2016 Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (Y-TILI)

The 2016 Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) was an international exchange program focused on the themes of entrepreneurship skills and enhanced Euro-Atlantic integration designed for 45 young professionals from 41 European countries. Fellows began their program in Washington, DC with discussions about entrepreneurship and innovation in the U.S. including meetings hosted the U.S. Department of State. Meridian was pleased to partner with Google on the program. Google also hosted an afternoon of panels and evening reception with representatives from Google, the E.U. Delegation to the United States, the European diplomatic community, and Mr. Vint Cerf, one of the proclaimed “fathers of the internet.” The fellows then spent two weeks working at carefully-selected host institutions in one of eight participating cities: Albany, NY; Albuquerque, NM; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Huntsville, AL; Pittsburgh, PA; and Seattle, WA. Fellows were assigned individual mentors and had the opportunity to participate in the day-to-day operations of their host organizations and benefit from job-shadowing and professional interaction with their American peers. The program concluded in San Francisco, CA for an opportunity to explore the unique entrepreneurial landscape of Silicon Valley, present on their professional and personal experiences from their two weeks spent across the country, reflect on the outcomes of the program as a group.

The fellows also had the opportunity to attend the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), hosted under the auspices of the White House. GES showcases inspiring entrepreneurs and investors from around the world, creating new opportunity for investment, partnership, and collaboration; connecting American entrepreneurs and investors with international counterparts to form lasting relationships; and highlighting entrepreneurship as means to address some of the most intractable global challenges.

The Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State develops and implements U.S. foreign policy in Europe and Eurasia. The Bureau promotes U.S. interests in the region on issues such as international security, NATO, coordination with the European Union and other regional organizations, support for democracy, human rights, civil society, economic prosperity, counterterrorism, and nonproliferation.

The U.S. program includes the following components

  • Program Opening in Washington, DC for participants to explore U.S. government, business, and culture through resource meetings, workshops, and trainings
  • A two-week fellowship with a host company or organization in one of the eight selected cities throughout the United States working in an industry relevant to their expertise;
  • Homestay with an American family for a full immersion in to American culture (concurrent with the professional placement);
  • Skill development workshops and community site visits related to entrepreneurship and innovation;
  • An opportunity to present a strategic plan / community action plan during a pitch session and reflect on their experiences as a group at the end of the program in San Francisco, CA; and
  • Attend the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley


Project summary

2016 Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (Y-TILI) | May 2016
Number of Visitors: 50
Regions: Europe and Eurasia
Impact Areas: Youth Leadership Development
Program Areas: Global Leadership
Partners: Public Sector