Train to Become an International Family Diplomat

Why?

Across the world, most people value family, yet families are not usually represented in the decisions that governments, business, nonprofits and media make that affect families.  Learning Life’s Family Diplomacy Initiative (FDI) aims to empower families to participate in decision-making at local to global levels so that their needs, concerns and aspirations are heard to help build a more caring world.  For that to happen we need skilled, committed Family Diplomats (FDs): volunteers ages 14 and older around the world who can speak and advocate effectively to governments, businesses, nonprofits and media about the needs, concerns and aspirations of families.   

What?

In 2022, Learning Life is excited to launch our FDI Training Program, described here.  Every Sunday for 1.5 hours from July 10 to October 23, the Training is gathering FD trainees in different countries in one group via Zoom to learn from experts and skilled practitioners about (a) citizen diplomacy, (b) patterns, trends and issues facing families worldwide, and (c) family storytelling.  The ability to tell family stories effectively is one powerful way to speak to the needs, concerns and aspirations of families.  Thus, during the July-October meetings, FD trainees will each create their own family story about their own family or a family they know, connect it to a wider issue or topic (happiness or depression, health, love, drug abuse, violence, poverty, wealth, corruption, inequality or equality, immigration, refugee crises, faith and religion, gay rights, climate change, war and/or peace, etc.), practice their stories together in our weekly meetings, culminating in performance of their stories to a live audience of ordinary people who will serve as the storytelling judges.  The best storytellers will receive cash awards.  See “Benefits?” below for details.

Who?

You are eligible to participate as an FD trainee if you:

1. Are at least 14 years old.

2. Have a strong enough internet connection to participate in live Zoom video meetings.

3. Speak English at a level where you feel confident you can clearly and effectively speak/tell a family story to an audience in English, without reading your story.

Learning Life strongly encourages FD trainees to participate as two or more family members, such as two or more siblings, a mother and daughter, two parents and child, grandfather and grandchildren, or else.  The largest storytelling cash awards go to FD trainees who participate in the meetings and tell their stories as two or more family members.  See “Benefits?” below for details.

When?

The FD training starts Sunday, July 10, 12:00-1:30pm New York/Washington DC time, and will occur every Sunday same time until Sunday, October 23, 2022.

In addition, each FD trainee’s live performance of their story will occur once online on a day in October at a time that works for both the storyteller(s) and the audience who will judge their storytelling.

Where?

The FD Training will occur strictly via Zoom.  There will be no in-person meetings to save costs and allow more people worldwide to participate.

Cost?

There are no fees for the FD Training in 2022, but you will need to pay for your own internet connection cost.

For those of you who can afford to donate $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000, or whatever amount to support the FD trainees, please do so here now and write “FD training” in the “Note” box.  If you donate $100 to $1,000, you get the benefits of becoming part of our new Democracy & Diplomacy Community, which offers members-only recognition and stories, special event invitations, plus sponsorship opportunities.

If you are donating on behalf of someone you love and/or would like to participate in the FD Training, please write “FD training gift” plus the name and email of the person on whose behalf you are making this gift.  We will send them a “thank you” email acknowledging your gift and inviting them to participate.

Benefits?

All those who complete the FD training will receive an electronic certificate of completion, with or without honors.  The requirements to gain a certificate, and the cash awards for the top storytellers are specified below.  

Certificate of completion: 

  1. All participating family members must attend at least 12 of 16 FD Training meetings every Sunday, 12:00-1:30pm (New York/Washington DC time) from July 10 to October 23.  
  2. Create and in October perform your family story in front of live audience of judges.  

Certificate of completion, with honors: 

  1. All participating family members must attend at least 14 of 16 FD Training meetings every Sunday, 12:00-1:30pm (New York/Washington DC time) from July 10 to October 23.  
  2. Create and in October perform your family story in front of live audience of judges.
  3. Your storytelling performance gets at least honorable mention, based on judges’ numeric scores.  

Cash awards: 

Note: All awards below are in U.S. dollars and will be paid via Paypal.  Awards will be determined by the numeric scores of the audience which will judge your live performance of your story in October.  The awards below encourage FD trainees to participate in the July-October training and perform their stories in October as two or more family members.

1st place: 2 or more storytellers from same family: $1,000.  1 storyteller: $500.

2nd place: 2 or more storytellers from same family: $750.  1 storyteller: $375.

3rd place:  2 or more storytellers from same family: $500.  1 storyteller: $250.

Questions?

If you have questions, feel free to contact Learning Life at email@learninglife.info.

Ready to Apply?

If you feel you are qualified and motivated to participate in the first year of this extraordinary international FDI Training Program, please fill out this preliminary application survey.  The survey should take you no more than 15 minutes.  If we accept you into the Training Program, we will notify you by email and/or via Facebook, and provide you with further details, including an FD trainee pre-survey for you to complete.

Do you belong to a formal group interested in international affairs, family or storytelling?  If you do, and your group may be interested in helping to judge international family stories live online in October 2022, click here.