2021 Civic Innovation Fellowship

, Posted Sep 11, 2020 Atlanta, Georgia

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Application Due Oct 04, 2020


Our Civic Innovation Fellowship is a six-month program that supports grassroots leaders, entrepreneurs, and movement builders in Atlanta

Instead of prescribing solutions for communities, we teach local leaders on how to design solutions that don’t just sound good, but actually solve their own community’s most pressing challenges. We honor the genius and expertise they bring to the table, while challenging them to be the greatest versions of their own expectations.

CCI Fellows work in areas such as education, housing, justice, the arts, journalism, agriculture, and healthcare. We call these individual leaders “civic entrepreneurs,” because of their value to our local economy.

Collectively, they are a new guard for social change in our city. 

The Fellowship is a six-month, intensive, cohort-based program focused on building, testing, and strengthening your model for creating measurable impact in Atlanta. Twice a month session topics include clearly defining the scope of your work, tightening and measuring the effectiveness of your solution, and building the right operational model as a vehicle to grow and scale your work. We also guide you on authentically showcase and present your work to the world.

Fellows are also assigned a peer mentor and do 1:1 coaching/strategy sessions. Throughout the entire program, we do our best to make you feel surrounded by a strong support system. During the program, Fellows are encouraged to challenge assumptions, try new approaches, reflect on their own leadership, and think outside of the box.

We provide a $3,000 stipend to offset the costs of participation (technology, childcare, transportation, etc), self-care, and to be used for pilot testing new approaches to your work.

At the end of the six month program, there is a showcase, where we invite a wide range of leaders, decision-makers, investors, and potential customers to hear directly from you about your vision for your work.
Fellows who complete the 6 month program are eligible to apply for our Fellowship-in-Residency program, a one-year intensive strategy and growth program.

The most important thing we do in this program is to bring you into the larger CCI community, where there are almost 100 peers who will be friends and family to you on this journey. We also build community very intentionally in the program itself, so you will work closely with other leaders in your cohort.

An clearer, focused model for creating impact that aligns with your goals
Data that helps you focus how you best do your work 
Data on the effectiveness of your approach
An honest third party assessment on next steps for growth and strategy
Leadership development and self-care assessment 
An authentic and clear narrative on how best to express your work to any and all audiences you want to talk to 
Mentorship and coaching from trained professionals

Attendance and participation in twice a month, full-day class sessions (10a-4p, usually the first and third Wednesdays), one 1:1 strategy coaching session per month, and a closing showcase session.
Completion of training exercises ahead of sessions and preparedness for monthly coaching sessions.
We aim to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable and safe enough to show up as their authentic selves. We expect you to hold us to that (and challenge us when we’re off).

A civic leader, entrepreneur, or movement builder in Atlanta with a focus and demonstrable experience in solving inequality in Atlanta. Basically, we’re looking for folks who have been doin the work and can show their impact. This program is not intended for ideas stage work.
You are the founder, co-founder, or executive director, or lead decision maker of this organization. The Fellowship experience is open to one individual leader in your organization. This is in order to keep allow for honesty and openness. 

You have a clear understanding of the community/communities most impacted by the challenge you are solving. This isn’t you just parachuting in.

You are committed and dedicated to this work and are focused on the end result. This means that you may learn that the solution you’ve designed doesn’t work, and you’re willing to pivot if that’s the case.
An openness and capacity to receive respectful and constructive feedback. We do not expect you to adopt all feedback. We respect you as the leader of your work and trust that you know best what feedback to take and what to not take.

Time sensitive solutions. Inequality is widening in Atlanta, and our city needs immediate interventions that address issues that are impacting families and communities. This isn’t about just addressing the symptoms. It’s about getting to the root of the issue. 

We are not a business accelerator. We are focused first and foremost on your impact. There are much better business development programs in Atlanta that focus on maximizing revenue and growth of your financial bottom line. With that said, our program introduces a lot of business and entrepreneurial principles because they can help you grow and scale your impact. We want you to think about your work as putting a problem out of business. 

Potential for scale. Scale to us doesn’t mean you need to be in cities around the country. Scale means depth— serving and creating impact for more people going through the problem you’re solving for.
Willingness to support and show up for your peers. This program is about support the cohort as a collective, not just as individuals.

Key Dates:
September 11: Applications Open
October 4: Applications Close
September 17 to October 21: Virtual Interviews (on a rolling basis)
October 23: Notification to Applicants Moving to Final Round
October 26: Mandatory Training for Finalists
November 12: Finalist Day– Pitch to Alumni
November 30: Fellow Selection Notification
December (TBD): Fellow Announcement


The Center for Civic Innovation