Citizen Exchange Circles modeled on Co Labs!

In 2018 the Global Co Lab Network partnered with Global Ties, which helps manage the State Department’s flagship international exchange program, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).  The Co-Lab’s experience facilitating over 50 small living room discussions (now called Co-Labs) focused on empowering youth instructed the rebranding of a new pilot launched with Global Ties, called Citizen Exchange Circles.

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The Collaboration

In 2018 Global Co Lab Network Founding President Linda Staheli worked with Global Ties U.S. and its member organizations to launch a pilot program taking Co-Labs rebranded as “Citizen Exchange Circles” to the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).  The IVLP is the State Department’s flagship exchange program.  Linda Staheli presented at the luncheon address to the IVLP community stating that “Citizen Exchange Circles are a way to strengthen relationships between participants and Americans they encounter while on their IVLP program”.

The Global Co Lab Network has trained almost 100 Global Ties U.S. member organizations across the United States to lead Citizen  Exchange Circles.  In the first year, thirteen Circles were hosted with hundreds of international visitors in living rooms across the United States.  In December 2018, the Santa Fe Council on International Relations hosted an event Journalism Under Fire where twenty simultaneous Citizen Exchange Circles took place as part of a global gathering of journalists. The photo above is that gathering where it was reported that the Circles were a highlight of the conference.  In 2019 the number of Citizen Exchange Circles more than doubled.

The Co-Lab is proud of its work with Global Ties U.S. and excited that the Citizen Exchange Circles have helped to deepen connections in the International Visitors Leadership Program.

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