MN Solutionaries in Residence

“Teacher seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world.”
– From Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn

“We need to take steps … towards creating a local sustainable economy that enables us to work, eat, and take care of our families, bring the neighbor back into the ‘hood, and slow down global warming.” – Grace Lee Boggs

In the face of a falling economy, an energy crisis, fragmented and inequitable communities, and the growing threat of global warming, people are coming together to create and implement solutions that address all of these challenges together.  We are solutionaries – working as innovative organizers across issue lines to build the green economy as an engine for local opportunity, climate and energy solutions, and social justice.

The founders of Grand Aspirations have spent the past few years growing a national organization, equipping youth leaders nationwide with the skills and tools needed to build a green economy. We’ve worked in close partnership with local communities to launch coalitions, companies, and campaigns that build energy democracy, food justice, local sustainable economies, and a growing movement for a sustainable future that sustains our communities too. We’ve trained hundreds and inspired thousands while creating breakthrough examples of green economy strategies that allow communities to lead a sustainable, people-powered future. We’ve charted our course to material livelihoods, sustaining communities, and pragmatic and visionary action together. You can learn more about our path under Our Experience.

Now it’s your turn.

We’re seeking participants in a new, highly customized personal empowerment and leadership development program: Solutionaries in Residence. Think of it as a combination of education, organizer skills training, guidance in venture planning, and personal transformation rolled into one, guided by your goals. We’re seeking to equip individuals and teams who are yearning for a future that unites social justice, economic vitality, environmental sustainability, and community empowerment with the tools, methods, and knowledge to make it a reality. We want to help you unleash your potential to bring the power of the communities, networks, and visions that root and inspire you to bear on our most pressing challenges. What we’ve built in over 5 years of growing a movement is on the table. Your vision, your goals, your potential will steer where it goes from there.

We’re inviting individuals and small teams to apply to propose a residency project of 1-12 weeks for anytime starting in late September 2012 through early June 2013. Through our application form, you will be able to define your goals and learning outcomes, select potential curriculum to help meet those goals, and propose how you would like to see it work out. This opportunity is for you if any of these describe your situation:

  • You are looking to start a business, organization, or project related to sustainable communities or the green economy and are unsure where or how to start.
  • You are looking for an educational experience that is more applied, self-directed, transformative, and useful than other options you are finding.
  • You know something is deeply wrong about the way the world is working, but feel overwhelmed or unable to do anything meaningful about it.
  • You’re tired of (or don’t want to start) making a living that doesn’t fit your values and you want to figure out something else.
  • You have a good sense of what you want to achieve to build sustainable communities or the green economy, but need specific knowledge or skills to get there.
  • You’re looking for a fresh approach to the world around you, your role in it, and the other people you interact with.

Whatever you are looking for – define it as clearly and specifically as you can. If we can’t deliver on part or all of your proposed objectives, we’ll let you know.

To learn more and to propose a residency, check out: