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About Leadership for a Changing World

Leadership for a Changing World seeks to recognize, strengthen and support leaders and to highlight the importance of community leadership in improving people’s lives. The program seeks to confirm that resourceful leaders are bringing about positive change in virtually every community. Together with these leaders, Leadership for a Changing World hopes to facilitate a new dialogue about community leadership, one that encourages others to appreciate that leadership comes in many forms and from many different communities.

Each year, Leadership for a Changing World recognizes 17-20 leaders and leadership groups not broadly known beyond their immediate community or field. Nominated community leaders may work in fields that include: economic development; community development; environment and environmental justice; human rights; citizen participation and government accountability; human development; sexual and reproductive health; education reform; youth development; religion and social change; arts and social action; and access to media, including new technologies.

Leadership for a Changing World seeks to recognize and support leaders in the following ways:

  • Provide shared learning and networking opportunities: Over the course of the two-year program, awardees will participate in four program-wide meetings designed to provide opportunities for shared learning, and collaboration among awardees. Leaders may use these sessions to consider their leadership and program challenges and explore new opportunities to develop their programs, and deepen our understanding of community leadership.
  • Provide financial support and other assistance for their work: Awardees receive $100,000 over two years to support their programs or new work that is related to the initiatives for which they are being recognized. Awardees will also receive $15,000 to explore new learning opportunities that will support their work. Funds will be made available to the awardees’ nonprofit charitable organizations with 501(c)(3) status or to their fiscal agents.
  • Explore, through research, how leadership is perceived, created, and sustained: awardees will collaborate with the research team to develop new insights and understanding about leadership for social change, both through working with fellow awardees and through telling their own story.
  • Contribute to current public discourse on leadership: In an effort to facilitate a new conversation about community leadership, awardees will be part of a media effort to communicate the stories of their efforts and to explore unique approaches to leadership.



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