Collaboration Quote of the Month

March 31, 2011

“When we dream alone, it is only a dream. When we dream together, it is no longer a dream but the beginning of reality.”

– A Brazilian Proverb

Inspiring Video of Jody Williams at Women’s TED Conference on Working Together for Change

March 24, 2011

5 Examples of Positive Collaboration in the Wake of the Tragedy in Japan

March 16, 2011

Sometimes it is hard to think of the positive in such horrific circumstances as what is facing the nation of Japan right now. But it is often in the darkest moments of life that we see the brightest capabilities of kindness and love.

Here are five beautiful examples of how the Japanese are working together in the face of adversity.

1. A Japanese phrase that locals are saying over and over again to each other are the serene words “stay calm”.

2. When a reporter asked if aid had started pouring in yet, the response was, “No, but the people are helping each other from the bottom up, rather than waiting for help from the top down.”

3. A story of store owner has surfaced of the business man offering up his merchandise for those in need. A line of people with their own carts congregated outside the store, moving along in an orderly fashion to accept the donation. The store owner explained he was giving away all that he had. (He had moved everything outside to give the people access.) There was no greed being shown. The citizens, in turn, took only what they needed, making sure the people behind them would have some of the goods when it came their turn. Another example of sharing: a story of people being served enough Raman Noodles for four, and instead of taking it for themselves, split it with two more, making it a meal for six.

4. Reports show there has been little — to no — looting.

5. The level of mutual compassion and patience is being shown in great magnitude with the working together when waiting in lines — oftentimes for hours on end.

A Collaborative Tool for Loved Ones to Find One Another in Japan

March 12, 2011

I would like to take a moment and express my deepest sympathy for the tragic reality that Japan is facing now. I have no doubt that with time the Japanese — with the help of other countries — will rebuild the areas of destruction ravaged by the earthquakes and tsunami waves…although this will never replace the devastation of losing a loved one.

As communication is in its basic form at the moment, a site has been created in the spirit of reuniting those separated in the disaster.

Please pass on the information and website link for Japan Person Finder.

Mountain Rider’s Alliance Project Manager Explaining New Ski Area in the Works

March 9, 2011

I’ve mentioned Mountain Rider’s Alliance before: they are the embodiment of collaboration in the ski community. Based on core beliefs that support ski towns, the riders and the environment, MRA is a voice for all of those that love playing in the mountains with boards strapped to their feet.

Looking at restoring an old ski area in Alaska, MRA is working with locals on the Kenai Peninsula to create a positive winter sports resource. Check out the following video of MRA project manager, Dave Scanlan, discussing the proposed ski area.

3rd Annual Clements International Youth Exchange Scholarship Looking for Entries by May 13, 2011

March 1, 2011

As a kid, I had always dreamed of living in a foreign country. Europe to be precise. In my mind, this was the land of expert skiers. I wanted to be skiing the same mountains they did.

The day I found out I had received the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship, I went weak in the knees. Literally. I fell to the solid pavement of my driveway reading the sentence beginning with “Congratulations!” Tears of joy fell from my face as I realized my dream of living abroad as a teenager was coming to reality. Little did I know how much that year in Bavaria would effect my life. Every aspect of my life has been touched because of my year living with my German family, the Johnens. My love life is better: Germany is where I finally fell for my husband. My business sense is expanded: I believe it is easier for me to think outside the box because of living in a foreign culture. My life is richer: I’ve experienced not only the U.S. and German cultures, but being an exchange student also prepared me for my life in Argentina — an amazing experience that has enriched my life with many lifelong relationships.

So, it is safe to say I am a big proponent of youth exchange programs, especially scholarships.

Clements International, an insurance carrier for expats, is accepting applications for their third annual Expat Youth Scholarship. A unique contest exclusively for expat students who spend their childhoods moving between different countries and cultures, the 2011 Expat Youth Scholarship is open to students ages 12-18 of any nationality who have resided in a foreign country for at least two consecutive years. For this year’s theme, they ask participants to create a video explaining their favorite thing about their host country and its culture. The entry deadline is May 13, 2011.

A total of $10,000 in scholarships will be awarded to six students in the following categories:

Category One (Ages 12 – 15):

1st Place $3,000
2nd Place $1,500
3rd Place $500

Category Two (Ages 16 – 18):

1st Place $3,000
2nd Place $1,500
3rd Place $500

According to Clements International President, Chris Beck, “We’re so excited to offer the Expat Youth Scholarship again this year with a new twist. Incorporating online video and Facebook voting will really make this scholarship contest an interactive experience for everyone involved, including participants, expats, supporters and viewers around the world.”

Hoping to get a global input, this year everyone gets a chance to help determine the winners. A Judges Panel consisting of individuals representing the expatriate community will determine the top 12 video entries, which will be posted on the Expat Youth Scholarship Facebook page under the “Links” tab. During the month of August, members of the Expat Youth Scholarship fan page will be able to vote for their favorites using the “Like” feature. Voting (i.e. “liking”) will end on August 31. The total number of fan “Likes” will determine the top three winners in each age category.

What a great example of collaboration!

Visit for more information.

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