We Are Correspondents of the World!

We are Correspondents of the World, an online platform where people from all over the world share their personal stories in relation to global development. People of all ages and genders, people with different social and religious backgrounds and people with all kinds of political opinions. Regular, exceptional people like You and me.

In other words: Correspondents of the World takes a look at global issues through local eyes.

Our vision is to contribute to a better understanding of each other in a world that is ever more globalising (geographically as well as economically) but often seems to neglect to really bring people closer to each other as well. We don't always fully understand each other, often because we lack some insights into each others' backgrounds.

Our aim is to change that through Your story.

How do we want to work on our vision?

1. By activating people. Every single voice matters in understanding the human, the personal side of world affairs.

2. By initiating dialogue. Telling Your story is a great way to share Your thoughts and ideas. But stories are personal, and everyone has their own story to tell.

3. By realising the power of narrative. The way in which information is presented to us influences how we react to it. A better understanding of how world views are shaped can help us to improve our own understanding of global developments and how they affect us individually and as fellow human beings.

As a result, we want the stories shared on Correspondents of the World to be

- Personal: We ask people to write about their own experiences only. This way nothing needs to be assumed.

- Comparable: We put an effort into collecting a diverse range of stories for every topic to make sure every voice is heard.

- Accessible: We provide free access to all stories and try to make stories available in as many languages as possible.

- High quality: We have a growing team of editors to ensure that all stories are structured in a similar way and meet the standards we set for ourselves.

Meet the Team

Core Team

Joost

Joost Backer (Founder)

Joost believes stories can change your life: in fact, life is made of stories. Travelling across Latin America, Iran, home-country Holland and other parts of the world, he became fascinated by the incredible amount of experiences people deal with. Personal stories. True stories.

Realizing that one story told by the person herself, can say so much more than 100 news-articles about that person. In July 2019 he therefore decided to put words into deeds and created Correspondents of the World. 

When he’s not busy with Correspondents of the World, Joost works as a Sustainability Consultant at NewForesight, composes piano-songs and plays football. His inspiration: The documentary series Human. Contact him ([email protected]) if you'd like to write a story, share ideas, or just chat.

Janosch

Janosch Haber (Co-founder, website)

Janosch isn't a very outgoing person, but even he strikes up a conversation with a stranger if he's crammed into a bus for an hour-long journey through the Philippine highlands or stranded with a broken rental car somewhere in the desert between Jerusalem and Jericho. In his view, people telling their stories and sharing their views are a unique chance to widen your understanding, veering from your own perspective and maybe getting a glimpse of something invisible or overlooked before.

Janosch currently is a PhD candidate in Computational Linguistics in London. He works on mapping out the quirks of language to help computers understand us better. And the more he learns and understands about that, the less he seems to understand about language itself. It's weird. Oh, and he also gets talked into making websites from time to time.

Mira Kinn (Co-founder)

Mira finished her studies in International Studies on Media, Power, and Difference, where she next to the power relations and construction of global news dealt with the correlation of media and democracy in Latin America.

In the meantime, she has been working as a Seminar Leader for Peace and Conflict Studies and feels very grateful to include all the stories of the amazing people, she met along the way, in the blog. 

Besides, she is a fan of sustainability, cats and singing (not just in the shower). A huge inspiration for creative writing is Isabel Allende's "house of spirits" for her, as it illustrates the interdependence of real political/historical happenings paired with magical fiction.

Ingvild S. Farstad (Co-founder)

Ingvild believes that every cup of tea spent with someone with a different background is a little adventure in itself. Thus she has been spending lots of hours drinking tea on her travels and longer stays around the world convinced that through stories, we create a common ground despite our differences, and encourage a sense of global community. 

Apart from travelling and drinking tea with people, she is driven by the idea of business as the key player in creating a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. Thus, currently studying Economics and Business Administration and taking courses in Conflict-studies and Human Rights whenever she has the chance.

Ingvild considers Mexico as her second home in this world, and will always try to convince you into learning a new language (especially Spanish with Mexican slang). Besides, she is a yogi, cat-lover, and Cuban salsa dancer. Also, she is always up for a fine-tune of reggeaton. 

Tugce

Tuğçe Atacı (Co-founder)

After having been privileged to travel and live in different countries, Tuğçe has recognized the growing significance of sharing personal stories in this day and age. She believes it is these stories that can foster more empathy, understanding and connection in a world that is becoming increasingly polarized.

Her inspiration and favourite writer Bessie Head says “I write because I have authority from life to do so” and for Tuğçe, too, everyone should write, share and shout out their stories because they simply can do so. That’s why she is so happy to have crossed paths with the Correspondents of the World.

Apart from working with the CotW team, Tuğçe is currently busy writing her PhD thesis on digital literacy and transmedia storytelling for peace building. She also loves cooking, talking to her plants (sometimes to her husband) and cuddling with her cat, Nusha.

Editors

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Melaina Dyck

Melaina is passionate about the power of stories in order to create connection. Personally and professionally, she driven by the desire to meet people and learn new perspectives.

With a Masters in Environmental Science, Melaina works at the intersection of human rights and environmental issues, advocating for communities whose stories are not always heard. Melaina has had the opportunity to travel, live and study in 11 countries (so far!). 

Melaina enjoys the challenging art of editing and writing. She is excited to be an editor for Correspondents of the World because it combines several of her favourite things: learning from diverse perspectives, connecting with people all over the world, and working with words to tell stories.

Send her an email ([email protected]) if you’d like to chat. She looks forward to meeting you! 

Rick Scherpenhuizen

Rick believes that gaining multiple perspectives about different cultures, ethnicities and sexualities is what can make you grow as a person. There are always multiple sides to every story. Honesty is key! That’s why he became very excited about editing for Correspondents of the World.

When he moved to Barcelona for two years, his world changed a lot. By talking to (and befriending) interesting people from all over the planet, he began to understand himself and others around him. That is the period that made him who he is today. But growing never stops.

Now living in Amsterdam, Rick is mastering in the science of Politics, while focusing on International Relations. In the future, when he finishes his studies, he would like to become a journalist, to be able to tell people’s personal experiences, make sure the world keeps on growing and to fight ignorance. Especially by spreading honest stories from minority groups, like the LGBT+ community.

Besides that, Rick is crazy about jazz music and all different kinds of sports!

Social Media

Charlotte McLure

Charlotte McLure

It is Charlotte’s dream to harness the power of social media to help change people’s lives for the better. Inspired by the vision of Correspondents of the World, she jumped at the opportunity to join the team as Social Media Manager.

Charlotte thinks that the concept of the platform is truly special, offering an unbiased space where people from all backgrounds can share their stories. By giving a voice to all, in particular to those who may otherwise struggle to be heard, we can develop a greater understanding of one another and hopefully learn something new along the way.

She mastered in Chemistry with Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry in her home country of Scotland. Now she lives in Amsterdam, the city which stole her heart during her Erasmus exchange, and is working on developing her skills as a digital marketer. You may (or may not) see her zooming past you on her much loved vintage race bike. A great lover of music, food, and dancing at festivals!

Get involved!

You have a story to tell, too? We bet You do!

Reach out to us by sending a mail to [email protected] and let us know what You want to write about.

Or maybe You even want to join our team as an editor, translator, designer, social media expert, dinosaur supervisor or whatever Your talent is? Then let us know too! We just started with Correspondents of the World and plan on doing a lot of growing over the next few months. Let us know by sending a mail to [email protected] as well. We haven't set up multiple mail accounts yet.