Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fostering innovative thinkers

Wild Gift nurtures ideas to action


By EXPRESS STAFF

    Sun Valley is a mecca of skiing, mountain biking and hiking, but beyond recreation, the diversions also nurture great minds.
    On June 3, Wild Gift, the Ketchum Innovation Center and the Flourish Foundation are teaming up to talk about opportunities to start social ventures here.
    In addition to presentations about resources available to help accelerate these efforts locally, budding entrepreneurs will learn about how to apply for the Wild Gift fellowship and bring mindfulness into this important work.
    Both Wild Gift and Flourish are working to building a new generation of social innovators that are authentic, value driven, out-of-the box thinkers and have the grit to tackle today’s global challenges.
    The nonprofit Flourish Foundation plants the seed early in school-age kids empowering their creativity to research, plan and implement community-service projects within the local community and abroad. Executive Director Ryan Redman will talk about the interrelationship between personal transformation and social action, and how to bring mindfulness into the challenging work of social change.
    Wild Gift helps emerging social innovators ages 21-35 translate their transforming ideas into social ventures worldwide. Its unique 16-month fellowship provides mentoring, seed funding, networking and other related services to lift their ventures off the ground.


Wild Gift helps emerging social innovators ages 21-35 translate their transforming ideas into social ventures worldwide.



    Unlike other incubators, however, each fellow also receives the “Wild Gift”—an extended wilderness trip in the Idaho backcountry, connecting them to the natural world on a very personal level, where they unplug, incubate ideas, envision their work and lives, and gain the inspiration, perspective and balance critical to effective leadership.
    Wild Gift is now accepting applications for its 2015 class. Executive Director Deborah Knapp will answer questions about the program and application process.
    The meeting will take place Tuesday, June 3, at 5 p.m. at the new Ketchum Innovation Center, at 100 Lindsay Circle in Ketchum. The center—organized by the Ketchum Community Development Corp.—is a home for start-up businesses, providing workspace and mentoring to accelerate new ventures locally.
    Applications for the Wild Gift fellowship are due on July 15 and can be found online at www.wildgift.org/apply. Minorities and residents of the Wood River Valley are strongly encouraged to apply.




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