What We Believe
At Envoys we do not ‘go on trips’. We lead students on focused explorations of topics of global significance, bringing in perspectives from multiple stakeholders and learning to better engage with the diverse and beautiful world.
What Is An Envoy?
Envoys are different from the adventure-seekers, educated tourists, and backpackers also moving around the world. Envoys travel with open minds, confidence and compassion, seeking to learn about a culture and build lasting relationships with the local people. Envoys are empathetic souls.
Envoys travel not for themselves, but for the world.
There is great complexity in our work. At Envoys, we acknowledge complexity head-on and embrace it; only in avoiding complexity does its power over us remain. We view empathy, understanding, and respect as mindsets that we can imperfectly and steadfastly pursue in our work with students, enabling them to design for themselves what the first generation of true globalists might do for humanity.
In a watershed moment for global travel, we have defined for ourselves what we it means to be an Envoy, to speak aloud what we quietly practice.
We explain radical deference through three core principles: The Essential Odyssey; Humility, Awe, and Wonder; and Preparing for the Work of the Future.
Three Core Principles
Working With Communities
The extent to which the project upholds human dignity, fosters fellowship, and adheres to mutuality of relationships.
The potential to provide a transformative learning experience for all involved, including the learners undertaking the service project as well as other stakeholders engaged in the work.
The net outcome of the experience, examining the extent to which a positive and sustainable impact is made in comparison to the resources expended.
The impact of the project on the natural world, examining the relative benefits and costs on non-renewable resources and engagement with natural spaces.
The term “CEDE” was consciously chosen for this framework in order to frame the process as a release of the tensions, inhibitions, and shame that often comprises service learning. Engaging in the process requires acknowledgement and acceptance of the particular problems for a chosen project, including those elements that could lead to serious ethical issues. As making thoughtful choices lies at the heart of the CEDE process, all project stakeholders, including students and community partners, are engaged in authentic and frank discussions, thereby achieving certainty around the choices made.
What education is all about
“Part of teaching is helping students learn how to tolerate ambiguity, consider possibilities, and ask questions that are unanswerable.”