After the first international exchange programs started in the first half of the 1900s, little innovation happened.

Exchange programs remained expensive, hindering accessibility and equity, even when scholarships are at times available, technology was hardly used and program pathways followed historical global inequities in a post-colonial environment.

When a few professionals with decades of experience within the exchange industry sat down, did research around what it is that the younger generations needed, wanted and how they wanted it, they created Shift – Connections for Change.

The goal was to create a program with high-level content based on clear learning objectives and the latest research on how we learn to deal with differences, connecting existing – successful – changemakers (solution-oriented) to aspiring changemakers (peer-learning), shifting narratives of where power and knowledge lies: the existing changemakers have key marginalized identities and mostly come from areas in the world that are seen as ‘less developed’.

The programs works with a 21st century competencies app, and uses interactive video (choose your own next scene) and immersive audio (it’s like you are there yourself!).



NOW is a Swiss NGO founded in 2016 by 7 friends who wanted to create new approaches to youth exchanges that empower young people to become protagonists of social change in their own environments.

Global Strategy Consult

GCS is lead by Bert Vercamer, a differencist – consultant – strategist, focusing on global inclusion programs, training on how to deal with human differences and similarities, organizational development (“something’s up in my organization or team”), strategy (“how do we include all voices to map out our future”) and scalable learning and training programs.

Instituto NOW

Instituto NOW is a Brazil-based female queer learning design company that supports organisations to create transformative learning experiences. Instituto NOW dives into the most diverse environments where learning takes place, to design and facilitate powerful and meaningful experiences.

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