Our Vision
Summer of Solutions
Our Projects


It's Getting Hot in Here

What We Do day-to-day

Question: What’s the average day in the Summer of Solutions?

Answer: Trick question! There is no average day in the Summer of Solutions. Every day is extraordinary, and we do our best to work together to take advantage of it. This is also a great life philosophy that we’re all trying to get better at.

More concretely, this is what we’ll be doing:

We start the program with a week-long training and orientation. During this week, we'll all be together, learning what it means to be solutionary, building community, gaining skills, meeting partners, and preparing for the work ahead. While we’ll take time to have fun, keep ourselves healthy, and reflect as a supportive community, this is an intensive experience that will occupy our time for the week. This process will help identify what projects and opportunities are out there that can use your leadership and who you would work with on them, allow us to get a better understanding of our goals, interests, and skills, and knit us all together so we can work together well.

From then on, we get started. Full-time fellows will be engaged in the program at least forty hours a week, while volunteers can join in based on their schedules and interests. Don't worry, that forty hours doesn’t mean being supervised to do work 9-5 Monday through Friday.

Instead, we work together to set the schedule, develop the plan and work with community partners to achieve our goals. Depending on the projects you’re involved in, you might help garden with community groups for a couple hours in the morning, bike off to a meeting with city officials and green industry leaders in the early afternoon, have a team meeting before dinner to discuss the outreach strategy that you’ll be applying the next day to help weatherize small businesses, and then close the day with a group discussion about environmental justice and rural revitalization with a community leader. It might mean spending a few days researching a redevelopment plan for a community, or evening meetings every night to teach residents about weatherization, or planning a community engagement event linking music, art, and community visioning for the coming Saturday. 

In the Summer of Solutions, we provide the background knowledge, training, and connections to create a platform for action and then we work as a team to make it happen. Program leaders and local experts are mentors, not directors, and we work together to choose our strategies, personal responsibilities, and timelines. The Summer of Solutions provides practice, not just in the concrete projects of urban farming, green industry, efficiency, clean energy and smart design, but also in the process of building and guiding a group, forming coalitions, and managing projects.

The Summer of Solutions will close with several days of intensive reflection, community evaluations, identifying best practices, and solidifying personal and group plans for the future. From this closing, the work goes on, both locally and in all the places to which we depart. We all leave with more knowledge, experience, and a strong community of solutions creation.

Grand Aspirations empowers, connects, and supports youth leaders as they create innovative, self-sustaining, and inter-dependent initiatives that systemically integrate climate and energy solutions, economic security, and social justice.
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Questions and comments to kai.bosworth@gmail.com