Young Gamechangers

Young Gamechangers brings together a select number of Georgia’s brightest minds under the age of 40, to help solve pressing policy challenges of one Georgia community. Each class works for six months to generate big ideas and recommendations for persistent challenges in a Georgia community which they present to the community at the conclusion of the program.

In 2012, 25 Young Gamechangers worked together to revision the future of Americus and Sumter County. Participants worked to identify missed economic opportunities, how to make the community a place for the young, entrepreneurial and retirees and what uniquely distinguished Americus from other rural cities.

To see their final proposals on the future of Americus and Sumter County, click HERE.

The second class of Young Gamechangers started at the end of 2013 going into 2014 with big ideas and recommendations for Dublin, Laurens County. These 35 emerging state leaders focused on three challenging questions: How can Dublin better attract and retain merchants while investing in the surrounding neighborhoods to extend downtown’s vitality?, How might Laurens County improve its community gateways and signage while creating an appealing brand? and How can Dublin strengthen its international appeal, and in the process, attract more entrepreneurs and retirees?

To see their final proposals on the future of Dublin and Laurens County, click Young Gamechangers Final Proposal 2014.

Learn more about the program and apply below.

Who are Young Gamechangers?

Big-thinkers.  Innovators.  Creative-minded.  Civically-driven.  We are looking for innovative thinkers from around Georgia and from multiple sectors, including business, law, public health, real estate, urban planning, the arts, non-profits, foundations and academia.  Ambitious minds from any sector will be considered for the program.  The only other requirements are below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I become a Young Gamechanger?

We are seeking energetic and collaborative big thinkers from every corner of the state between the ages 24 and 40. The application window has closed for the Spring 2016 class. However, the Fall 2016 class applications will open in Spring of 2016. Check back for details.

What are the requirements for the program?

Young Gamechangers chooses a different focus city each year. Each program has three in-person meetings (mandatory for completing the program) including a two-day opening retreat, a two-day mid point meeting and final recommendations to the community. The 2016 Spring Class will meet on January 21-22, March 31-April 1 and June 10, 2016.  Additionally, the class will work together virtually over that time.

Is there a cost to apply or participate?

The cost to be a member of the Young Gamechangers program is $250 per participant. Each participant is also responsible for their own travel to and from the focus community for all three meetings.

Where is next year’s program set?

Young Gamechangers is designed to create change in communities across Georgia, and chooses a different focus city each year. The inaugural class worked in the city of Americus and Sumter County with the 2013/2014 class in Dublin and Laurens County. GeorgiaForward will select the 2016 site(s) from cities and counties across the state. Email if you have a community that you think should be considered.

What happens to Young Gamechangers’ proposals?

GeorgiaForward encourages community leaders to select the most promising proposals and work to bring them to life. GeorgiaForward is committed to working with the community to help identify sustainability opportunities for promising solutions. Our goal is to see one or more of the recommendations come to life.

What makes Young Gamechangers special?

Young Gamechangers is more than a traditional leadership program focused on networking. The program is designed to make a tangible impact in select communities and bring young minds into the public sphere as respected idea-generators and problem-solvers. Young Gamechangers is about action.



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