Gaia Pampu was a Rotary International Peace Fellow in Turkey. Now the Systems Resource Manager for Grow Benzie, she is also the newest member of Benzie Sunrise Rotary.
Each year the Rotary Foundation awards 50 fellowships for Master's degrees to an international pool of applicants.  Gaia was accepted at the University of Bradford, the world's largest institution for peace studies and conflict resolution.  The focus of her work was the Shape of COVIC-19 Recovery, Philanthropy and Positive Peace:  A Case Study of Wayne County, Michigan.
In her analysis Gaia looked at the provision of philanthropy through the lens of the eight pillars of positive peace:  sound business environment, well-functioning government, equitable distribution of resources, free flow of information, good relations with neighbours, high levels of human capital, acceptance of the rights of others, and low levels of corruption.
Gaia's central conclusions:
  • Catalyzing crises push resistant organizations towards change despite the stumbling block of organizational path dependency
  • Investments in partnerships and collaborations grow during a crisis as a springbord for strengthening community networks of practice and multiplying investment potential
  • Crises have the potential to enable further "gap-filling" for lax social safety nets by unelected, non-transparent private investment in public goods.
Gaia's PowerPoint slides are available here.