Over the last 60 years, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has supported thousands of grantees from different areas of knowledge, from over a hundred countries. Given the extent of this network, which already includes more than 30,000 people, it was necessary to create a platform capable of bringing together this entire community of singular minds that are so different from each other.
Gulbenkian Connect allows grantees to build a wide network of new contacts, to receive first-hand news about new grants and projects, to give and receive mentoring, to promote work opportunities or collaborative and interdisciplinary projects, to stimulate their potential through personal and professional development workshops, to give visibility to their talent and their career and also to access unique opportunities, such as tickets for guided tours and shows at the Foundation.
This initiative is in line with the growing investment made by the Gulbenkian Grants Programme in recent years to promote meetings between grantees – both face-to-face and online – providing training sessions and projects designed to strengthen ties between the members of the Grantees Network, boost their collective talent and encourage interaction, collaboration and mutual help between participants.
A good example of this investment are the “Meet, Learn and Grow” meetings, a space for sharing experiences and for publicising projects developed by other organic units of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and/or former grantees. The latest meeting took place online and was attended by the author and former grantee Lídia Jorge, on 22 November. It brought together around 50 former and current grantees from the different fields of study that the foundation has supported. The writer shared a personal testimony about her life and her path, her greatest challenges, the reality of the dictatorship and the Colonial War, as well as her achievements and the lessons she learned.
The Grantees Network materialises the Foundation’s interest in accompanying its grantees’ progress, through the construction of a multiple, innovative, transdisciplinary community with a transforming impact on society.