DAYDREAMS recognizes the unprecedented potential of the millennial generation to father an era of expanded collaboration and understanding between the United States and the MENA region. The DAYDREAMS Project was founded with a firm belief that this profound mission could be accomplished by joining the hands of our youth – our world's future leaders – and then empowering them to together fight the deleterious political, economic, and social injustices that threaten to destroy our greater global community. At the beginning of each calendar year, 50 of the most accomplished youth leaders from a diverse cross-section of the U.S. and the MENA region will be invited into the DAYDREAMS community where they will work with a team of peers and mentors to transpose their visions into distinct initiatives, and then use their voices to outline their immediate goals to the entire world from Dartmouth College.
It is common for people to connect with others of the same race, culture, nationality, and faith. Shared languages, customs, and beliefs bring people together. Conversely, cultural and religious differences often divide people. Here at DAYDREAMS, we recognize that despite our differences, youth leaders from across the U.S. and the MENA region have similar hopes and dreams. The DAYDREAMS Mission is simple: to remind us that we are all one people and that by working together we have the potential to create lasting change.
Who We Are
DAYDREAMS – an acronym for Diplomatic Arrangement of Year-round Dialogue and Research Engaging American and Middle-eastern Students – is an interdisciplinary, student-led initiative that seeks to promote international understanding through the free expression of ideas between Middle Eastern, North African, Central and Southeast Asian, and American Students. Click here to download our informational catalog.
What We Do
DAYDREAMS revolves around five central pillars: COMMUNITY, LEADERSHIP, a WORLD SUMMIT, VOICES, and a PUBLICATION entitled Changing Perspective. Through an extremely competitive application process, the DAYDREAMS Executive Team, with support from the DAYDREAMS Board of Advisors, admits a total of 50 youth leaders from the United States and from countries spanning the Middle East, North Africa, and Central and Southeast Asia to take part in The DAYDREAMS Project. At the start of each calendar year, qualified applicants are selected as DAYDREAMS Delegates based on an exceptionally demonstrated commitment to public service, especially service pertaining to the political, economic, and social climate of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Each selected DAYDREAMS Delegate will be sorted into one of the following ten categories based on their personal vision, their past experience, and their demonstrated promise: (1) The Future of Democracy, (2) Arab-Israeli Conflict, (3) Peace and Conflict Resolution, (4) Economic Development, (5) Human Rights Advocacy and Minority Rights, (6) Entrepreneurship, Technological Innovation, and Invention, (7) Gender Issues, (8) Trade and Resource Management, (9) Education Advancement, or (10) Culture and the Role of New Media.
Beginning in January 2013, Delegates will collaborate on their aforementioned area of focus with an assigned group, share and develop ideas, and work to implement initiatives that will better shape our future world.
COMMUNITY | The DAYDREAMS Community is an online social network where Delegates and Mentors participating in The DAYDREAMS Project will be able to share ideas in preparation for the World Summit. During the months preceding the conference, the online Community will provide participants with the opportunity to get to know one another, share resources, and develop their views. Through online video calls, group chat sessions, and file sharing, participants can begin to collaborate and work on initiatives within their area of focus.
LEADERSHIP | One of the key tenants of The DAYDREAMS Project is a mentoring program or "LeadershipDevelopment" program that will pair Delegates with Mentors who can both help them fine tune their own visions and advance their personal initiatives. Delegates will work with 20 established professional leaders, activists, and scholars in MENA affairs. Mentors will provide the Delegates with direction and advice as they prepare for the World Summit.
WORLD SUMMIT | In April 2013, Delegates will gather at Dartmouth College for a five-day conference that will consist of thought-provoking lectures, workshops, panel discussions, and networking events. During the conference, Delegates and Mentors will have the opportunity to interact with each other face-to-face in order to foster greater understanding and respect between the U.S. and the MENA region, and sow the seeds for a new generation of world leaders who can solve global problems through tactful collaboration and negotiation. Delegates will be expected to leave the World Summit ready to implement their personal initiative within their own communities.
VOICES | The World Summit will conclude with DAYDREAMS Voices, a series of presentations by all of the Delegates on their experience participating in The DAYDREAMS Project and their culminating thoughts on both their own initiative and their vision for the near future of the MENA region. Voices will be broadcast from Dartmouth College to the world via The DAYDREAMS Project's website, so that millennials from all four corners of the globe have an opportunity to learn from and be inspired by the Delegates and their initiatives.
PUBLICATION | The Publication, entitled Changing Perspective, will narrate the progress of The DAYDREAMS Project through the eyes of the Executive Team. A total of five issues will be published: one immediately when the 2013 Delegates are selected, three leading up to the World Summit, and one immediately following it. It will document the Executive Team's evolving outlook on and hope for a better future for the MENA region and its people as participants from all over the world come together through dialogue.
In reaction to the growing gap between the American and MENA people, a Dartmouth College undergraduate entertained the idea of creating a project focused on breaking barriers of mistrust; he believed this could be accomplished by joining the hands of our youth – our world's future leaders – and then empowering them to together fight the deleterious political, economic, and social injustices that threaten to destroy our greater global community.
The uprisings that swept across the Arab World in the spring of 2011 inspired him to transform his initial ideas into a distinct reality. As the Arab people ripped through their government's "armor of oppression" to stand up for what was right, for what was just, and for what was humane, the blueprint for DAYDREAMS materialized. Completely transfixed by not only the protestors' courage and heroism, but also the ability of "ingroups" and "outgroups" to quell their biases toward one another in light of a common goal, DAYDREAMS was founded at Dartmouth College in 2012.
Current events remind us that tensions between the United States and the MENA region are high. Unprecedented challenges continue to arise frequently, quickly, and, as we witnessed in the Arab Spring, unpredictably. In any case, our youth leaders have historically offered bold, cutting-edge, and comprehensive solutions to address these issues.
The DAYDREAMS Project is determined to bring together the most influential leaders, pioneers, moguls, icons, and visonaries of our youth in the United States and in countries across the Middle East, North Africa, and Central and Southeast Asia, so that dynamic and powerful young voices can come together to collaborate, share and develop new ideas, and work to implement initiatives that will better shape our future world.
Participants of The DAYDREAMS Project will enter as many, and leave as one – one community of individuals with a greater appreciation for one another, dedicated to justice, peace, and unity in the world.
And so the journey begins. Let the millennial generation have a LOUD voice. We're waiting for you. For your enthusiasm and determination. Welcome to DAYDREAMS.