Meet Our Core Team

At Correspondents of the World we believe in flat hierarchies. We spread tasks and responsibilities among different teams so that everyone can focus on what they know (and like) best and no-one is just being handed tasks from "above". Our Core Team is responsible for the global coordination of the different teams, communicating with partners and sponsors and growing our community. Our core team members are:

Joost
Founder Global Coordination and Partnerships Contact Joost

Joost Backer - Global Coordination and Partnerships

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
Co-Founder Website and Design Contact Janosch

Janosch Haber - Website and Design

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.

Co-Founder Policy Coordination Contact Mira

Mira Kinn - Policy Coordination

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.

Co-Founder Community Management Contact Ingvild

Ingvild S. Farstad - Community Management

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
Co-Founder Head of Translation Contact Tuğçe

Tuğçe Atacı - Head of Translation

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.

Meet Our Country Managers

Country Managers make contact with new correspondents, initiatives and partners in a region that they are an expert in. They coordinate the dissemination of stories in those different regions and care for the local community. Our country managers are:

Melaina Dyck
Country Manager for USA Contact Melaina

Melaina Dyck - Country Manager for USA

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 Correspondents of the World Senior Editor and USA Country Manager. Correspondents of the World 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! 

Veronica
Country Manager for Korea Contact Veronica

Veronica Burgstaller - Country Manager for Korea

I am Veronica, a person who has since childhood lived in many different countries in Asia and Europe. After a Bachelors in International Relations my interest in Korea was ignited and I decided to move there. Who knew then that I would spend three years there. These years gave me one of the happiest memories. Passionate about facilitating understanding between people, I don’t believe that culture, nation and language should be a barrier. As a country manager and translator here at CotW I hope to bring people closer to Korean history and culture, and Koreans to CotW. 

Clémentine Boiffier
Country Manager for France Contact Clémentine

Clémentine Boiffier - Country Manager for France

My name is Clémentine, I was born in Paris, France 31 years ago and I spent most of my life there. Still, at an early age I felt a connection to Germany which resulted in my moving to Berlin in my early twenties. After a long return in France I moved back to Germany two years ago, this time to the south, and started working for a small NGO in the field of International Voluntary Service. 

Along my path, I felt a stronger need to understand what was going on in the world, which is why I chose to study Geopolitics. During my Masters I gained inspiration, knowledge and methodology. Yet in retrospect, I realize that a lot of what I understand and consider to be true regarding world issues comes from stories. During my travels, studies, voluntary services I have heard first hand stories from people coming from foreign places containing facts, emotions and descriptions about places and situations I had only read about in the news; these stories made me feel closer to them, their issues and surroundings. Discussions as well as literature are, for me, a source of "empirical" understanding of foreign environments and this is why I am really excited to be part of the Correspondents of the World.

Brurce Mecca
Country Manager for Indonesia Contact Brurce

Brurce Mecca - Country Manager for Indonesia

Story is the window to understand the world. We are never deprived of it. All we need to do is just listen.

Brurce believes that stories are the most powerful tool capable of bringing change. While not everyone has the same opportunity to share their stories, he believes that it is on everyone's shoulder to help the world to listen better. Especially listening to the unheard.

Brurce is a climate policy analyst with expertise in climate finance and equity. He has worked on various environmental issues in Indonesia. Furthermore, he is also volunteering in social activism on gender justice. During his free time, he enjoys arts and hiking. He obtained his master's degree from Yale University and bachelor's from Institut Teknologi Bandung.

Meet Our Social Media Team

Social media often is woven into the fabric of our everyday life. At Correspondents of the World we want to be visible on different social media platforms - both within our community and for new readers (and correspondents). We are currently growing towards being able to react to global news stories with the stories of our corespondents to display their individual relevance. Our social media team members are:

Charlotte McLure
Social Media Contact Charlotte

Charlotte McLure - Social Media

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!

Social Media Contact Jemina

Jemina Shrestha - Social Media

Ms Jemina Shrestha, born and raised in Kathmandu, is currently living in Sydney, Australia after finishing her Undergraduate degree with a major in Environmental Management. Her recent accomplishments include winning the title of Miss Nepal Oceania 2020. She is an aspiring writer and publishes her writings under the Instagram handle musings_of_an_ugly_duckling.

Using social media as a platform, she has constantly advocated for sustainability, women empowerment and social issues that still plague the humankind. She has worked in various work sectors such as hospitality, fashion and administration that has allowed her to gain different perspectives in life. Expressing gratitude to the universe for everything she has become, she is excited to see who she is yet to be.

Her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jem_e_na/ & https://www.instagram.com/musings_of_an_ugly_duckling/ 

Talia Tax - Social Media / Editor -

Talia believes that stories have the power to change the world. Born and raised in Arizona, she is an undergraduate student at Yale University interested in biology and art conservation. As someone who dreams of exploring the world, she is passionate about Correspondents of the World’s mission to bring local perspectives to the global stage. In her spare time, Talia teaches art lessons and stresses about her career path. She loves photography, reading fantasy novels, and cooking new things. Send her your favorite recipe!

Talia is both a valuable member of the Editor's team and the Social Media team. 

Meet Our Editors

Because we welcome everyone's story, we have a team of awesome editors to communicate with correspondents and help them with their writing. Our editors give feedback about story drafts and help correspondents to make their story accessible to a global readership. Our editors also check that our correspondents' stories are personal experiences rather than "about" something. Our editors are:

Editor Contact Rick

Rick Scherpenhuizen - Editor

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!

Melaina Dyck
Senior Editor Contact Melaina

Melaina Dyck - Senior Editor

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 Correspondents of the World Senior Editor and USA Country Manager. Correspondents of the World 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! 

Meet Our Translators

While most of our website is in English, we have a growing team of translators to make our stories accessible to other language communities, too. Our translators translate stories either from a correspondent's native language into English, or from English into a range of other languages so they can be shared with people who are more comfortable in other languages. Our translators are:

Büşra
Translator for Turkish Contact Büşra

Büşra - Translator for Turkish

My name is Büşra and I am one of the translators of Correspondents of the World. I love cooking, baking, books and art; I can be loud and quiet, talk and listen. I get the right dose of each of them every day. “Interaction” is my daily mantra. As a believer in lifelong learning, I am currently doing my masters on National and Transnational Studies and occupying myself with the issues related to culture, language and literature in the postcolonial world. Apart from studying, you can find me trying out new recipes, painting, taking care of my plants and  translating some stories into Turkish for you!

Joana
Translator for Portugese Contact Joana

Joana - Translator for Portugese

Hi! I am Joana, half Brazilian, what you can see in my taste of music (my love for Bossa Nova), and half German, what you can see in my powerful morning routine.

I love avocado plants and plants in general, that’s why I’m studying environmental engineering, so we can still have more of that ;) What inspires me to be a part of CotW is my wish to live in a world where we respect each other’s story, even if it’s far from our own reality.

So when you read the Portuguese version of the texts in the future, you can see which translator is behind it :)

Leonardo
Translator for Spanish Contact Leonardo

Leonardo - Translator for Spanish

My name is Leonardo, and I am one of the translators of Correspondents of the World. I love reading, writing and drawing. I am a big believer in listening to and extending compassion and empathy to your enemy, no matter how abhorrent or vile they might be. I think science and knowledge are supremely important in today’s world, and understanding them is key to navigating day to day life. I am extremely interested in the practical and policy-based side of politics, much more so than the cultural side. I am learning to understand economic and political systems, and trying to figure out the most effective ways to reform or change them. I firmly believe in the power of dialogue (in person, through the internet, even through fiction) as a means to initiate change and I am fully sold on the idea that individuals can have a huge impact in the world around them. 

Sati
Translator for Italian Contact Sati

Sati - Translator for Italian

Hello there, I’m Sati.
I was born 33 years ago in Milano, Italy, but I grew up surrounded by the beautiful Tuscan countryside.
Inspired by family background I started my own personal “quest for colors”, ending up in the most colorful Country on Earth: India!
Although I’m back to live in Italy, a piece of my heart is still there, where I’ve been thought how to give colors to life!

Veronica
Translator for Korean and German Contact Veronica

Veronica Burgstaller - Translator for Korean and German

My name is Veronica and after finishing my Bachelors, during which an interest on the Korean Peninsula was first ignited, I decided to move there. Who knew then that I would not only spend one year there, but three whole years which were one of the most fascinating and happiest years so far. I studied its language and started working as a translator. But I was also taught the culture and history of Korea, and learnt more about the often puzzling developments and contradictions of Korean society. That is why I would like to be able to convey the opinions of people from different cultures and language should not be a barrier. I continue now working as a freelance translator and doing my Masters!

Global Issues Through Local Eyes

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. We try to collect stories from people of all ages and genders, people with different social and religious backgrounds and people with all kinds of political opinions in order to get a fuller picture of what is going on behind the big news.

Our Correspondents

At Correspondents of the World we invite everyone to share their own story. This means we don't have professional writers or skilled interviewers. We believe that this approach offers a whole new perspective on topics we normally only read about in the news - if at all. And in case you wondered: Everyone includes you as well. Do you have a story to share? Reach out to us and let us know!

Share Your Story

Our Community

Although we just started a few months ago, we already have a great community of people from all over the world. While face-to-face meetings are difficult at the moment, our Facebook Community Group is THE place to be to meet other people invested in Correspondents of the World. We are currently running a series of online-tea talks to get to know each other better.

Join Our Community

Vision

At Correspondents of the World, we want to contribute to a better understanding of one another in a world that seems to get smaller by the day - but somehow neglects to bring people closer together as well. We think that one of the most frequent reasons for misunderstanding and unnecessarily heated debates is that we don't really understand how each of us is affected differently by global issues.

Our aim is to change that with every personal story we share.

Topics

We believe in quality over quantity. To start off with, we collect personal stories that relate to our correspondents' experiences with five global topics:

Environment

Discussions about the environment often center on grim, impersonal figures. Among the numbers and warnings, it is easy to forget that all of these statistics actually also affect us - in very different ways. We believe that in order to understand the immensity of environmental topics and global climate change, we need the personal stories of our correspondents.

Gender

Gender is the assumption of a "normal". Unmet expectations of what is normal are a world-wide cause for violence. We hope that the stories of our correspondents will help us to better understand the effects of global developments related to gender and sexuality, and to reveal outdated concepts that have been reinforced for centuries.

Migration

Our correspondents write about migration because it is a deeply personal topic that is often dehumanized. People quickly become foreigners, refugees - a "they". But: we have always been migrating, and we always will. For millions of different reasons. By sharing personal stories about migration, we hope to re-humanize this global topic.

Liberation

We want to support the demand for justice by spotlighting the personal stories of people who seek liberation in all its different forms. Our correspondents share their individual experiences in creating equality. We hope that for some this will be an encouragement to continue their own struggle against inequality and oppression - and for some an encouragement to get involved.

Corona Virus

2020 is a year different from others before - not least because of the Corona pandemic. The worldwide spread of a highly contagious virus is something that affects all of us in very different ways. To get a better picture of how the pandemic's plethora of explicit and implicit consequences influences our everyday life, we share lockdown stories from correspondents all over the world.

Get Involved

We believe that every single personal story contributes to a better understanding of the complex world we live in - and the people we share it with. That includes yours! We would be really happy if you would like to share your story, too, and join our community.

Share Your Story

Growing Fast

Although we started just over a year ago, Correspondents of the World has a quickly growing community of correspondents - and a dedicated team of editors, translators and country managers.

47

Correspondents

53

Stories

34

Countries

95

Translations

Contact

Correspondents of the World is as much a community as an online platform. Please feel free to contact us for whatever reason!

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