Young Gamechangers

GeorgiaForward is proud to announce that our 2022 Young Gamechangers class will be in Dalton! 

The four sessions will take place January 26-28, April 28-29, June 16-17 and August 12.

We’re seeking civic-minded individuals with big-picture mindsets and a willingness to learn, from every industry, background, and corner of the state. If you’re a Georgia resident ages 25-41* who wants to work hard toward a better Georgia – we want you! 

Read on for more details and apply online. Reach out to with questions.

Applications close September 20th and participants will be alerted in November.

*Since we were unable to host a program last year, THIS YEAR ONLY we will be accepting applicants who are 41 years old.

Applicants must be within the age range of 25-41 on January 26, 2022.

Young Gamechangers is more than a traditional leadership program focused on networking; it’s a leadership action program designed to make a tangible impact in select communities by bringing together 50 of Georgia’s brightest minds under the age of 40 into the public sphere as respected idea-generators. Each class works for six to eight 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.

View Our Previous Final Reports

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.

How to Become a Young Gamechanger

We are seeking energetic and collaborative big thinkers from every corner of the state between the ages of 25 and 40. Ambitious minds from any professional sector will be considered.


Each Young Gamechanger cohort focuses on a different focus community. Each program has four in-person meetings that are six days total (mandatory for completing the program) including a two-day opening retreat, a two-day midpoint meeting, an internal run through and final recommendations to the community. Additionally, the class will work together virtually over that time.

The mandatory dates of the 2022 Young Gamechangers program are:

  • January 26-28
  • April 28-29
  • June 16-17
  • August 12

Cost to Apply or Participate

The cost to be a member of the program is $500 per participant. Each participant is also responsible for their own travel to and from the focus community for all four meetings.

Location of Next Year’s Program

Our 2022 Young Gamechangers program will be hosted by Dalton-Whitfield County. The 2023 location will be announced at Georgia Municipal Association’s Annual Convention in Savannah, June 2022.

If you would like to be kept informed on future Young Gamechangers locations and class activity, please email

Implementing Proposals

GeorgiaForward encourages community leaders to select the most promising proposals and work to bring them to life. Our goal is to see one or more of the recommendations implemented. It is up to the local community to prioritize and implement the recommendations. We are proud that at least one recommendation has come to fruition in almost all of the communities that we’ve worked in.

How to be a Host Community

Young Gamechangers’ success is dependent on support from the Host Community. GeorgiaForward brings Young Gamechangers to communities that are forward-thinking, curious, and receptive to out-of-the-box thinking.

A successful Young Gamechangers program is built on three pillars: broad community support and buy-in; a strong and collaborative relationship between city and county government; and an openness to big new ideas. Host Communities are responsible for raising a minimum of $75,000 in sponsorship dollars for the program. Up to $25,000 can be in-kind donations in the form of hotel rooms, meeting space, meals and transportation.

Previous Young Gamechangers Host Communities are: Americus-Sumter County, Dublin-Laurens County, Douglasville-Douglas County, Augusta-Richmond County, LaGrange-Troup County, Milledgeville-Baldwin County, Albany-Dougherty County and Monroe-Walton County.

If your community is interested in hosting a future Young Gamechangers program, please reach out to Brenda Belcher ( for an introductory discussion.