CRS alumnus creating a network for next-generation leadership

Camp Rising Sun (CRS) alumnus Jonah Wittkamper (‘90, ‘91, ‘93) is the Co-Founder and Global Director of NEXUS, a global organization uniting communities of wealth with social entrepreneurs in order to create social change on an international scale.  

This past week, LAJF Executive Director, Helene Mattera, met up with Jonah at the 4th annual USA NEXUS Summit in Washington, DC. Jonah announced repeatedly throughout the event how Camp Rising Sun impacted him and the creation of NEXUS. He has incorporated many Rising Sun values to help build mutually beneficial relationships among participants in order to improve the world. “Everyone at the conference had heard of Camp Rising Sun because of Jonah and were impressed that it made such a lasting impact on his life.”

  From left to right: Orian Marx ('97, '98), Jonah Wittkamper (‘90, ‘91, ‘93), Helene Mattera (‘97, ‘98, ‘00, ‘01, ‘10-‘12, ‘15-‘17), Jeff Orlowski ('99, '00, '02, '06), Leo Bierman ('04).

From left to right: Orian Marx ('97, '98), Jonah Wittkamper (‘90, ‘91, ‘93), Helene Mattera (‘97, ‘98, ‘00, ‘01, ‘10-‘12, ‘15-‘17), Jeff Orlowski ('99, '00, '02, '06), Leo Bierman ('04).

He spoke on the last day of the Summit and compared the Summit to summer Camp: “This is the last day of summer camp, the last day of our journey together. There’s a hunger for on-going community, and it’s up to you to create it.” He concluded with a call for the Summit attendees to pursue causes they care about, to build new chapters (akin to alumni associations) in areas that they feel need one, and lastly, to reclaim entrepreneurship.

NEXUS was founded in 2011 as “a global movement to bridge communities of wealth and social entrepreneurship. [Members] work to unite young investors, social entrepreneurs and allies to catalyze new leadership and accelerate global solutions.” Since 2011, NEXUS has hosted over 35 global youth summits across five continents, which have resulted in investments and donations of tens of millions of dollars to organizations over the past six years.

In an interview, Jonah explains that the current systems for philanthropic education are not at the scale they should be, and that is what NEXUS seeks to address. Jonah believes that by helping young wealth owners to find significance with their money and develop visions to become philanthropic leaders, philanthropy can lead to healing opportunities not only within a household that cannot decide what to do with their money but also by channeling money into local economies and providing jobs and other necessities that build peaceful communities.

  Jonah   Wittkamper and fellow Camp Rising Sun alumnus Aaron Jenkins (‘96, ‘97) at a CRS event.

Jonah Wittkamper and fellow Camp Rising Sun alumnus Aaron Jenkins (‘96, ‘97) at a CRS event.

Through its annual summits, NEXUS is working to increase and improve philanthropic giving and social investing through dialogue, education, and collaborative problem-solving. NEXUS, like the Camp Rising Sun program, brings people together to solve global problems and become collaborative leaders of positive social change. 

On top of being a camper, Jonah worked at Camp and served as a board member in the 1990s. For more information about Jonah and NEXUS, visit www.concordia.net/community/jonah-wittkamper and www.nexusglobal.org.  


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