Alumni often tell us that GES is able to achieve such a personalized and impactful result because it’s a conference designed for students and run by students. But as students, we don’t always have all the answers. That’s why we find professionals from the field and bring them to the Summit to facilitate all Summit programming from workshops to mentorship. Our facilitators have years of experience in a wide range of industries — from consultants specializing in nonprofit clientele to CEOs of successful solutions-driven startups — and provide delegates with valuable feedback on their projects through an experienced business lens.

Throughout the Summit, all delegates have the chance to interact with these experts in a variety of settings: in 10-person workshops, during talks and seminars and through one-on-one mentoring sessions.

Facilitators travel to the Summit from all over the world specifically to meet delegates and engage with their projects, and these unique, personalized, professional connections often extend beyond the Summit. In other words, when you graduate from GES, you join a family of global changemakers dedicated to sharing ideas and assets.



Megha is a Senior Associate at the Design for Change department at IDEO, a human-centered design firm that believes in creating impact through thoughtful and informed design. Megha works specifically on design projects intended to make some positive impact in the world. More than creating efficient products and systems, human-centered design is responsible, intentional, empathic and community-focused. Megha graduated from Northwestern University in 2011, and she’s a GES staff alum — she served as Co-Director of the 2011 Summit.

As a speaker at the 2014 Summit, Megha discussed “Design with a Purpose.” She described the human-centered design process and gave us an idea of how IDEO keeps community interests a priority in every project. Her advice to anyone looking to effect positive change: Approach communities with empathy, seek honest feedback and communication, and never let the fear of failure hold you back.

Don’t hide in the lab or in the office when creating, because you won’t get that honest feedback. Ask the right questions. Understand core needs. Prototype. Get feedback. Iterate. Repeat.