Perspectives On Echoing Green Blog

While we’ve had the opportunity to review thousands of business plans of those appying to our Fellowship Program—addressing as many social issues, communities, and geographies—what holds consistent across the most successful applications are the qualities and traits of their leaders.

Your career didn't start with your first job. I start job interviews with the same question every time: “Tell me about your path leading up to today. Why is this role the right fit for you now?” What happens next is predictable.

Each application cycle, our Fellowship and Knowledge Management teams work together to sift through thousands of Fellowship applications so that we can compare them in aggregate with submissions from previous years.

In November, we asked you—our community—and our Fellows to tell us what problems you were committed to solving. You responded with an enthusiasm that blew us away.

On the days I’m smashed up against an assortment of characters on the New York City subway, I sometimes play a game. I imagine someone yelling, “What’s your problem?!”

Echoing Green Fellows don't just identify social problems—they are driven to do whatever it takes to solve them. That's owning a problem.

There may not be one resolution to wicked problems and nonprofits can’t—and shouldn’t—do it all. Co-authored by Cynthia Gibson, 1995 Echoing Green Fellow Katya Smyth, Gail Nayowith, & Jonathan Zaff; Re-posted with permission from Stanford Social Innovation Review

The most influential, and happiest, agents of change have a valuable lesson to teach: self-concern is as essential as your desire to help others.

We need leadership that reflects the diversity of the communities we seek to influence. In several of our Black Male Achievement Fellows, we saw enterprising social innovators who have fresh ideas to scale the environmental movement by empowering their communities to be the agents for change. Read More.

In my experience, the most successful world changers have all had what I call a Moment of Obligation. This moment frequently becomes their North Star—the memory that guides them on their journey, and keeps them going when all seems dark.

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