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Summer of Solutions
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It's Getting Hot in Here

Summer of Solutions - Our history

Summer of Solutions 2009:

In early 2008, students in the Twin Cities came together to address the “summer gap” that slowed down the projects the amazing sustainability work they did in their colleges and communities.  created as a summer program for young leaders from around the country to build transformative social, political, and economic models that focus not on dealing with specific issues, but creating holistic solutions.  In the summer of 2008, Summer of Solutions was created in the Twin Cities, alongside similar programs led by others in Portland (The Northwest Institute for Community Energy – NICE), Oakland (Breakthrough Generation), and Appalachia (Mountain Justice Summer).

Our work as a group began with several Twin Cities-focused initiatives that developed spectacularly over the two months that we were together.  Throughout the two months, we envisioned, planned, and managed the program ourselves, creating our own capacity as we focus on building the solutions.  We worked as a profound community of change, integrating our projects with collective reflection and discussions with community leaders.

At the end of the summer, those of us here in Minnesota have a set of incredible campaigns and efforts to continue to run with, and participants from across the country have a set of experiences and skills to develop their own projects in their own communities. We've built a community and created a model for how we live the solutions. 


"For me, Summer of Solutions was an incredible experience.  It's hard to quantify or communicate all the ways in which it impacted me, and I'm sure that I will not know or understand all of those impacts until years from now.  Suffice it to say that I was absolutely blown away...

It is the empowerment that comes part and parcel with being part of building solutions that are really REAL, and knowing that those projects and initiatives were started by people my age - my friends and co-organizers. If they can do it, we can do it too.  And we will - because we can."

Read more about Callista's Summer of Solutions

"This is the strongest and most inspiring aspect of Summer of Solutions:  Any dedicated group of individuals can put together a program which, due to its open and creative itinerary, can be adapted to the desires and dreams of its participants.  Working in this manner has taught me more than i can explain."

Read more about Andrew's Summer of Solutions


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