UNESCO’s Announcement of New Intangible Cultural Heritage Is a Great Chance to Think about New Steps to Protect the World’s Properties

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced the addition of 16 new sites to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list on December 1. This gives us a great opportunity not just to celebrate new additions but to think about how to protect them. These 16 new sites are literally from all over the world: Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East, and Africa. As a Japanese intern, I was personally glad to see that “Yama, Hoko, Yatai float festivals in Japan” was on the list. This tradition encompasses 33 festivals in 18 prefectures throughout Japan, showing the...

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“My First Day of YLAI” by YLAI Professional Fellow Ann-Sophie Ovile

Ann-Sophie Ovile is the Founder and CEO of Mennen’m La Tours in Haiti, and she is one of 248 fellows participating in the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program, which brings entrepreneurs and civil society leaders to the United States for a five-week program. This U.S. Department of State-sponsored program empowers these young entrepreneurs to strengthen their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and to effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities. The day that we all have been waiting for has finally arrived! 248 young and dynamic entrepreneurs from Latin America...

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On the value of networks

As a new intern and a young professional in the making, one is always made aware of the multiple networking opportunities that arise in any given environment. We are encouraged to network, to update our LinkedIn profiles, and make eye contact when firmly shaking people’s hands. Flash forward a month into my summer experience interning for Meridian’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative  (YLAI), I have learned the true value of creating a network. Needless to say, my networking awareness was not exclusively informed by my peers, colleagues, or from my fellow interns. Rather, it came from reading more than 300 applications out...

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Into the Heart of Europe (From Right Here in Washington, DC)

45 European entrepreneurs. 41 different countries. 2 days in DC. 1 marketing and communications intern (me). Last week was my first week interning at Meridian, and I was immediately immersed in European culture and all its diversity with my first project: the Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative. I arrived at the State Department for day one of the program. A minute later, a large crowd of people came walking over and waited in line at the security check. Many looked over at me with curiosity, and some came right over, introduced themselves, and asked about my background. I expected...

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Entrepreneurship: A Means for Global Change, Access, and Security

Entrepreneurship has been hard to define. Today, the word suggests choice, diversity, and opportunity. It is used to describe the common thread between the greatest business leaders, inventors, and movers and shakers of the century. In the past, it has been associated with the spirit and will of capital gain and greed. It was also understood as the doctrine of the business-savvy, powerful, and the well-connected. While the image of entrepreneurship has often appeared to be a tall, western man in a business suit –today’s entrepreneurs represent a collective community of people of many genders, ages, races, classes, and...

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