The Yes Europe Lab Summer Fellowship brings together a cohort of 20 agents of change from across the continent with a strong commitment to Europe. The program is designed to build Fellow’s leadership capacity to implement civic projects and political campaigns that strengthen Europe’s cohesion, contribute to a sense of shared European identity, and mobilize others in taking on responsibility for actively shaping the European Project.
The Fellowship is based on a unique pedagogy developed with the mentorship of experts from Harvard and MIT. It revolves around a residential 3-day workshop blended with elements of long-distance learning and personalized mentoring. The program is designed to support Fellows in bringing their ideas and contributions to Europe to life, wherever they are in their campaigns or project cycle.
The idea of a united Europe, deeply linked to the values of democracy, individual freedom, and the respect for human rights, is under threat. People across all member states express their skepticism towards the European Project and question its relevance. They feel disconnected from European institutions and decision making, perceived as bureaucratic, non transparent, and at odds with countries’ own national and local interests.
People view Europe as shaken by crises yet incapable of taking effective action. They have lost confidence in the promise of a united Europe, leaving it at an important crossroad and in lack of true leadership.
We believe in the power of a cohesive Europe, united by a shared identity and shaped by its citizens. We are cognizant of Europe’s institutional shortcomings but remain convinced that only together we can overcome Europe’s most pressing challenges, such as migration and integration, economic development, inequality, digital transformation, environmental protection and equal access to the political process.
We are committed to mobilizing European citizens to tackle the difficult questions and be bold in the solutions they put forward. We want to restore hope, trust and confidence in the European Project and believe it is best done when citizens take shared responsibility in defining and co-creating it. We want Europe to meet the expectations of all communities and individuals: mothers, farmers, teachers, unemployed youth, the unheard, the frustrated technocrats, and more.
We believe that to connect and strengthen our European identity, we need to start by reconnecting with our own communities for how far they may be. In line with our Seven Guiding Principles we support Fellows and their campaigns aimed at connecting with people, listening to dissenting opinions, and mobilizing communities around projects that will help re-connect and re-shape Europe.
The Summer Fellowship aims at bringing together a diverse group of people from the social, public, and private sector from across Europe: civic and political activists, political candidates, public servants, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, workers from NGOs and community-based organisations.
We look for people who are committed to making Europe work and have an idea or an already existing project of how to go about it. All ideas and projects have in common that they are rooted in community action, aim at mobilising people to connect with and take ownership of Europe’s future, and want to push it beyond its current institutional landscape. Fellows have demonstrated leadership potential, as well as a willingness to learn and challenge their current mindsets, worldviews, and beliefs. We are looking for contributors with a growth mindset and a willingness to step outside of their personal comfort zone. Fellows are required to participate in the entire residential three day workshop. Fluency in English is essential.
Our Summer Fellowship program is built upon three key components:
Residential 3-day workshop – over the course of this session, Fellows will learn how to diagnose and approach the issue they want to address, how to recruit others in their civic campaign/project, and how to mobilise and organise others to take action on-the-ground. Fellows will learn and practice new skills and tools during the workshop and then apply them in the design or implementation of their projects and campaigns.
Distance learning sessions – Fellows will be able to deepen and broaden their learning by attending two online learning sessions. One session (4 hours) will be conducted prior to the workshop to set the stage for optimal learning during the workshop and the other session (4 hours) will be conducted after the workshop to deepen and hone new skills and tools. Participants will be asked to complete mandatory readings, visioning, and homework before and after each session.
Mentoring and peer-coaching – Fellows will form small peer groups during the workshop to support each other throughout the learning process and as they develop their civic campaigns and projects. Each group will be paired with a Yes Europe Lab Coach who will provide learning support to the group. Yes Europe Lab Coaches will also act as one-on-one mentors to all small group members for an agreed period of time following the residential workshop.
The residential workshop will be held in Segovia, Spain, 28 June – 1 July 2018. Fellows will be expected to arrive on Thursday, 28 June, to attend an evening welcoming event. The workshop will close on Sunday, approximately at 1pm. A detailed agenda will be provided to successful applicants. Full participation in the residential workshop is mandatory.
Yes Europe Lab will provide the residential workshop, mentoring, and long-distance learning sessions free of charge. We will also provide Fellows with food and accomodation for the whole duration of the workshop. Fellows will be expected to contribute a one-time participation fee of 200 Euros (accommodation included) as a token of commitment to the Yes Europe Lab community, and are expected to cover their own travel expenses. Some scholarships will be available.
Please note that the application for admission to the Summer Fellowship program is an entirely online process and is free of charge. There are no paper forms to complete nor physical mail to send. There is no application fee or other cost to apply. A university degree is not required.
Applicants are simply required to complete the online application questionnaire and submit a Résumé/Curriculum Vitae (maximum 3 pages), following the link below. Applicants may also be invited to have a follow-up video call with Yes Europe Lab’s staff. The application deadline for the 2018 Program is 11:59 PM Central European Time on May 10, 2018.
Most questions about the program and the application process can be answered by reviewing this website and FAQ section.