How We Built This: Launching Global Citizen Academy

In April I faced one of the hardest leadership decisions of my life.



Amidst a surging pandemic, our team made the difficult call to suspend our Global Fellowship for 2020-21. We knew, even then, it would not have been aligned with our values to send Fellows into host communities during a global health crisis.



But we also knew we couldn’t sit on the sidelines.



In the months since, we’ve been hard at work building Global Citizen Academy, an experience designed specifically for this unprecedented moment.



Today, I am proud to announce that our inaugural Global Citizen Academy class will be the largest and most diverse in our history.



This week, over 200 hopeful and determined young leaders from 50 countries will begin their journey with us — and I’m already inspired by their energy, passion and commitment.



As part of the Academy, students will take leadership courses taught by 18 talented instructors (selected from 800 applicants!), and brought to life on Minerva’s cutting-edge active learning Forum. They will have access to a database of professional mentors, and the opportunity to do meaningful work advancing racial equity, providing pandemic relief, mitigating our climate crisis — and much more.


To complement the coursework, we’ve lined up a star-studded speaker series called Leadership in Action that includes Melinda Gates, DeRay McKesson, Seth Godin, Julie Lythcott-Haims and 20 other luminaries. The sessions will be moderated by Global Citizen Alumni and are designed as intimate conversations (not TED talks!)


We’re living through one of the greatest historic shifts the world has ever seen. COVID-19 has laid bare the cracks in our old systems and institutions, and together we get to determine what comes next. One era has ended, and the next has yet to begin.


In the midst of so much uncertainty, here’s what’s giving me hope: the opportunity to launch the leaders our world needs now.


Through Global Citizen Academy, we can help our next generation leaders find their purpose, their people and their power to change the world — for good. And we’re just getting started.


With optimism & determination for the road ahead,


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Global Citizen Year is moving forward as part of our new, larger brand: Tilting Futures. New name, same mission, expanded programs and impact.