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    Twenty students from 15 countries on five continents, and representing a range of disciplines, participated in the pilot session of the GSF Program, held at EARTH University in Costa Rica during July of 2014.

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    By incorporating The Lab's rigorous theoretical orientation with hands-on, experience-based learning, international exposure, and cross-disciplinary work, the GSF experience adds an essential dimension to the education students receive at their home institutions.

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    The program structure for the pilot session included a homestay with a local family, rigorous theoretical modules, an eco-leadership segment, fieldwork in a challenged community, and the creation of a Development Plan with that community.

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    Following the session, we strive to implement the Development Plan in partnership with local NGOs, EARTH University, and members of the community. As the GSF program grows, communities where fieldwork is based will continue to benefit from student work, and will serve as a real-world testament to the efficacy of the GSF approach.

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    Students in the pilot session will be the first members of the GSF Alumni Association, a professional, interdisciplinary network, where a common purpose, language and framework will continue to serve as the basis for game-changing sustainability innovations and initiatives worldwide.

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The Global Sustainability Fellows Program is designed to inspire, mobilize and prepare future generations of leaders in all sectors of society who are committed to integrating sustainability concerns into their approach to their chosen disciplines. The program thus serves to add an essential dimension to the education students receive at their home institutions. Program alumni will lay the foundation of a professional, interdisciplinary network, where a common purpose, language and framework serve as the basis for game-changing sustainability innovations and initiatives worldwide.

The GSF Program is the newest initiative of The Sustainability Laboratory, a thought-leader in the global transition to a sustainable future. The program’s foundation is The Lab’s unique theoretical framework, offering an uncommonly rigorous and comprehensive approach to addressing issues of sustainability, change processes, and development. By incorporating this rigorous theoretical orientation with hands-on, experience-based learning, international exposure, and cross-disciplinary work, the GSF program imparts the core competencies required to effectively tackle urgent sustainability challenges on a local, regional and planetary scale.

The Sustainability Laboratory welcomed its first group of 20 students from 15 countries on five continents to its pilot summer session, held from July 6 to July 23, 2014, at EARTH University in Costa Rica. During this session, fellows explored the necessary theoretical principles and gained an introduction to the particular challenges of the Martina Bustos community. To complete this pilot and this larger process, we are inviting members of the same cohort back to Martina Bustos in August of 2015, in order to create an actionable and innovative sustainable development plan for community implementation.

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