Detroit 2012

What’s New in 2012?

The progression of the program generates exciting opportunities for the 2012 summer. Building off the foundation of the first two years, the 2012 summer will offer exciting new opportunities for participants and community members. In coordination with natural evolution and structural needs, GELT has made several adjustments to once again lead the country in green economy training.
Industry Training Tracks: In 2012, participants will opt into specific training tracks that are geared to provide the most comprehensive experience, specific to a green industry. Tracks of Renewable Energy, Urban Agriculture, Energy Efficiency and Resource Management will offer individuals tailored curriculum, projects and experience, providing the necessary time and relevant sites to prepare them for financial success in the industry of their choosing.

Architectural Salvage Training: includes both deconstruction and skimming. Deconstruction is the dissassembly of buildings to their foundation to preserve up to 85% of the materials that otherwise would be sent to a landfill. Skimming is a less intensive method where easy-to-remove materials are salvaged.

WeSource Management Training: Water and Waste will be focus of this training to identify solutions, projects and businesses grounded in the capture and re-purposing of these vital assets. Greywater/Blackwater systems, along with rain water harvesting trainings will combine with innovative recycling programs(such as food waste, used vegetable oil and discarded community materials) to provide the necessary skills to become leaders in creating financial solutions to these resources.

Business Integration: Experiencing green industries on the front-lines, participants will work directly with local businesses to understand the complexities of starting, operating and growing a green business. From accounting, to sales, to manufacturing, businesses in new, emerging arenas must be able to compete(against large, corporate business) to stay solvent, providing the critical opportunity for program participants to be apart of the challenges facing these new industries.

Nutritional Health Series: All food has distinct qualities and energetic properties that affect your body depending on where, when and how it’s grown and prepared. This series will educate on different foods and how growing conditions affect the way you feel, think and act. Teachings on bio-individuality and superfoods will provide direct, personalize solutions for every lifestyle

Infrastructure Projects

A critical component to GELT, is the deployment of resilient projects that not only serve immediate functions for community members, but also provide the experience of project development and application. There will be 4 main program installations, specific to Industry Training Tracks, that participants will design, develop and deploy in Highland Park. Additionally, participants will assist in developing, expanding or designing 2 city-scale projects that GELT, in collaboration with the city and sister-organizations, are currently engaged in.

Renewable Energy Track Project: In collaboration with community, regional partners, RE participants will design, resource and install a solar PV system on the apartment building at 116 Candler. Expanding on the research performed in 2011, procuring funding sources as well as designing, with an aim at install, will be the goal of this ground-breaking project; the first multi-family residential structure solar pv system in Highland Park

Additionally, individuals in this Track will begin to design the first-of its kind, city scale solar street light system. Through partnership with the City of Highland Park, the mayor and the HP Sustainability Task Force, participants will have the opportunity to revolutionize the way cities look at lighting.

Energy Efficiency Track Project: Partnered with several local businesses, participants in this track will perform over 100 residential weatherizations, saving residents over $150 annually, on their utility bill. Additionally, individuals will conduct 5 comprehensive energy audits, preparing owners to seal their building and install renewable energy. Two audits will be performed on city-owned buildings; the Administration building and the Recreation Center. Another Audit on the Administration building for the Highland Park School District, with the remaining two audits coming from local churches

Urban Agriculture Track Project: Transformation of a vacant lot into a full-scale agriculture production, a hoop house, a CSA or Perennial Fruiting Orchard, will be the project for individuals in this track. Working on land owned by GELT sister organization, Distributed Power, participants will design, develop and install an accessible, functional growing space that drives revenue, feeds local residents, and teaches urban agriculture. Long-term viability of the development will be the foundation for what is designed, ensuring success and evolution of the space.

Resource Management Track Project: Participants in this track will get a sampling of effective, practical solutions to managing and using vital resources. First, building off the 2011 Garbage Kingdom project, individuals will use a Kaboom grant to revamp the aesthetics and functionality of the playground. Next, participants will design and install a composting toilet for a bathroom inside of the apartment building at 116 Candler. Finally, this team will be tasked with designing and installing a water catchment system for the 116 Candler building, and the existing Hoop House on the adjacent lot.

Additionally, this team will work with directly with the City of Highland Park and the HP Sustainability Task Force to expand on the Resource Recovery Project, a city-wide project to relcaim, repurpose and reuse all discarded materials in the city. A unique opportunity to leave a mark on how a city addresses waste and unwanted materials.

Curriculum & Schedule: 2012

The 2012 GELT curriculum will collaborate with local, regional and national individuals and organizations who are pioneering green economy industries and applications to provide the highest level of experience for participants and community residents. There will be universal content that all GELT participants will receive, but the majority of the program will be in “Industry Training Tracks” that will be chosen by the participant.
visit the course catalogue to learn more about the classes: (coming soon….)

Principle Curriculum

Participants will be required to engage in the following courses:

2012-01: Theory of Change
instructors: GELT founders, Brandon Knight, Scott Meloeny

2012-02: Permaculture Design Certificate
instructors: Chiwara Permaculture and Abundant Succession

2012-03: Entrepreneurship
instructors: to be determined

2012-04: Nutritional Mind & Body
instructors: to be determined

Industry Training Tracks

Each industry training track will be comprised of following content specific to its field. Participants will choose which track to attend before arriving to GELT. Visit the GELT Course Catalogue to explore each track in more detail.

1.  Technical Skill Training
2.  Fellowship at Local Business
3.  Community Project
4.  Business Generation
5.  Supplemental Classes, Workshops and Trainings(as needed)

2012-05: Renewable Energy Technology
2012-06: Energy Efficiency
2012-07: Resource Management
2012-08: Urban Agriculture

Auxiliary Curriculum

The following courses and series will be offered throughout GELT, providing participants the opportunity, and option, to compliment Principle and Industry Curriculum.
2012-09: Sustainable Design/Architecture Series instructors: Virtuoso Design/Build

2012-10: Yoga for Positive Living Series
instructors: TBD

2012-11: Selling your Idea, Business Series
instructors: Somerset Financial

2012-12: Race, Democracy and the new Economy
instructors: Rev David Bullock

2012-13: Becoming the Next Google: DP’s evolution
instructors: Distributed Power

2012-14: Building your Financial Livelihood
instructors: TBD


The following list of events and activities will be available for GELT participants to attend:

  • Speaker Series
  • Weekend Athletic Tournaments (basketball, soccer. etc)
  • Fireside Discussion (themed conversations)

The Opportunity

  • Ready to Suit Up? Apply Today.
  • Talk to the Program Administrator: Brandon Knight
  • Application or Curriculum Questions: Scott Meloeny


GELT: History

Recognizing opportunities of change can be the most important observation an individual or a collective can make.  At the local, state and national level we are witnessing an opportunity for change in the arena of organizing around social and economic structural change.  Once strategies of mobilizing around passing public policy, challenging destructive industries or holding elected officials are becoming antiquated and ineffective.  In times of economically-forced community desperation and inaction from those in political power, we are tested to generate new, creative ways to achieve sustainable frameworks.
The new opportunity falls directly on the youth, as this generation will be the ones absorbing the initial and long-lasting effects of detrimental societal and economical practices of the past.  Given that the new structures we seek are mostly conceptually, the need to create tangible, permanent and visible solutions are of urgent priority.  Opportunity is available to commence an era of organizing around deployment of community based solutions that can be examples and pillars of new frames to which we seek.  This organizing strategy breaks conventional frames and puts the emphasis around deployment of community-based solutions that empower individuals and communities. In addition to addressing unmet community needs, this strategy also seeks to train individuals in how to build, live and work in new, equitable and just frameworks.

Conceived in February of 2010, the Green Economy Leadership Training (GELT) has developed into an essential deployment mechanism for both young leaders and community redevelopment as part of the transition into the clean energy economy.While constructing new social and economic structures, GELT integrates community resources, including residents, businesses, clergy, political infrastructure to ensure collective rebuilding that accurately represents the culture and diversity of neighborhoods.

GELT — The Theory

The Green Economy Leadership Training (GELT) is a theory of economic change, exposing individuals to the power that lies within their mind and the outcomes derived from applying their hands. Identifying individual passion and joy, integrated with experiential learning and idea manifestation, program participants can begin to create a financially successful livelihood that is rooted in what they love to do while improving the lives of those around them. Focused on emerging industries in food, energy, resources and infrastructure, GELT provides technical trainings with project development, necessary for job acquisition or creation. Through strong and integrated relationships with community organizations, residents, and businesses, the GELT program also builds community wealth with strategic designs and installs of resilient projects that alter neighborhood aesthetics, employ individuals and drive revenue for cities.

The Model

(1) Thought ————– > (2) Belief ————– > (3) Manifestation

(1) Thought: exploration of self via exposure to new skills, ideas while experiencing application
(2) Belief: awareness of personal authority, skills and passion, generating “risk ready” minds
(3) Manifestation: access to resources, allies with long-term plan for inevitable execution

How We Get this Done – GELT Core Core Curriculum

  • Solar PV Training and Certification
  • Energy Efficiency and Weatherization Training
  • Urban Permaculture Training and Certification
  • Waste/Resource Management Training
  • Business Generation and Creation
  • Project Development: Idea 2 Install
  • Individual Well-Being: Physical and Mental

Mission: The mission of GELT is to organize around deployment of community based solutions to targeted regions that facilitates the transition to a green economy while empowering leaders with the skills, tools and experience to build, live and work within the newly constructed frameworks.

Vision:  Development of visible, functional economic and social structures that reflect sustainable, just and equitable principles are chief objectives for this new organizing model.  Upon its conception, GELT has called Highland Park, Michigan home and will look to apply this strategy to this city and its communities.

State of GELT

Moving into the third installment of the program, GELT aims to transition from a fun experience, into a legitimate destination for those seeking a deeper landscape of how to translate personal passions into financially-solvent livelihoods.
Over the last two years, the program as experienced significant growth. Although, growth comes with challenges, and GELT is no different. Accurately providing the experience necessary for not only critical personal growth, but preparation for conditions advantageous for financial success, is where the program strives to improve. In an ever-changing economy, one based on immediate, centralized global productions and responses, equipping participants with the mind-set that challenges this current condition is difficult, but nonetheless, the goal of GELT.

Ingenuity, derived from personal authority and joy, applied at the local level, can produce the beauty that is the marriage of personal success and community wealth. Local, decentralized production and distribution integrated with an educated populus ready for resource ownership, will ignite generational ambition that can, and will, sustain and evolve economic and social frameworks.

It starts with an individual, willing to identify an opportunity that emits risk, but can overcome fear to establish themselves as an owner of their life’s quest for that which they seek.

Since 2010 when GELT first was administered, the program has seen healthy evolution to every facet of the experience. Externally for participants, in two years, the program has successfully employed 2 individuals in “green” economy industries, certified 30 individuals in permaculture design, 7 in solar photovoltaic design(recognized by NABCEP) and trained over 40 in residential energy efficiency, social justice, project development and business generation.

Additionally, the community impact of GELT in two years has been tremendous, as nearly 3,000 residents have been effected by GELT projects. 125 homes have received free, energy efficiency upgrades, saving residents $200 annual on their utility bill as well as critical information regarding energy consumption.

A vacant lot was transformed into a full-scale community playground, using resources recovered from nearby neighborhoods, demonstrating creative, practical options to blight. A year-round greenhouse, complete with solar-powered fans, was built to educate, employ and feed residents, as access to healthy food and nutritional literacy has been community-identified, as a need,while establishing the foundation for a revenue-driving, local food system.

Additionally, a residential home was ecologically deconstructed, paving the way to rehabilitation, but also to provide examples of the abundant amount of usable resources available in vacant homes, challenging the option of environmentally-damaging demolition.

GELT continues to collaborate with residents and the city, to construct an economic framework rooted in local ownership and resilient resource production and accessibility.