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Connect. Empower. Transform.
The Hub, Issue No. 6, 4 May 2021
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A Big Step Forward

The sixth issue of The Hub marks another significant step for Global Talent Mentoring: the start of the pilot round of mentoring. On 20 April, we opened our virtual doors to 238 participants from around the world to start their long-term mentoring journey on our custom-designed online platform. The team and I would like to take a moment to offer our deepest thanks to the partners, collaborators, and supporters from all over the world who have helped us turn our vision into reality. I invite you to read more about the start of mentoring activities below. Next, we feature two thought-provoking interviews with the founders of three Global Talent Mentoring partners: Dr. Jeremy Jon Agresti of Triplebar Bio (United States) and Aravinth Panch of araCreate (Germany) and DreamSpace Academy (Sri Lanka).
Prof. Dr. Heidrun Stoeger
I am also proud to highlight a special issue on mentoring published by the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences that my colleague, Prof. Drs. Albert Ziegler, and I edited. But first, we pause to reflect on the passing of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a visionary champion of gifted and talented education and the founder of the Hamdan Foundation.

Best wishes,
Prof. Dr. Heidrun Stoeger
Special Notice

In Memoriam

Sheikh Hamdan
It is with deepest sympathy that we mourn the loss of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the Minister of Finance and Industry of the United Arab Emirates, who passed away at age 75 on 24 March 2021. He was known for his interest in humanitarian work, his passion for culture, literature, and scientific development, and his support of sustainable human development based on dialogue, tolerance, and partnership.
His Highness’s remarkable, lifelong contributions to youth education and talent support in the United Arab Emirates, the Arab World, and internationally—including his eponymous UNESCO-recognized foundation behind Global Talent Mentoring—will be remembered with the legacy he leaves the world.

Prof. Dr. Stoeger has been working on numerous meaningful educational research projects with His Highness’s Hamdan Foundation for more than a decade. We therefore dedicate this newsletter issue and the commencement of mentoring to the memory of His Highness.

Mentoring has Commenced!

It is with great pleasure that we announce the commencement of our pilot round of mentoring! After three years of research and preparation, 119 amazing young STEMM talents and 119 distinguished STEMM experts were given access to our online platform on 20 April 2021 as mentees and mentors, respectively. In a recently published press release, we proudly announced the 238 participants hailing from more than 30 countries on five continents who are now embarking on their long-term mentoring journey.
Each mentee–mentor pair—a mentoring dyad—has been carefully matched based on the STEMM interests of each mentee. During the first few weeks and months of mentoring, the members of each dyad will get to know each other virtually and clarify first steps on a long-term learning pathway in the mentee’s STEMM area. Participants interact with one another on our custom-designed online platform. Each mentoring dyad has their own special area on the platform in which they communicate, share materials, set goals, and track the mentee's progress on work related to mentoring goals. Discussion forums allow all participants to interact with one another, discussing a wide range of STEMM-related topics. Mentees and mentors will eventually also collaborate with other participants on complex STEMM projects. We look forward to the beginning of mentoring and sharing inspiring stories of our participants with you in the future!
On behalf of the entire team, we would like to shine a spotlight on our 48 committed partners and collaborators all around the world, whose incredible support and nomination of truly amazing students and world-class STEMM experts helped make the start of the pilot round of mentoring possible. Despite pandemic-related challenges, our network’s dedication helped us reach this step and we offer our deepest thanks to them.

Finally, we would like to underscore the role of the UNESCO-recognized Hamdan Foundation. Their long-term vision and support has allowed us to take this next step towards transforming an idea into a reality. It is at the behest of and thanks to the Hamdan Foundation that the Global Talent Mentoring team can prepare a best-research, best-practice online mentoring program for outstanding youths the world over.
In each newsletter, we highlight supporters of Global Talent Mentoring. This month, we are featuring two entrepreneurs in STEMM who took big ideas and turned them into the impact-making organizations with which we are partnering. Global Talent Mentoring supports innovative work in STEMM, and so we are excited to showcase the work of two visionaries tackling STEMM challenges from different angles. You can find the complete features on our website.

We Make Evolution Move Faster

Dr. Jeremy Jon Agresti, CTO of the San Francisco-Based Start-Up Triplebar Bio, Explains How His Company Wants to Increase the Carrying Capacity of Our Planet—and Why Biology Holds the Key to That
Jeremy Agresti_portrait_cropped
The exciting field of synthetic biology combines engineering principles and molecular biology techniques to produce novel biological solutions. At Triplebar Bio, a venture-backed start-up and partner of Global Talent Mentoring, researchers bring decades of expertise and experience to this innovative area. Triplebar Bio is based in California’s San Francisco Bay Area (United States) and works at the interface of biological and engineering sciences to discover microbes that produce a wide range of molecules across the food, agricultural, and pharmaceutical industries.
Triplebar Bio founder and CTO Dr. Jeremy Jon Agresti earned his PhD in biochemistry at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge (United Kingdom), after which he completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University. In an interview with Global Talent Mentoring, Dr. Agresti told researcher Elke Kruesmann how his company accelerates the evolutionary process and why encouragement is the foundation for effective mentoring.
What is the mission of Triplebar Bio?
We want to increase the carrying capacity of the planet. The planet can tolerate a certain amount of utilization, and I expect that human population will grow. How do we handle a large population so that it lives in harmony with the earth in a sustainable way? I think that biology holds the key to that. If we are using petroleum as our feedstock to drive systems and produce things such as energy or fertilizer, then we are using a non-renewable source. When we switch to biology, however, there are a couple of advantages. The first advantage is that we are using the sun as the ultimate sustainable source of energy. The sun creates sugar through photosynthesis in plants, and we use that sugar to grow things. Second, biology has this amazing complexity. We can make so many interesting types of molecules through the utilization of biological systems. Our goal is to increase the sustainability of the earth, and biology is the best way to do that.

Please click here to read our complete interview with Dr. Agresti.

Talent Development in the Global South

Serial Tech Entrepreneur Aravinth Panch on Effective Mentoring in Underserved Communities
Serial tech and social entrepreneur Aravinth Panch is making an impact in the world of science and engineering in a significant and meaningful way. The Sri Lankan-born, Berlin-based engineer is the founder and co-founder of numerous projects spread across three continents. Driving him is the desire to make a social, environmental, and educational impact by bringing STEMM knowledge to those most in need. Through his organization araCreate (Berlin, Germany), Aravinth is Global South coordinator for Global Talent Mentoring. He is also co-founder of Global Talent Mentoring partner DreamSpace Academy (Batticaloa, Sri Lanka).
Aravinth Panch_portrait_cropped
In an interview with engagement specialist Christin Graml, Aravinth opened up about the path that led him to start his STEMM enterprises and how he thinks STEMM talent development in the Global South can be best supported.
Global Talent Mentoring is proud to partner with DreamSpace Academy, based in Sri Lanka, which is a great example of hands-on mentoring and talent development in STEMM. Why, in your opinion, is having a mentor so important?
Having a mentor while growing up is critical because a mentor equips young people with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions for themselves and also provides the perspective that young people typically don’t yet have. When I was growing up, I did not have a mentor in the traditional sense. If I could have benefitted from a mentor, I’m sure I would have made fewer mistakes or taken a more direct path in my professional career. I first had to overcome many challenges to get to where I am today. That’s why DreamSpace Academy is so important to me. I want to help young people who have had a similar experience by giving them the right opportunities for growth through guidance and resources that are most suited to their needs and access to the tools and knowledge to make them self-sufficient.

Please click here to read our complete interview with Aravinth.
In the News

Special Issue on Mentoring in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

Research is the foundation of Global Talent Mentoring. Likewise, new research findings will continue to strengthen and refine the program in the future. That is why we are happy to share a recent publication of a special issue on mentoring in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Mentoring: Theoretical Background, Empirical Findings, and Practical Applications (Volume 1483, Issue 1). The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences is a scientific journal published by the New York Academy of Sciences since 1824. It is one of the world’s oldest scientific journals still in publication. Edited by Prof. Dr. Heidrun Stoeger and her colleague Prof. Drs. Albert Ziegler, this special issue focuses on a range of mentoring topics.
Three of the articles in the special issue were written by researchers who have contributed to the preparation of Global Talent Mentoring: “Key Issues in Professionalizing Mentoring Practices,” “Nine Years of Online Mentoring for Secondary School Girls in STEM: An Empirical Comparison of Three Mentoring Formats,” and “Spaces of Possibilities: A Theoretical Analysis of Mentoring From a Regulatory Perspective.”
Volunteer as a Mentor!
We accept new mentor volunteers year-round. If you are a STEMM expert (PhD or equivalent R&D experience) and would like to mentor an exceptionally talented youth in STEMM, please fill out our Mentor Volunteer Form to register.
Spread the News!
Please share The Hub with your friends and colleagues so that they can also become a part of our growing network. If you have any questions or comments, please email us at
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Global Talent Mentoring
Global Talent Mentoring is part of the World Giftedness Center, a program of the UNESCO-affiliated Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance (Dubai, UAE).