The Co Lab reaches out to adults interested in proactively engaging teens and millennials — and has had the wonderful pleasure of meeting and partnering with Hurriyet Ok and his colleagues.  We are excited he will be joining the Co Lab as our new International Advisor.  

I had the pleasure to meet Linda Staheli, the Founding Director of Global Co Lab Network, at the Teens Dream Celebration in October 2016 at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. The awards ceremony at the Q?rius Science Education Center Auditorium was nicely organized. I was impressed with the Global Co Lab Network for their initiatives and incentives for the young videographers.

I attended this event because right around the same time, we had organized a Youth Video Contest with the “Peace and Harmony” theme in partnership with the American Turkish Association of Washington, DC (ATA-DC). As I introduced myself to Linda and congratulate her for successfully engaging and empowering youth through this project, we quickly saw the collaboration possibilities and agreed to meet and discuss such opportunities.

We reconnected in Spring 2017 and had a very productive brainstorming session on how we can help each other as we have similar goals. I asked Gizem Salcigil-White, the Past President of ATA-DC, whom I closely worked with on the Youth Video Contest, to connect with Linda.  I also introduced Almula Camdereli, the CEO and founder of Macro Arts Project Studio LLC to Linda to exchange ideas on intercultural events involving youth. The first outcome of these interactions was to establish a partnership for 2017 Teens Dream Video Competition: TATV would engage as a media sponsor and support fundraising activities at the international level.

Linda and her husband David kindly invited us and their long time neighbors Dan and Renee for a Turkish food theme dinner at their home in August. It was a fabulous evening with lots of fun conversations and lovely stories. Each and every person briefly introduced themselves and shared their thoughts on collective endeavours.  The hospitality was superb!

We are now partnering to build on our mutual collaborations in preparation for the Co Lab’s Teens Dream Celebration on Saturday September 30th, 2017!

Hurriyet Ok is the Founder of VRT-U, an AR/VR based learning technology start-up, and the Producer of TATV, a community TV program produced at Fairfax Public Access (FPA). He recently joined as an advisor to the Co Lab. He was a Senior Information officer at the World Bank when he retired after 24 years of service in 2016.