In this episode of The Impact Podcast, we are live at Hive! You will hear from a handful participants, organizers, volunteers, and mentors who were part of this eighth iteration of Hive Global Leaders Program, that took place in San Francisco in May 2016.

Listen to the Episode, Live at Hive Global Leaders

Show Notes

Social Impact Fellowship Programs Mentioned



Reflections on Social Impact Fellowship and Leadership Programs

This past weekend I participated in the Hive Global Leaders Program in San Francisco. And on Day 3, I also led an unconference session on social entrepreneurship…swapping my seat in the audience for a mic on the stage.

And this fluidity to move been leading and participating, this synchronicity between giving abundantly and receiving with gratitude, is powerful. It gives us perspective, it reminds us to be humble, it inspires us to always be curious.

It creates opportunities to experience that indescribable feeling of wonder when you connect with people deeply engaged in work that moves the entire social impact sector further.

And that just may be why I am drawn to social impact fellowship and leadership programs. Each can provide a unique lens into the space, shaped by the organizers’ vision and mission. They can each reveal some aspect of the space and its diverse and unique participants. Best of all, we come to each changed in a different way, seeking different counsel or inspiration to help us reach our next goal, challenge, and success.

I am proud to have participated in StartupWeekend, New Leaders Council, StartingBloc, and Hive. They provide both the steady wall and the fluid edge that help map out the growing social impact space. And they provide the flow and tension that help clarify how our work can better serve, create value, and help grow a vibrant global community of social impact changemakers.

live at hive global leaders program

This weekend saw the arrival of exciting news, I was accepted into the New Leaders Council Fellowship 2012 program for Silicon Valley. I think it will be a great opportunity to build on leadership and communication skills, meet passionate individuals with similar interests, and nuance my understanding of social entrepreneurship and its practice.

What is New Leaders Council (NLC)?
Formed in 2005, New Leaders Council was founded with the specific goal of creating a progressive leadership development infrastructure for young professionals who have initial career experience. It supports a unique application of social innovation to create and support progressive political entrepreneurs–who can go on to engage skills in roles of local government, entrepreneurship, education, and their workplaces.
5 Facts about NLC Institute
The NLC Institute is the training program that enables the work of NLC. Here are 5 facts about the NLC Institute and its reach.
  1. It’s for ultimate weekend warrior. The NLC curriculum program is 5 months long (starting in January) and requires a commitment of 1 full weekend per month.
  2. There’s no “i” in NLC. The program focuses on teamwork and achieving goals together.
  3. Mentor mindset. Fellows are paired with mentors to broaden and build upon career goals.
  4. Volunteer run. Perhaps most amazing is that the entire Institute is volunteer-run. Fundraising projects by NLC fellows support programming costs and the Advisory Board, chaired by NLC CEO Mark Walsh, oversee broader fundraising efforts.
  5. 20 places and growing. NLC Institute programs are in twenty cities across the country and growing.
What happens after you graduate from NLC?
NLC alumni are part of a broad network spanning 600+ alumni in 20 cities/communities across the country. Local alumni engagement involves quarterly reunions, networking events, webinars, and access to active job boards.
What is the NLC fellowship application process?
Individuals can be nominated for an NLC fellowship or can self-nominate. The NLC application process involves answering a questionnaire and responding to essay questions about leadership experience, interest, and future goals. Selected applicants are interviewed by local board leaders and alumni, and fellows are notified of their acceptance in mid-December.
How do I find out if there is an NLC Fellowship program near me?
You can check on the NLC Institute chapters page here.
Social innovation fellowships & accelerator program
If you are looking to build your social innovation IQ through a fellowship or accelerator program, be sure to check out our growing lists + their deadlines below. Good luck!
When you are in the midst of an emerging field, there is often no shortage of related terms and buzzwords. Social innovation is a prime example. Associated words and phrases include:Social innovation IQ

  • social entrepreneurship
  • social enterprise
  • impact investing
  • conscious capital
  • double bottom line
  • triple bottom line
  • social accounting
  • benefit corporations
  • flexible purpose corporations
  • low-profit limited liability companies (L3C’s)
  • hybrid corporations
  • blended value
  • social ventures
  • maximizing stakeholder value
  • doing well, by doing good
  • corporate social responsibility
  • and more….
Terminology, a Social Innovator Does Not Make
Through Innov8Social or various other blogs and resources, you may be (as I am) building your familiarity with key buzzwords in the field. But, as I begin to read books, listen to podcasts, and become more familiar with questions that those outside of social innovation have about the field—I realize that terms and buzzwords may not be enough to achieve the overarching goals of building new kinds of businesses that generate monetary profit while positively benefiting society & the environment.
We Need to Collectively Build Our Social Innovation IQ
What makes social innovation an intriguing prospect is also what makes it complex: it blurs the traditional distinctions between sectors such as financial, government, social, and environmental and seeks to connect them in new ways that align with mainstream business.
Judging by the burgeoning number of social innovation fellowships and accelerator programs available, it looks like more people and institutions are seeking connect with and expand the social innovation arena.
If we are putting out time into engaging and investing ourselves in this emerging field, it may be helpful to build our collective social innovation intelligence.
Components of Social Innovation IQ
Full disclosure, I am not an expert in this field. But as I learn and grow into it, I find myself developing more focused questions about what it will take to succeed as a social innovator and what it will take for the field of social innovation to succeed in impacting the way business is done. Here is my (evolving) understanding of components that can make up a social innovation IQ:
  • Financial intelligence
  • Social & environmental cause intelligence
  • Adversity intelligence
Much of it, I suspect, will begin with understanding the flow of money. Even though capital is one element of the triple bottom line, it is the one that is often most identifiable with mainstream business. Currency is like the electric current that powers machines. Though causes and action often eclipse capital in their reach and karmic importance—to understand that even the most compelling projects will require steady, consistent, and adequate funding is to understand the important role it plays.
Additionally, if we do not have a clear understanding about the history, root, and context of the social and environmental causes we aim to address—we may not be addressing issues in the most effective ways possible. Worse, we may not realize future problems that we are seeding with our best-intention ‘fixes’.
Finally, any start-up entrepreneur will tell you that there can be a fair dose of adversity required to launch and succeed. And, this likely only multiplies when your business is focused on maximizing a triple bottom line (people, planet, profits). We have to be able to identify re-frame our problems, dwell in resilience, and connect with the social innovation community for support and guidance.
What to Read
I am in the process of trying to build my social innovation IQ. I would love to connect with others interested in doing the same. Here are a few books I thought could get the ball rolling:
If this topic interests you, and you are also seeking ways to build a social innovation IQ, connect through the comments below, on the Innov8Social Facebook page, on Twitter, via email.

Social Innovation FellowshipsWhether you are an experienced social innovator or are looking to build your skill set, a fellowship can help take you to the next level–through curriculum, mentorship, collaboration, and connecting with other talented and motivated fellows.Here is a list of 50+ fellowship programs. The first 17 or so fellowships have rolling admission deadlines. The remainder are grouped by the month the application is due.  The fellowships support social innovation to varying degrees and have varying requirements—so take a stroll and click through the links to continue your research.

You can add other social innovation fellowships in the comments section. Look for a list of start-up accelerator and incubators for social entrepreneurs here.
50+ Fellowship Programs for Social Innovators
  1. Ashoka Fellows Program. Apply anytime.
  2. Deshpande Foundation India Fellowship Program. Apply anytime.
  3. Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. Apply anytime.
  4. Mind Trust Education Entrepreneur Fellowship. Apply anytime.
  5. Rainer Arnhold Design Fellowship Program. Apply anytime.
  6. REDF Farber Fellowship. Apply anytime.
  7. Reynolds Fellowships Harvard University.
  8. Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program.
  9. PopTech Science and Public Leadership Fellows Program. Apply by invitation.
  10. TED Senior Fellows Program. Selected from Past Fellows.
  11. IDEO Fellowship Program.
  12. Teach for America. Multiple deadlines.
  13. Ashoka Senior Fellows & Members. Apply anytime.
  14. Ashoka Global Fellows. Apply anytime.
  15. Ashoka Social Investment Entrepreneur Fellows. Apply anytime.
  16. Ashoka Invention and Technology Fellows Program. Apply anytime.
  17. Ashoka News & Knowledge Fellows. Apply anytime.
  18. MicroEmpowering Social Innovation Fellowship. Apply anytime.
  19. MovingWorlds Institute Global Fellowship. Apply anytime.
  20. Teach for India. Multiple deadlines
  21. MacArthur Fellows Program. Apply by invitation.
  22. Aspen Institute First Movers Fellowship Program. Apply by January.
  23. MIT Legatum Center Fellowship. Apply by January.
  24. IDEX Fellowship. Apply by January.
  25. Echoing Green Fellowship. Apply by January.
  26. American India Foundation Fellowship. Apply by January.
  27. Greenlining Institute Legal Fellows Program. Apply by January.
  28. NYU Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Fellowship. Apply by January or February.
  29. Greenlining Institute Fellowship Program. Apply by February.
  30. Engineers for Social Impact. Apply by February.
  31. City Hall Fellows Program. Apply by February.
  32. Crowley Fellowship in International Human Rights. Apply by February.
  33. Public Allies Teachers Fellowship Program. Apply by February.
  34. Stanford – NBC News Fellowship in Media and Global Health. Apply by February.
  35. Cordes Fellowship for Opportunity Collaboration. Apply by March.
  36. Global Health Corps. Apply by March.
  37. Grassroutes India Fellowship Program. Apply by March.
  38. Indicorp Fellowship. Apply by March.
  39. PopTech Social Innovation Fellows Program. Apply by March.
  40. Changing Our World Fellowships. Apply by March.
  41. Acumen Fund East Africa Fellows Program. Apply by April.
  42. Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship. Apply by April.
  43. Global Citizen Year. Apply by May.
  44. Villgro Fellowship. Apply by May.
  45. D.Light Design Fellowship. Apply by May.
  46. Rolex Awards Supporting Enterprising Individuals. Apply by June.
  47. Humphrey Fellowship Program: Journalism Fellowships. Apply by June to September.
  48. TED Fellows Program. Apply by July.
  49. Synergos Senior Fellows Program
. Apply by July.
  50. LGT Venture Philanthropy iCats Fellowship Program. Apply by July.
  51. Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship. Apply by July.
  52. Open Society Fellowship. Apply by August.
  53. Piramal Fellowship for Sustainable Business. Apply by September.
  54. Skadden Legal Fellowship Program. Apply by October.
  55. Kiva Fellowship. Apply by October.
  56. Buckminister Fuller Challenge. Apply by October.
  57. StartingBloc Fellowship Program. Apply by October.
  58. EmergeCA Democratic Fellowship Program for Women. Apply by October.
  59. Fuse Corps Fellowship.  Apply by October.
  60. Woodrow Wilson Center Fellowships. Apply by October.
  61. PresenTense Social Entrepreneur Fellowships. Apply by October or November.
  62. Smithsonian Institute Fellowship. Apply by November.
  63. Unreasonable Institute. Apply by November.
  64. Acumen Fund Global Fellows Program. Apply by November.
  65. Fried Frank Legal Fellowship Program. Apply by November.
  66. Soros Fellowships for New Americans. Apply by November.
  67. New Leaders Council. Apply by November.
  68. Fellowship for Women Scholar-Practitioners from Developing Nations. Apply by November.
  69. Sauvé Scholars Program. Apply by November.
  70. TEDGlobal Fellows Program. Apply by December.
  71. Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society Fellowship Program. Apply by December.
  72. Nieman Journalism Fellowships at Harvard University. Apply by December
  73. Rhode Island Innovation Fellowship. Apply by December.
  74. LeapFrog Investments Global Fellows Program. Apply by December.
  75. M121 Fellowship for Sustainable World Change. Apply by December.
  76. Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program. Concluding in 2013.