Idea Incubator

2013 MF Idea Incubator


Good ideas don’t just happen. They need space, time, exchange and effort. Tap into creative ideas to tackle global challenges with the MF Idea Incubator!

idea incubator

For the second time, the Melton Foundation features Fellows with smart ideas and supports them during the initial steps, as they develop their ideas and translate them into action.

The MF Idea Incubator gives up to four Melton Fellows an opportunity to conceptualize and refine ideas for projects that have social, economic or other impact. It also gives them a chance to share their idea, crowdsourcefeedback with Melton Fellows and others, find like-minded partners and supporters, and turn their ideas into successful projects.

During four different phases, Fellows receive specific support – online and in person –depending on theneeds and development progress of each idea proposal. Before and at the Melton Foundation’s Global Citizenship Conference, they have the opportunity to create tractionfor their project idea, gather broad input from Melton Fellows and experts, find like-minded partners and supporters, and tap resources to take their project idea to the next level: reality.

The fellows participating in this year’s Idea Incubator are:

Critical Incidences Learning Videos

Barbara Nietzel

Barbara Nietzel

Barbara Nietzel

Barbara is a professional teacher for history and language; she is passionate about intercultural communication and is in the last year of a Masters’ program on “Coaching and Consulting.” She works for the DaetzStiftung, a German foundation that promotes intercultural learning. Part of her daily work is to create intercultural teaching material for schools and to conduct intercultural trainings for students and teachers.

Barbara’s Project Idea:
There is still a lot of ignorance about cultures in the world. Not necessarily because people are unwilling to learn, but because they have no forum to talk and reflect on stereotypes on, personal experiences or even difficult situations with individuals from other cultures – including issues that might be considered as taboos.

Videos are a powerful way to trigger the reflection process and can help to promote intercultural learning. The short videos I will create will focus on concrete situations that show cultural differences or the so-called ‘critical incident’. This way, they provide insights into different communication styles, working structures etc. and provide a sound basis for further analysis and reflection.

Io-Troy-Teil (Mutual Building)

Cristina Mardones

Cristina Mardones

Cristina Mardones

A student of psychology and political sciences at Universidad de la Frontera (UFRO) Chile, Cristina is convinced that sustainable development and social inclusion are the keys for a better world. During her studies as an exchange student at Friedrich Schiller Universität (FSU), Germany, she expanded her competencies in the fields of ecology, cultural studies and international organizations. She has been working with various communities in vulnerable contexts in Chile and was an intern at centers of immigrants and refugees in Germany.

Cristina’s Project Idea:
Empirical data and thousands of personal stories prove that minority cultures around the world are still not recognized and respected to the fullest. One reason for that is insufficient interaction between majority and minority cultures, which would allow them to construct a joint identity that is based on mutual respect and recognition, despite the differences that may exist.

Io-Troy-Teil (Mutual Building) opens this space of intercultural exchange between indigenous as well as non-indigenous cultures from Chile and students with background of migration in Germany. During three weeks of workshops, expositions and reflections, Io-Troy-Teil provides a unique space of encounters for minority identities. It’s a platform to build a voice andto be heard, to connect in-person, to work together and to develop new strategies formore inclusive social development at their homes and beyond. The project doesn’t compete with other ones; itattempts to bring togetherthe energies of any interested parties to create an optimal base of networking and shared core values. To do so, Cristina has establishedstrategic partnerships with organizations in Chile, Rapa Nui and Germany.

Chemical Leasing Promotion

Julia Maier

Julia Maier

Julia Maier

Born in Austria and raised in Germany, Julia is now happily married in Mexico. She studied Intercultural Business Communication and German Studies at Friedrich Schiller Universität (FSU), (Germany) and is currently doing a Masters’ in Ecological Economics. Julia feels strongly about intercultural communication and sustainability, which is why her university career comprises both areas. Among other things, she helped organize the 2012 TEDxJenaParadies as well as a career and empowerment workshop for migrant women in Berlin.

Julia’s Project Idea:
Chemical Leasing is a new service-oriented business model to reduce the consumption of chemicals, that builds off an idea proposed by Melton Fellow Jie Zhou at last year’s Global Citizenship Conference. Although promoted by UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), its dissemination is insufficient in non-English speaking countries – a situation that this project aspires to tackle.

Pilot projects have shown significant environmental and economical benefits, butonly a few companies are taking measures to implement the concept because the information available is insuffient, often vague and mainly oriented at the English-speaking world. With her Master thesis, Julia aspires to potentiate the model from an ecological perspective, andas part of the Idea Incubator she wants to go further by promoting an easy model that estimates benefits and costs for using chemical leasing on the basis of real data – a consulting service – to attract more companies.

PUNCH! Art Empowered

May Garces

May Garces

May Garces

May is a freelance singer/ songwriter, visual artist and dancer (Latin and folk dances) as well as a Physical Education Teacher. She has developed service projects since she was in second grade and has worked with non-profit organizations related to children, child abuse prevention and treatment, health and humanitarian aid, etc. since she was 14 years old as a volunteer, translator, counselor and organizer. Through the Melton Foundation, she had the opportunity to study Music Performance for a semester at Dillard University. Also with the Melton Foundation she has developed different projects related to art and education such as “Esencia Mapuche” (http://esenciamapuche.wordpress.com/), exploring the identity of Chile’s largest indigenous people through art with the purpose of confronting cultural stereotypes; and participating in global considerations about connecting Cultural Diplomacy and Arts.

May’s Project Idea:
In today’s society, art is generally perceived as something that garnishes life, when in fact, it has the power to enrich people’s perceptions about current situations in society and the world and to be a motor for change. PUNCH! Art Empowered addresses this issue. It inaugurates a space for local artists and interested people to celebrate local art while promoting global values.This is accomplished through workshops on Global Citizenship, Science, Cultural Diplomacy and how each of these relate to arts and culture; and the power of arts for shaping our individual and regional characters.

In May 2013, PUNCH! Art Empowered was successfully held for the first time in Temuco, Chile (http://www.punchart.cl). But the event doesn’t want to stop there: it aims at reaching many more people around the world to create a unique platform for artists as well as non-artists around the world to exchange, empower and strengthen local networks globally.

Idea Incubator Mentor

Victor Valenzuela, Senior Fellow

Victor Valenzuela, Senior Fellow

Victor Valenzuela, Senior Melton Fellow (UFRO)

Victor is convinced that are no bad ideas, only misguided entrepreneurs or unsupported start-ups. He is an Industrial Engineer, City Leader of First Tuesday Temuco, and working at Incubatec UFRO, a business incubator for Start-ups in the XI region of Chile. His expertise ranges from web development, digital tools to management and strategic planning. During the Idea Incubator, he will bring his personal and professional experience as entrepreneur to mentor and advise the participants of the MF Idea Incubator.

He says,“I think that entrepreneurship and innovation are the rails that support the train of economic, personal but also spiritual development.”