The Global Fellows Program enables outstanding young people to participate in a life changing educational leadership experience.

The Global Action Platform
Fellows Program

Fellows are top undergraduate/graduate students from universities and young professionals around the U.S. and world who are selected by their participating institutions to attend the annual Global Action Summit.  At the Summit, Fellows learn and practice 21st Century skills that prepare them to develop scalable, sustainable solutions for the creation of abundance through innovation in food, health, and prosperity.

The Fellows Program is an initiative of the Global Action Platform.  Lead academic support for the program comes from .

Global Action Summit Participation

Fellows participate in the Global Action Summit where they meet and learn from world leaders and experts.  The Summit, hosted by Dr. Fareed Zakaria (CNN), is one of the most dynamic, agile, innovative and fastest growing forums for today’s global leaders. Each November, in Nashville, Tennessee, the Summit convenes top senior level decision makers, leaders and young fellows from around the world with a distinctive focus on innovation to create abundant food, health and prosperity.  As the anchor event of Global Action Platform convening activities, the Summit frames issues, builds consensus and drives action..

Goals of the Fellows Program

To create a healthy, prosperous future, we must invest in a new generation of leaders with the foresight and skills to respond to the emerging global challenges that define our era. This will require new understandings and new competencies, with open minds for continuous innovation and learning. The Fellows Program is designed to contribute toward this end.

Specific goals for Fellows include:

To develop understanding and skills for leadership  in today’s rapidly changing, interdependent world.
To build an "abundance ecosystem" through a growing, collaborative  network of young professionals who are leading innovation alongside established corporate, government, academic, media, finance, and NGO leaders around the world.
To build an "abundance intelligence" among young leaders of how to create abundance and prosperity through innovation and systems methods (i.e., to create viable, scalable alternatives to scarcity and competitive “win-­lose” strategies).
To build critical skills for "collaborative advantage" in the rising generation of leaders through initiatives and investments across diverse sectors to create greater critical mass and impact.
To build a growing knowledge base, resources and expertise specifically in the intersection of food, health, and prosperity.
To initiate a growing portfolio of service learning and social entrepreneurship projects lead by Fellows aimed at creating abundance through innovation in food, health, and prosperity.
To provide investors to Fellows for the social enterprise business ideas for investment consideration.
To publish projects, communicate global impacts, and share project case studies with potential collaborators.

The Fellows Program uniquely provides a practical framework for building an abundance ecosystem in food, health, and prosperity, led by the next generation. By equipping young people with strategies and tools for “inventing their future,” the Fellows program inspires individual and group initiative. And by connecting Fellows with established mentors, industry professionals, leading scientists and potential collaborators, the program promotes vital cross-­generational dialogue and results.

Fellows are expected to develop and implement a service project or social entrepreneurship business related to the themes and goals of the Summit.

Selection Process

Universities, companies, and/or strategic educational partner nonprofits participating in Global Action Platform’s university-­business alliance select and nominate young leaders for the Fellows program.

Students from major universities and young professionals are eligible for selection.

Selection criteria include:

Demonstrated leadership and potential for impact in professional and civic roles.
A strong interest in the interconnections among local and global issues.
A commitment to creating abundance through innovation.
Educational background and knowledge related to food, health, and prosperity (e.g., this may include courses of study in, for example, genetics, agriculture, medicine, nutrition, economics, entrepreneurship, policy, globalization, among many other specific and overlapping disciplines will be accepted).
Academic excellence and achievement, especially in the areas of creative thinking, systems thinking, collaboration, writing/expression, team leadership, and demonstrated discipline-­specific knowledge.
A commitment to leading and compiling a final project report for a service learning project or social entrepreneurship business in the areas of the program's focus-­-­innovation for abundance in food, health, and prosperity.

All Fellows make a commitment to lead or contribute to a service project. These projects allow Fellows to translate their learning from the Summit into tangible initiatives that make a difference. The resulting projects will be showcased at future Summits and through the communications networks of the Global Action Platform.

Fellows who are qualified, motivated and interested in participating in this opportunity are invited to attend this program. Attendance is limited and selective, and not all nominees may be accepted.

Summit Program Schedule

Through the two-­day Fellows program, young leaders—emerging entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, visionaries—engage in a deep immersion, highly interactive inquiry process alongside major industry and policy leaders from around the world for the two-day Summit.

Specific dates are announced on the website www.GlobalActionPlatform.org as soon as they are public.


The program begins with an orientation for Summit Fellows.  The orientation provides an overview of the coming Summit program, flags key global trends and challenges addressed in the coming presentations, and provides a framework for the service and social entrepreneurship projects Fellows will be obligated to lead.  Finalists for investment consideration from the prior Fellows class present their business plans to investors during the orientation.  This provides new Fellows with insights in how to present their ideas and how investment decisions are made.

General Summit Program

Following the orientation, Fellows join 400-­500 world leaders in the formal program and sessions of the Summit. In the plenary and breakout sessions that follow, Fellows explore social, economic, scientific, environmental, political, and educational issues through specific summit topics.

Post-­Summit Project

At the end of the Summit, Fellows are given one month to submit a brief conceptual project summary of a proposed community service or social entrepreneur project inspired by the themes and goals of the Summit (Project Concept Summary Due date: mid-December).  Project Concept Summaries (500 words) are reviewed by the Fellow's University faculty representative or company advisor and must be approved before submission to Global Action Platform by the deadline.  The submitted project must include a signed Project Concept Submission Form along with a full write-­up of the project, its timeline, expected impact, how it will be measured, where the project will be implemented, and what, if any, collaborating local institutions will be involved in the project.  A copy of the Project Concept Submission Form is provided below. The proposal may be published on the Global Action Platform website and should be submitted in a well-­written form, in Word format, with a high resolution portrait photo of the Fellow, and other related visual project photos or illustrations.

Final Project Implentation & Report

Due mid-September of the following year.

Fellows implement their project or new business in part, or in full, and report back to Global Action Platform on results.  A final report (1,000 to 2,000 word essay) stating what was done, the impact of the work, and proposing next steps is due mid-September.  While many projects may end during the nine months following the original submission, projects and businesses may be on-­going.  Creating sustainable and continuing projects is encouraged.  Each project/social enterprise business and Fellow will be profiled on the Center’s website, and other partner websites, to create a network and knowledge base of innovative projects to create abundance.

Innovation Challenge - Future Support for Projects

The Global Action Challenge is an investment competition. The fund includes funding for social enterprises begun by Fellows.

The Challenge social enterprise will tap the enormous reservoir of youth energy, vision, and creativity in service of “making the world work for 100% of humanity.” To inspire new ways of thinking, the Challenge criteria will award new enterprises that demonstrate transformative capacity and sustainability.

Fellows whose projects receive investment support will be recognized at the annual Global Action Summit, with their innovations showcased as a part of the official summit program.

A global contest “showcase” (open to students from Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa and other regions) for new ideas on topics and solutions relating to food, health and prosperity. This program will be designed to develop entrepreneurship in young people and be accessible online in virtual environments, and custom apps.
Fellows' projects that receive investments will be shared with business, government, university, and NGO partners of CumberlandCenter for potential further investment and/or collaboration.

Other programs under review for Fellows for future development include:

Curricula, online learning, and interactive apps
Special Fellows events and publications
Youth delegations to attend the annual Global Action Summit and other Fellows Leadership Forum events during the year; cultivation of a Fellows Ambassadors made up of alumni fellows attending The Fellows Program each year, with an “alumni network” of Summit Fellow Participants who can continue to propel new approaches, insights, resources and vital networks forward.
Youth journalists and youth media bureau at the annual Global Summits (in collaboration with the Diplomatic Courier and university partners)

Network & Visibility

Fellows are members of a growing network of young leaders working to create abundance through innovation in food, health, and prosperity.  As Fellows, they will have opportunities to stay connected in a peer network, have their projects published and featured in global reports, meet potential partners and investors, and join select future Summit meetings. Fellows are supported in their projects and networking by social media and online working groups provided through the Global Action Platform Connect and in partnership with the Massey School of Business, Belmont University and the Andrews Leadership Institute, Lipscomb University.

Fellows Program Costs

Program costs for participation in the orientation and program of the Summit are underwritten by corporate and foundation support; there are no program costs for Fellows.

Fellows are responsible for their own travel, housing/hotel, and some meal expenses.

Summit Fellows Application

To be completed and emailed to Linda Schacht at linda.schacht@lipscomb.edu

Summit Fellows Project Summary
Download Application

University Action Tanks

Synchronize university thinkers, doers & research to hyperdrive global solutions.

Find Out More