An Initiative of the International Youth Foundation an initiative of the international youth foundation

Laureate Global Fellowship

The Laureate Global Fellowship is a pioneering youth social entrepreneurship program working to redefine how young people lead change.

Please note: the Laureate Global Fellowship is on hiatus in 2020 and will not recruit a new class of fellows during this time.

Launched in 2001, the fellowship invests annually in twenty extraordinary young leaders whose social ventures are transforming how age-old challenges are addressed in their communities and countries. Fellowship applicants earn their spot in this renowned cohort through a rigorous selection process including evaluation by a panel of peer leaders and executives from distinguished global institutions.

Sponsored by Laureate International Universities, the Laureate Global Fellowship is one of YouthActionNet’s 24 national/regional youth leadership institutions worldwide, whose fellows shape our network of over 2,100 youth driving change in over 92 countries.

Through the fellowship, hundreds of young leaders and their ventures have discovered the power of joining a likeminded community of peers and received access to the support they need to shape a more just and inclusive future. 

Who is Eligible?

  • Young leaders ages 18-29 who have founded or co-founded social ventures with at least one year of impact are eligible to apply to the fellowship.
  • We encourage applications from youth representing all countries, genders, education levels, races, religions, and social impact areas. We believe the diversity of experiences across fellows in each cohort is a vital factor in shaping the open-minded learning community that’s central to our approach. Meet the 2018 class.
  • While measures of success such as existing impact, innovation, and community mobilization are important, we also consider applicants’ capacity for self-reflection and ability to contribute positively to a collaborative learning environment. Learn more about the qualities YouthActionNet looks for in young social entrepreneurs.

The Fellowship Experience

Laureate Global Fellows are “fellows for life.” While the fellowship kicks off with an intensive in-person experience, it is the lasting support, resources, and network of over 2,100 like-minded leaders that come to define what the fellowship means to young leaders.

Based on research and years of experience, we know young social entrepreneurs need support in three key areas in order to increase their impact:

  • Building leadership and management skills
  • Growing networks and gaining access to resources
  • Increasing the credibility and visibility of their work

The fellowship experience is designed to address these critical needs through an approach that delivers content when and where a young leader is best equipped to receive it. For example, supportive in-person environments are conducive to personal leadership development, while organizational management content can be delivered virtually.

In-person Retreat

Laureate Global Fellows begin their fellowship experience at a week-long, in-person retreat where they are challenged to step away from the demands of daily work in order to see themselves, their work, and the world with new eyes.

During the retreat, Fellows develop their leadership through the following lenses:

  • Individual: Fellows explore their leadership capacities, strengths, and weaknesses, and define their sense of purpose.
  • Groups: Fellows learn how to collaborate effectively, work toward common goals, and motivate teams to high performance.
  • Ventures: Fellows critically examine their social change solutions and find ways to sustain their impact. 
  • Systems:  Fellows consider how their work connects to larger systems and issues.

Retreat sessions are conducted using an experiential, peer-to-peer learning methodology that equips fellows with the necessary tools and frameworks to apply what they’ve learned.

Yearlong Support

We’ve found that young leaders prefer to learn on demand and seek out new resources as their priorities and strategies shift. Over the course of the fellowship year, fellows gain access to opportunities for needs-based personal and organizational development, including:

  • One-on-one coaching and individualized support
  • Virtual learning sessions
  • Personal and organizational assessments
  • Peer coaching groups

Fellowship for Life

Beyond the fellowship year, YouthActionNet provides fellows with learning and networking opportunities, facilitates access to resources, and helps position our fellows as credible experts in their fields. Fellows join our growing network of over 2,100 changemakers in over 92 countries who have participated in YouthActionNet fellowship programs.

Learn More

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions, our Approach to Social Entrepreneurship, and Testimonials from previous Fellows.

From the Blog

Featured Fellows