Embark grew as a unique partnership between Xynteo, Unilever Turkey, United Work and Gelecek Daha Net (GDN) in 2017. Our programs are implemented by GDN in Turkey. GDN increases the employability of young people in Turkey through online and offline services empowering young people. Services vary from online mentoring, coaching, training, surveys, workshops, youth camps, etc. GDN encourages youth to be proactive members of society, gears them up with 21st-century life-skills and empowers them to make more informed life, education and career choices.


What is reverse mentoring?

Reverse mentoring subverts the traditional way we think about mentorship. At its core is the belief that senior leaders have much to learn from young people with fresh insights who are often at the forefront of cultural and technological change. The practice has been adopted recently by companies such as Microsoft, Mastercard, and General Electric to give senior leaders a better understanding of generational or gender-based differences in technology, culture, values, motivation, and skills. We have learned through Embark that there is also incredible value in pairing people with different cultural backgrounds or life experiences to challenge assumptions and build bridges.


How does it work? 

Each round of mentoring pairs young refugee mentors with business leaders who match their field of interest. Together each pair agrees on their objectives and meeting agenda, then engages in a series of mostly face-to-face conversations over three months. Evaluations of past cohorts found that:

  • Embark helps refugee mentors gain new soft skills, develop career plans and receive support for personal growth; feel empowered to start their own business; and, in many cases, secure jobs.
  • Meanwhile, business leader mentees deepen their understanding of the refugee demographics, improve their strategy for recruiting overlooked talent, and learn about new tech, trends, and social media.

Why Join Embark?

Businesses: Gain meaningful perspectives and awareness about how to tap into an overlooked talent segment and provide better services to this large and diverse demographic.
Governments and CSOs: Support pathways for refugee job seekers to gain work experience and guidance, and help reverse the narrative about refugees as a burden for host communities.
Twitter: @EmbarkMentors

Watch a video here featuring Embark mentors and mentees sharing their experiences.

Embark Project

Embark Project offers “Reverse Mentoring”, “Boot Camp” and “Goals For Good” program to young and talented Syrians, Turkish youth and business leaders to exchange ideas, develop understanding, and build meaningful connections. Our vision is a future where refugees are well integrated into their host communities and acknowledged as a vital part of the local economy. 

Proof of Concept and Bringing to Scale

The pilot of the program implemented in early 2018 in Istanbul. Mentors were matched with senior leaders at Unilever, who included the Country Director, CFO, Head of Communications, and the Chairman of the UN Global Compact in Turkey. At their first meeting, each pair developed a list of objectives and planned a meeting agenda together, then engaged in a series of face-to-face conversations over three months. After a successful pilot, MasterCard Turkey signed on to join a second cohort launched in September 2018, and Unilever renewed and doubled the number of ‘mentees’ who participated. The new cycle also included career training ‘Bootcamp’ weekend with mentors and peer mentorship with Turkish university students to further support the integration process. The second cohort reached more than 30 refugee youth and business leaders. The third cohort started in partnership with Unilever Turkey as of October 2019 and completed in June 2020. At the end of the third cohort, Embark project reached 20 youth mentors, 20 business leaders and more than 50 youth through trainings.

In partnership with Mikado Consulting and with the financial support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a new edition of Embark is launched to increase the employability of Syrian, Turkish, and migrant youth and to boost efforts in economic inclusion, integration, and social cohesion. The activities will include reverse mentorship which will be offered to various businesses and youth, Goals for Good Program, boot camp training, and social entrepreneurship camp.

Our Impact

The impact of the Embark program works on three levels:

– The young refugees participating in the initiative receive first-hand work experience and  develop the cultural insights and soft skills needed to succeed.

– By personally engaging with this talented young cohort over several weeks of one-on-one interaction, business leaders have a chance to gain fresh perspectives and awareness about the Syrian demographic and how to effectively integrate this community into the economy. The benefits are not only cross-cultural but also cross-generational.

– By widely sharing the Embark story, we reverse the narrative about refugees as an economic burden and promote integration instead as an opportunity for shared prosperity.


In November 2018, Embark was selected as one of 120 projects to be showcased at the Paris Peace Forum, hosted by the French President Emmanuel Macron. Embark was presented as a trailblazing, collaborative solution to a current global challenge. At the Forum, Embark’s impact on the refugee integration process received great interest from attendees, including heads of states, international organizations, and civil society actors. More recently, Embark was invited to present at the annual meeting for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Sarajevo in May 2019. Within 2019, Embark has been showcased as a good example in several local conferences organized by Support to Life, Save the Children and GIZ in Turkey. Through these opportunities, Embark is enlisting new partners to make it’s model a global movement. 

Our Program

Embark started a new project with the financial support of German Government in Turkey. The project aims to increase the employability skills of Syrian, migrant and Turkish youth and support access to professional networks through its training, reverse mentorship and bootcamp components facilitating support for a meaningful dialogue between communities.

The project will operate within the framework of the “PEP-Promotion of Economic Prospects” programme which is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in cooperation with Gelecek Daha Net.


GDN Logo
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Embark Program Director

Nuha Boğa Çam


GDN Founder

Serra Titiz

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Project Coordinator at GDN

Genar Ersoy


Embark Project Assistant

Naz Yaman

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Technology Consultant

Rama Mousali

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Embark Project Officer

Rabaa Biry


Embark Program Director

Nuha Boğa Çam


GDN Founder

Serra Titiz

british new

Project Coordinator at GDN

Genar Ersoy

Cole Paulson

Advisor at Xynteo

Cole Paulson

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Director At Xynteo

Nyla Khan

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Sustainable Business & Communications Director

Ebru Senel Erim


Finance Business Partner

Omar Toron