"For as long as we remain emotionally immature, we will seek out and stay in the systems/institutions that suppress our imagination and creativity."
- Angé Weinrabe
Founded in 2017 by health researcher and social entrepreneur Angé Weinrabe, GEM Connect (GEM) is a social enterprise that supports emerging young creatives by providing education mainly on emotions and connection to like-minded and hearted others.
GEM – the company’s – purpose is to develop innovative ways to work alongside the private and public sector to develop relevant community programs that offer (free to the participants) in-person workshops and online resources, which include the further service offering of ‘Art-For-Purpose’ opportunities to help mobilise young people to stay on their creative journey.
As part of our community outreach service, the company delivers our intellectual property, the GEM Model, which consists of two key support components: The GEM Method + CONNECT (see below). The GEM Model is what provides the education and support that young creatives require to ignite their passion for arts and culture.
1. To encourage a greater sense of local community, through providing young people with awareness and, importantly, supporting them to find a balance between the extremes of traditionalism and individualism.
2. To work with proactive stakeholders that support GEM, who can and will act to bring about social change for a healthier society.
3. To bring about progressive social reform and change using the GEM Model.
4. To meet, in the long-term, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) urgent call for Innovative Prevention of Mental Ill-Health Programs in its cornerstone 2004 Policy Report by enabling access to our GEM Model for as many young people globally at, importantly, no out-of-pocket cost to the individual.
Our support model consists of the GEM Method + CONNECT, two separate stages that enable young people to become inspired as creatives and navigate where they want to be in their professional and personal lives:
I. GEM METHOD (Giving Emotions Meaning)
1. AWARENESS – Establishing a clearer understanding of where beliefs come from, how they are formed, and how sometimes an inherited belief set may not necessarily suit the individual on their career, romantic, and/or social path.
2. EMOTIONS – Clarifying how to better discern and connect with one’s own emotions and also learn to have empathy for others’ emotional states, what influences one’s own and others’ moods, and how, when learning how to better self-regulate emotions, a person can improve their decision-making.
3. PLAY – Having the insight that when in a more relaxed state, one is in a creative space, and how learning how to stay in this state can influence “what one sees”. We use our fun trademarked rabbit fingerprint logo to demonstrate how attention biases work, thus with this simple tool supporting young people to have more fun with their creative processes.
4. MEANING – Identifying what is meaningful to a person plays such an important role when deciding what career or study path to follow. Learning how to determine the differences that make up what is meaningful for one person, as opposed to another, is what this step is about.
5. DECISIONS – Decision-making is complex for anyone, but especially for young adults at critical crossroads in their lives with study, career and other major decisions. In this part of the support process, we help the individual to identify the impact of emotions (positive and negative) on their decision-making and, importantly, the impact the decision-making process has on their emotions!
6. SUPPORT – Steps 1-5 above will provide no support to anyone in theory! Or at least not until the GEM coach helps the young creative to practically apply it to their specific path! And what better way to do this than with the use of a) coaching tools – specifically developed to help the young person grasp complex concepts such as beliefs, emotions, decisions, meaning, etc.; and b) the guidance of others who can act as mentors in the long-term (see below!).
Once young people engage with and complete the GEM Method part of our programs, our team immediately get to work to enable young creatives to connect to other like-minded and like-hearted – very passionate – action takers. This can be in the form of peers and mentors from industry, academia, publishing, and the art world itself.