2022 Dalai Lama Fellowship for Young Social Innovators

Deadline: February 1, 2022.

Dalai Lama Fellows, founded in 2010 with the inspiration and encouragement of the 14th Dalai Lama, is reimagining leadership by cultivating and supporting an international movement of young social innovators to meet global challenges in locally adapted ways as they promote our planet’s flourishing. We award year-long fellowships to innovators who are working on social change projects in local communities to address one or more of the following areas: Health and Well-being, Education and Youth Development, Social Justice, Environment, Cultural Understanding, Contemplation. The program is non-sectarian and inclusive to all backgrounds.


Compassion-in-Action Projects:

Compassion-in-action projects engage with one or more of the following categories:

  • Health and Well-Being
  • Education and Youth Development
  • Social Justice
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Cultural Understanding
  • Contemplation

An Integrated Leadership Curriculum: DLF’s unique Head, Heart, and Hands curriculum offers each Fellow a dynamic learning journey informed by the latest theories and research on leadership and social innovation alongside age-old wisdom from our world’s contemplative traditions. The curriculum doesn’t merely deliver intellectual knowledge, but provides regular opportunities for active learning and practical applications of the content to Fellows’ everyday lives and social innovation efforts. Learning modules cover topics including mindful awareness, emotional intelligence, creating meaningful connections, navigating uncertainty, using power with care, storytelling, and more.

1-on-1 Coaching and Mentoring: Fellows receive personalized 1-on-1 coaching and mentoring to support their ongoing development. DLF coaches have a wealth of expertise and experience working at the intersection of contemplation and social innovation, and each coaching call is a space where Fellows receive care, guidance, and the opportunity to find answers to their most pressing questions within themselves.

Community Learning: Throughout the year, Fellows engage in small-group and full-cohort learning experiences. In addition to receiving further guidance from coaches during community learning experiences, Fellows also learn from each other’s experiences and wisdom.

Contemplative Leadership Assembly: Fellows attend this annual week-long event, where they have the opportunity to learn contemplative practices and new perspectives on leadership and social innovation. The Assembly invites each Fellow to show up fully as themselves, bringing their rich personal and cultural gifts to a space that harnesses each individual’s uniqueness as part of an affirming and dynamic learning environment.

A Lifelong Commitment: DLF is not only a one-year experience. Upon completion of the program, Fellows become LifeLong Fellows and continue their personal and professional journeys in community with other program alumni. DLF continues to support LifeLong Fellows through networking connections, small group coaching, thematic webinars, contemplative retreat experiences, and so much more. LifeLong Fellows also have opportunities to contribute back to the community in a number of ways.


In order to fulfill the minimum requirements, through the application a candidate must demonstrate:

  • Age requirements: 20-36 years old as of Feb 1, 2022 (we added a year of eligibility because we did not select Fellows in 2021; please do not inquire about exceptions to the age range, as this is a firm requirement)
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Current engagement with or well-articulated plans for a social change project and sustained engagement with the project throughout the fellowship year (NOTE: due to the difficulty of launching a social innovation project from scratch, we give preference to applicants who have ongoing projects, but each year we have selected Fellows who have a concrete vision for a project and plans to launch during the fellowship year, given they have the adequate expertise, resources, and community connections at the time of applying)
  • In-depth knowledge of the community and the issue that the project is seeking to address, preferably with at least one year of previous experience working with the community 
  • Interest in learning and engaging in contemplative practices throughout the year
  • Commitment to participating in all dimensions of the program (online learning platform, 1-on-1 coaching calls, group learning calls, etc.)
    • We estimate full participation in the fellowship requires about 12 hours per month, not including Fellows’ work on their projects
  • Attendance at the Contemplative Leadership Assembly in late July 2022 (DLF will cover all costs for travel, lodging, and meals for the Assembly)


DLF covers all costs for attending the Assembly such as visa fees, travel, and lodging.


The application for Dalai Lama Fellows consists of five main parts:

  • Applicant background and overview
  • Short essay questions
  • Video submission
  • Resume/CV
  • Letter of recommendation


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