About Stand Together Fellowships

History demonstrates that people are capable of extraordinary things when they have the freedom and opportunity to learn, contribute, and succeed.

But too often, barriers of all kinds — in key institutions like education, communities, business, and government — prevent people from realizing their individual gifts and using them to help improve each other’s lives.  

Through our educational programs, we cultivate a new generation of leaders so that they can find new and better ways to break down those barriers, tackle the root causes of our country’s biggest problems, and help everyone live a life of meaning and purpose. 

Our Principles 

History shows that the more a society rejects a paradigm of power and instead embraces empowerment, the more progress it unlocks. Here are some of the core principles — grounded in the classical liberal concepts of individual liberty, limited government, spontaneous order, and more — that empower every person to reach their full potential: 

  • Dignity: A deep belief in, and respect for, the inherent worth of every person that enables people to live their lives as they see fit with due regard for the equal and inalienable rights of others and with assurance of equal protection for those rights under the law.
  • Bottom Up: People succeed when their interaction is organized by general rules of just conduct rather than having to agree on concrete aims, enabling those with personal knowledge of a problem to discover solutions that get the best results.
  • Openness: The free movement of ideas, resources, and people generates knowledge, innovation, and opportunity, fueling progress throughout society. 
  • Self-Actualize: People live lives of meaning when they continually discover, develop, and apply their unique gifts to benefit others.
  • Mutual Benefit: People succeed by creating value for others, motivating them to assist rather than harm one another.

Charles Koch

Stand Together Fellowships was founded by Charles Koch, a Forbes Top-25 philanthropist and CEO of the largest private company in America. Charles built his business from the bottom up. A student of history and the philosophy of science, he saw that a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach stifles people from innovating and holds back progress. He chose a better way: empowering employees to work together to solve the problems closest to them. The combination of their individual actions created one of the greatest success stories in American history. Stand Together Fellowships is built on that same principle. 

Charles holds two master’s degrees in nuclear and chemical engineering from MIT and lives in Wichita, Kansas, with his wife, Liz. A New York Times bestselling author, his most recent book is Believe in People: Bottom-up Solutions for a Top-down World.

Stand Together

Stand Together Fellowships is part of a broader philanthropic community that helps America’s boldest changemakers tackle the root causes of our country’s biggest problems, from education to the economy, broken communities, and toxic division, among dozens of other pressing issues. Stand Together provides partners with access to resources including funding, a unique network of peers, and a playbook for applying proven principles to transform lives and society.