Open Competition for the Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative

October 6, 2015

On October 1, 2015, The Aspen Institute’s J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative opened the first in a series of competitions to fund virtual exchanges that equip young people in the United States, the Middle East, and North Africa with the skills and aptitudes they need to gain a deeper understanding of diverse cultures and to succeed in the 21st century.

Virtual exchanges are sustained, technology-supported, people-to-people education programs. As part of the technological movement that is transforming how young people engage with the world, they are distinctive in their use of digital platforms to enable deep, interactive, social learning. In-person exchanges that enhance the virtual components are also part of the Stevens Initiative.

The Stevens Initiative award competition is open to a wide range of U.S. organizations that work with young people, including those enrolled in secondary through post-secondary education, and that either have operated or are interested in operating cross-cultural exchanges. Details on eligibility and application criteria are available on the application website.

The Stevens Initiative, developed in partnership with the Stevens Family, and with significant involvement from the MacArthur Foundation, is a multilateral public-private partnership designed to increase people-to-people exchange between youth in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa as a lasting tribute to the legacy of Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The Initiative is housed at the Aspen Institute and is a collaboration between the family of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. Department of State, the Bezos Family Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the governments of the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Algeria and Morocco, and Microsoft, Mozilla, and GoPro.