By Hugh Cherry
We started 2022 with some exciting news: the Charles Koch Institute’s educational programs will now operate as Stand Together Fellowships.
In many ways, this change reflects the increased role the Charles Koch Institute already was playing across the broader Stand Together community of organizations. For Stand Together Fellowships, our mission remains the same: to equip rising social entrepreneurs with the tools, mindsets, and community they need to accelerate their careers and develop bottom-up solutions to society’s most pressing challenges.
While the purpose that guides our efforts remains unchanged, we are eager to embrace the opportunities for transformation that will undoubtedly come our way in 2022. Such a mindset is essential, not only for effective learning in our programs, but also for creating value for partners and learners and for advancing our vision of a society of equal rights and mutual benefit.
Stand Together is built on the principle that we can achieve more together than we can on our own. Our community has grown into a network of more than 700 philanthropists and business leaders, 10,000 K-12 and skilled trades educators, 1,000 scholars at more than 300 universities, 200 community-based organizations, and 2 million grassroots activists.
If you are unfamiliar with the fantastic work happening across Stand Together and our partners, consider taking a moment to learn more.
Though we continually look for ways to improve the curriculum and learning experiences we create, the purpose and focus of our programming is unchanged: to empower learners to develop themselves as social entrepreneurs so they can find new and better ways to break barriers and eliminate injustice.
Participants will continue to explore principles and tools of effective leadership, decision-making, and other resources most relevant to their professional development. Additionally, each program will continue to connect participants with opportunities for coaching and mentorship from experienced professionals, and placement with one of our outstanding partner organizations.
For 2022, our team is particularly focused on ways to further tailor our learning experiences to what is most relevant for participants. This means more optionality and customization, differentiated learning paths, and helping learners focus on where their learning can have the greatest impact.
Growth is a lifelong process and we are eager to continue to serve the thousands of KIP, KAP, and Poynter-Koch alumni who are working across the world to break barriers and solve big problems in policy, community, business, and education. Stand Together Fellowships will continue to support the ongoing career development of our program alumni.
There is amazing work happening across the Stand Together community, and our change to Stand Together Fellowships means greater collaboration among our organizations and partners, leading to more opportunities and deeper connections for our program participants — and our alumni.
The Stand Together community partners with hundreds of outstanding organizations and social entrepreneurs across a variety of critical issues, many of whom are often looking for principled, talented individuals to join their teams. If you are actively looking for your next opportunity or just want to say connected, please reach out.
We deeply value the ability to partner with so many effective organizations in our efforts to empower a rising generation of social entrepreneurs. Our partners are tackling tough challenges in criminal justice, economic progress, education, foreign policy, free speech and peace, health care, immigration, trade, and more.
This year, our team is committed to doing even more to understand and support the talent needs of our partners. If you are (or want to be) a partner organization and have ideas or questions, please reach out to your point of contact on the education programs team to share your thoughts and learn more about opportunities for collaboration.
Envisioning What Could Be
Embrace change. Envision what could be. And challenge the status quo.
That is what social entrepreneurs do every day.
Every transformation we pursue reflects the continued advancement of our founder’s vision to build a broad philanthropic community that supports social entrepreneurs in breaking barriers and solving big problems in policy, community, business, and education.
That is our vision, our North Star, and we remain committed to it.
Hugh Cherry is Director, Education and Education Administration, Stand Together Fellowships