The Leaders initiative of the Barack Obama Foundation strives to encourage, equip, and link regional cohorts of changemakers in order to hasten positive and long-lasting change in their neighbourhoods and throughout their region.
A six-month virtual leadership development experience, the 2023 Leaders programme. The dates of the programmes in Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe are February 1 through July 15, 2023. The programme will bring together 35 emerging leader cohorts from across the regions for an average of 8–12 hours per month. Each week, participants will partake in the following sessions:
- Practical tools and training for deepening values-based leadership
- Individualized coaching
- Community groups
- Conversations with thought leaders
- Cultural programming that showcases the richness of diversity in the region
- Curated spaces for deep personal reflection and interpersonal learning with peers
Upon completion of the programme, Obama Leaders will become part of the Obama Foundation’s leadership network—a growing community of civically active, positive role models who are creating tangible solutions to the greatest challenges of our time.
- You must meet one of the criteria below:
- You are a citizen of an eligible nation or territory OR
- You are a permanent resident of an eligible nation or territory OR
- You are a refugee or asylum seeker in an eligible nation or territory OR
- You have lived in an eligible nation or territory for at least the last 5 years, regardless of documentation status.
- You will be between 24- and 45-years-old on July 15, 2023.
- Your current and future work is geographically focused on creating positive change for your local community, an eligible nation or territory, and/or the broader region.
- You can demonstrate at least three years of relevant experience in your issue area.
- You are professionally proficient in English (spoken and written).
- You will not be engaging in an electoral campaign for political office between February 1 and July 15, 2023.
- You can commit to fully participating in the entire duration of the program between February 1 and July 15, 2023, which may include an in-person convening (public health, safety, and security conditions permitting) in late June or early July, and up to 12 hours of live virtual programming per month. Participants should have no more than three absences in order to attend the convening and complete the programme.
Leaders can come from a variety of nations and territories, including:
- Africa: All 55 nations and territories on the continent.
American Samoa; Australia; Brunei; Cambodia; China; Cook Islands; Federated States of Micronesia; Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; Hawai’i; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Japan; Kiribati; Korea, North (DPRK); Korea, South (ROK); Laos; Macao; Malaysia; Marshall Islands; Mongolia; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Pitcairn Islands; Samoa; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Taiwan; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu; Vietnam; Wallis and Futuna.
- Europe: Any of the 46 Council of Europe member states and Kosovo.
Aside from the specific eligibility criteria listed above, the ideal candidate:
- Has a clear issue of focus and can describe the impact they have made: The ideal candidate has been working to advance positive social change on a specific issue or set of issues for at least the last three years and can demonstrate that their work has had a measurable impact in advancing progress on their issue.
- Holds a leadership position in their changemaking work: The ideal candidate holds a leadership role in a civil society organization, start-up or business, the media, or elected office. This could be someone who is the founder or head of an organization, but it could also be someone who leads positive change from within an organization. Candidates do not have to be engaged in this work full-time.
- Stands out for their integrity and values-driven approach to leadership: Ideal candidates demonstrate a deeply ethical, values-based, and collaborative approach to leadership. They are generous leaders, eager to share opportunities and open doors for others. They bring a strong commitment to equity, to inclusion of communities that have been historically marginalized, and to working together to build a brighter future.
- Demonstrates a willingness to learn: Ideal candidates have a keen sense of how much they can learn from others, regardless of their experience level. They bring genuine curiosity and an open mind and are willing to share their experiences and knowledge with their cohort.
- Demonstrates a desire to connect with other changemakers: Ideal candidates seek to collaborate with others in the larger Obama Foundation leadership network in order to have a larger impact.
The application deadline is Friday, 21 October 2022 at 12:00 PM US Eastern Time (GMT-5).