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This 10-week team-based learning experience involves teams of 4-6 participants working together to explore ways to create actionable change and make a lasting impact in communities at home and abroad. The lab is designed for participants to explore the fundamentals of making change, work collaboratively in successful teams, identify areas of challenge and growth to better advocate for the needs of community-based organizations, and ultimately, produce a feasible capstone action plan.

  • FIELD EXPERTS will support you through creative ideation, help you develop skills to identify community needs, and provide real-world feedback on your action planning.
  • CULTURAL COACHES will keep your solutions global, with cultural insight to guide development of your concept, enhance your impact, and maximize your global reach.

In the lab, participants will:

— Engage with a team of peers to produce an action plan for community engagement to support community-based organizations locally with a global perspective.

— Learn from cultural coaches and field experts about various approaches to community organizing, advocacy, civic engagement and allyship for marginalized communities.

— Build a global-to-local advocacy action plan leveraging domestic and international network of community partners to enact change.

What's Included?

  • Advising
  • Community-building activities and cultural resources in a digital learning workspace
  • Career readiness materials and support, including how to reflect this experience on a resume and at job interviews
  • Live events featuring speakers, activities, networking and more
  • API Digital Badge Stack
  • Post-program evaluation
  • Access to API alumni network & API Ambassador Program
  • Optional international excursion (open to participants 18 and older)

Application Requirements

  • A current resume or CV
  • Personal statement outlining a local community-based organization and your interest in creating a plan of action to support their goals
Session Program Dates Program Cost Application Deadline Payment Deadline
Fall Oct 1, 2020 - Dec 10, 2020 $980 Sep 15, 2020 Sep 30, 2020
Winter Dec 15, 2020 - Feb 19, 2021 $980 Dec 1, 2020 Dec 15, 2020
Spring Feb 15, 2021 - Apr 16, 2021 $980 Feb 1, 2021 Feb 15, 2021

API Lab participants pay a $150 application deposit with the initial application and the remaining balance is due upon acceptance. Participants who apply on the application deadline are responsible for submitting 50% of the program fee with the application.

Program participants will have the opportunity to culminate their virtual learning experience with an optional 7-16 day excursion in January or March of 2021! Participants will experience the rich cultural heritage of the country of their choice through various tours, visits to historic sites, and opportunities to experience the local culture firsthand. Participants interested in this option may select one excursion and will be charged an additional fee. Please note that participants must be 18 or older by the program start date. The international excursions require minimum enrollment per location and itineraries are subject to change.

What’s Included:

- Airport reception
- API safety orientation
- Housing
- API welcome dinner and several group meals (some meals on own)
- Medical and life insurance
- In-country transportation
- Entrance fees
- Social and cultural activities

Fall

The week will include guided tours of each city, including Barcelona’s famous Barrio de Grácia neighborhood and a bicycle excursion through central Madrid. Students will also participate in activities designed specifically to expose students to local culture and history, to include language exchanges with local Spaniards and visits to local organizations, including a Spanish ham company – the best ham in the world! In addition, students will dive into the local culture with a flamenco show, rumba workshop, cooking class, and more. Several group meals are included throughout the week to connect and reflect on each day, and of course the week would not be complete without some churros & chocolate!

Tentative dates: January 3-10, 2021

March dates: March 22-30, 2021

Price: $2280

The week will include a guided tour of central London, including Trafalgar Square, Downing Street, and a flight on the London Eye. Students will also participate in activities designed specifically to expose students to local culture and history, such as a trip to the Bank of England museum, a tour of British Parliament, as well as the opportunity to participate in a guest lecture on the LSE campus! In addition, students will dive into the local culture with tours of Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral, a West End Theatre show, and more. The week also includes a day trip to Paris by train for students to explore the City of Lights! Several group meals are included throughout the week to connect and reflect on each day, and of course the week would not be complete without some fish & chips!

January dates: January 3-11, 2021

March dates: March 22-30, 2021

Price: $2,150

The week will include guided tours of each city, including Rome’s famous Trastevere neighborhood, the Gucci Garden in Florence, and St. Mark's Square in Venice. Students will also participate in activities designed specifically to expose them to local culture and history, ranging from museums and art galleries, a wine tasting event, an Italian cooking class, a glass blowing demonstration on the Venetian island of Murano, and more. Several group meals are included throughout the week to connect and reflect on each day, and of course the week would not be complete without some pizza and gelato!

January dates: January 3-11, 2021
March dates: March 22-30, 2021

Price: $2280

The week will include a guided tour of the diverse neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, including colorful La Boca and its famous Caminito, San Telmo and Montserrat, Retiro and Recoleta. Students will also participate in activities designed specifically to expose students to local culture and history, to include a visit to Palacio Barolo, lunch at one of the city’s historic bares notables, and a visit to the nearby city of Tigre for a Mate tasting - Argentina’s national drink! In addition, students will dive into the local culture with a tango class, cooking class, a tour of the famous Colón theater, and more. The week also includes a visit to Mendoza, Argentina, known around the world for its viticulture. This two-night stay will include visits to local wineries as well as horseback riding and rafting in the Andes Mountains! Several group meals are included throughout the week to connect and reflect on each day.

Tentative dates: January 4-12, 2021

Price: $2,100

The week will include various visits and activities around Sydney, including the iconic Sydney Opera House, an opportunity to climb Sydney Harbour Bridge, and a visit to the famous Manly Beach. Students will also participate in activities designed specifically to expose students to local culture and indigenous history, to include a visit to an interactive local wildlife park to see some of the country’s native kangaroos and koalas as well as a trip to the Australian Outback to visit Uluru (Ayers Rock), an UNESCO World Heritage site. In addition, students will spend a day exploring the brilliantly colorful corals and vibrant tropical fish on The Great Barrier Reef!

*Students traveling to Australia will have the option to also join the international excursion to New Zealand for an additional fee and a total of 16-days abroad.

Tentative dates: January 5-13, 2021
(Participants leave the U.S. on Jan 3rd)

Price: $3600

The week will include a guided tour of Auckland, including a visit to the famous black sand beaches along New Zealand’s west coast. Students will also travel to Rotorua, known for its geothermal activity and Maori culture, to participate in activities designed specifically to expose students to local culture and indigenous history. Activities include guided tours of Hobbiton and the Waitamo Glowworm Caves, a Redwoods Treewalk, as well as a Te Puia Maori performance and Hangi dinner! In addition, students will visit Queenstown - the Adventure Capital of the World! In Queenstown, students will experience the Shotover Canyons on a jet boat ride and explore the famous glacier-formed valleys and beautiful waterfalls of Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park.

*Students traveling to New Zealand will have the option to also join the international excursion to Australia for an additional fee and a total of 16-days abroad.

Tentative dates: January 13-20, 2021
(Participants depart the U.S. on Jan 11th)

Prices: $3,350

Winter
Spring

What You’ll Study

API Global Community Engagement Lab participants will participate in dynamic team-based, experiential learning utilizing a flipped classroom model to move an innovative idea for community engagement through design and development to create an action plan for longitudinal change.

Alongside the guided modules and supported learning opportunities with field experts and cultural coaches, teams will level-up their learning along the way by earning the Global-to-Local Community Engagement badge stack. These badges certify meaningful engagement with the learning outcomes of the API Community Engagement Lab and will enhance the earner’s LinkedIn profile, personal website and digital resume, and more.

Global-to-Local Community Engagement badge: Create meaningful community engagement opportunities locally with a global perspective. Connect impactful solutions to real-world challenges and create change by actively enacting plans developed, designed, and delivered with community goals in mind.

Global Teamwork: This digital badge is part of the Community Engagement Lab digital badge stack. Earn this digital badge by working with a team to create innovative solutions to global problems. Diverse perspectives, cultural competence, and a drive to succeed are all key to collaborations that make an impact. Assess your collaborative skills, practice peer review, and refine your individual approach to leadership in team settings.

Global Problem Solving: This digital badge is part of the Community Engagement Lab digital badge stack. Refine global problem solving skills by embracing diverse perspectives, leveraging curiosity, networking with experts, and piloting solutions. Design, implement, assess, and modify to test your hypotheses and grow skills of resilience and change management.

Team-based learning is a central component of the API Global Community Engagement Lab. Teams will have different skill sets, expertise, and areas of interest. Weekly modules will guide teams through exploring fundamentals of community engagement, collaborative ideation to identify a community-based challenge to address, defining the concept and approach, communicating value and exploring global to local impact, and ultimately, developing an action plan that the team will pitch to field experts and cultural coaches. The lab follows the Lean Launchpad methodology, a process that uses the scientific method to frame discovery and experiential concept design through active testing of hypotheses and ideas. Teams will be guided by experts, cultural coaches, and lab facilitators and can expect to dedicate 3-5 hours to lab work each week. The teams will be assessed on ideation, concept development, creating value and impact evaluation, collaborative teamwork, and the feasibility of their community engagement plan.

During the 10-week experience, learners will engage each of the following four modules alongside their teammates:

Fundamentals of Community Engagement

Explore essential questions of community engagement, including how to identify community needs, active listening, collaboration across boundaries of difference, and fundamentals of advocacy. Teams will also examine fundamentals of teamwork and be introduced to cultural coaches who will provide a global to local perspective on community engagement.

Problems and Ideas

Investigate and identify community challenges, both in local communities and within global contexts. Teams will explore community organizing, advocacy, service, and allyship for marginalized communities. Resourced ideation and creative team-building activities will guide teams to identify concepts to test to build value.

Concept Development / Action Planning

Teams practice developing a concept through active listening and community engagement, testing out ideas and hypotheses with guidance from field experts. Cultural coaches support developing global perspectives and introduce global action items around team concepts. Teams identify community partners and begin to develop a plan of action to address scope and feasibility of their ideas. Teams leverage skills in digital agility and virtual organizing to maximize impact and value.

Creating Value

Teams present CAPstone project (community action plan) to a virtual “board” of field experts, cultural coaches, and representatives from community-based organizations. Teams refine the action plan based on feedback and submit the final plan. Teams are then assessed on teamwork and CAPstone action plan.

Fundamentals of Community Engagement

Explore essential questions of community engagement, including how to identify community needs, active listening, collaboration across boundaries of difference, and fundamentals of advocacy. Teams will also examine fundamentals of teamwork and be introduced to cultural coaches who will provide a global to local perspective on community engagement.

Problems and Ideas

Investigate and identify community challenges, both in local communities and within global contexts. Teams will explore community organizing, advocacy, service, and allyship for marginalized communities. Resourced ideation and creative team-building activities will guide teams to identify concepts to test to build value.

Concept Development / Action Planning

Teams practice developing a concept through active listening and community engagement, testing out ideas and hypotheses with guidance from field experts. Cultural coaches support developing global perspectives and introduce global action items around team concepts. Teams identify community partners and begin to develop a plan of action to address scope and feasibility of their ideas. Teams leverage skills in digital agility and virtual organizing to maximize impact and value.

Creating Value

Teams present CAPstone project (community action plan) to a virtual “board” of field experts, cultural coaches, and representatives from community-based organizations. Teams refine the action plan based on feedback and submit the final plan. Teams are then assessed on teamwork and CAPstone action plan.

Fundamentals - Innovation Lab

Explore the fundamental elements of successful teamwork and introduction to Lean Launchpad methodology. Define objectives to integrate business skills, knowledge and experiences of a diverse team to solve complex business challenges in a global economy.

Problems & Ideas - Innovation Lab

Participate in interactive ideation through the digital workspace, challenging ideas and creating solutions using the UN Global Goals as a framework. Collaborate with the team to build a value proposition and validate ideas.

Concept Development - Innovation Lab

Design a desirable, feasible, and viable business model for the implementation of an innovation. Create a business model hypothesis and participate in prototyping and market testing. Learn from industry mentors real-world business impact. Explore cultural applications through the lens of cultural coaches. Consider external environmental implications as the pitch develops.

Creating Value - Innovation Lab

Examine how to communicate the essential value of innovative solutions and build a pitch. Participate in the pitch competition and evaluate solutions provided by other teams. Engage in critical reflection and analysis of team functionality, including strengths and opportunities for growth.