociology of Gender course where the group engaged in an hour-long discussion on Schnall’s most recent book, What Will It Take to Make A Woman President? Conversations about Women, Leadership and Power. The class discussed the importance of having female role models in thinking about how to inspire young women and girls to pursue careers in the public sector and to look towards the American presidency as an opportunity to address social imbalances.

Marianne Schnall Visits Dartmouth to Discuss "What Will It Take to Make a Woman President?" on 1/28/14 @ 6:00 pm

Marianne Schnall, a widely published writer and interviewed featured on numerous media outlets, is visiting Hanover to engage the Dartmouth community in a conversation about gender dynamics, American politics and barrier to high-level public sector positions for women. Marianne will share anecdotes and excerpts from her most recent book, What Will It Take to Make A Woman President? Conversations about Women, Leadership and Power, and engage in discussion with Dartmouth faculty, students, community members and staff.

Schnall explores the changing paradigms occurring in politics and in our culture with the hope of encouraging women and girls to be leaders in their lives, their communities, and the larger world. She hopes to move toward meaningful and effective solutions—and a world where a woman can be president.

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