Imagine being among a diverse group of individuals, attempting to solve some of the world's most pressing issues while receiving guidance from experts and mentors. You feel challenged, enriched and fulfilled while making new connections, enhancing your global knowledge and learning new skills.
This is what it feels like to be on a Global leadership programme or fellowship.
I had the pleasure of being on one of such programmes a couple of years ago in my organisation.
My cohort had sixty people from twelve countries. During the year-long fellowship, we had three in-person meetings in three countries and virtual meetings for the rest of the time. We spent a significant amount of time working on our personal development in the areas of self-awareness, communication and leadership. Towards the end of the programme, we were tasked to solve a specific global issue with the guidance of an experienced mentor.
I am grateful for this experience because of the personal and professional growth opportunity it was for me. I made invaluable contacts and applied some of the new skills I learned in my leadership and business roles.
Although this fellowship was only available in my organisation, there are other equally beneficial programmes available in the public domain which you can apply directly to or be nominated for. Below are some programmes for which I have received excellent reviews from my contacts who are and have been involved:
One young world is a global forum for young leaders with a focus on social impact. The organisation partners with more than 180 companies and has support from key public figures such as Megan Markle, Justin Trudeau, Richard Branson and many more. The One Young world annual summit is an opportunity to work and interact with fellow leaders. After attendance at the summit, attendees become ambassadors tasked with creating change in their communities with the help and support from the organisation and their peers. Attendance for the 2019 Summit is now fully booked, however you have plenty of time to prepare for the 2020 Summit which will be held in Munich, Germany. If this sounds like something you would like to be part of click here
The Arch Bishop Tutu Fellowship is run by the Africa Leadership Institute and is targeted at early and mid-career African leaders. The whole program runs on a part-time basis over a 6 month period and has 2 in-person sessions in Cape Town ( South Africa) and Oxford (U.K.).
Upon completion of the program, Tutu fellows should be solving problems in their various African countries and be ambassadors for the fellowship. Find out more and apply to be a Tutu fellow here.
Eisenhower global fellows are mid-career professionals with a common purpose: "Creating a world more peaceful, prosperous, and just." The fellowship involves attending, seminars and retreats in the United States, meeting with thought leaders, trustees, sponsors and other supporters. Find out more here.
The Aspen Institute is a nonpartisan forum for values-based leadership and the exchange of ideas. The institute runs a number of fellowship programs including Aspen Young leaders Fellowship, The Africa Leadership Initiative, The Civil Society Fellowship and many more. Click here for more information.
The Obama foundation fellowship focuses on supporting outstanding civic leaders through its competitive 2 year non-residential program. Find out more and apply here.
Both organisations are aligned with the World Economic Forum and share the common purpose of driving positive change in the world. The World Economic Forum also drives the Global Leadership Fellow Program which they describe as " A multi-journey of on-the-job learning, academic training, individual development and coaching".
This is an annual selective fellowship program designed to mentor and empower future African leaders. The Fellowship offers the opportunity to work in the executive offices of either the AfDB (Abidjan), UNECA (Addis Ababa) or the ITC (Geneva) with an annual stipend of $100,000. Apply here.
YALI's flagship program, The Mandela Washington Fellowship, provides participants with an opportunity to study for 6 weeks at a US leadership institute or university, interact with U.S. Government, civic, and business leaders, attend a summit in Washington DC with other young African leaders and explore different industries. Find out more here.
I encourage anyone out there who is eager to expand their world and grow as person to apply for these or any other similar programs. The benefits and opportunities are immeasurable and you will definitely emerge a changed person.