Breakthrough Generation

Breakthrough Generation Fellows have produced research and reports covered in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Time magazine. Above, Generation fellows past and present at the 2015 Breakthrough Dialogue. 

Breakthrough Generation is an initiative in the Breakthrough Institute’s research program, founded in 2008 to foster the development of a new generation of thinkers and writers capable of finding pragmatic new solutions to today’s greatest challenges in the areas of energy, economy, and environment.

Every summer from June to August, Generation offers a small number of paid, highly competitive, ten-week fellowships to recent college graduates and postgraduates from around the world.

The first two weeks of the summer are dedicated to Breakthrough Bootcamp, an intellectual crash course involving intensive reading, writing, and an expert lecture series designed to provide a grounding in the broad-spectrum thinking that informs Breakthrough's policy agenda. Topics covered include modernization theory, social psychology, aspirational politics and philosophy, economics and innovation policy, and technology policy. 

The full syllabus of the 2015 Breakthrough Bootcamp can be downloaded here.

Breakthrough Generation now offers a scholars program for more advanced and independent research. For more information about the Breakthrough Generation Scholars Program, click here.

Breakthrough Fellows were invited to tour the Advanced Light Source (ALS) research facility at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories in August 2012.

For the remainder of the fellowship, fellows work in small teams divided between three program areas: Energy, Conservation, and Innovation. Supervised by policy staff, fellows produce policy white papers, reports, and memos. Previous projects (for a full list, click here) have been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time Magazine, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Law and Policy Journal, among others, as well as in Congressional testimony.

In addition to research and analysis, fellows attend the Breakthrough Dialogue -an opportunity to interact with the leading thinkers, writers, and scholars in the study of society and the environment,  as well as attend talks, debates, and working groups within Breakthrough’s different program areas.

2013 Fellows at Mono Lake on the Breakthrough Generation camping trip.

Over 70 young experts and analysts have completed Breakthrough Generation since its inception in 2008 and moved on to important positions in government, academia, and the nonprofit sector. Together with career support from the Breakthrough staff and the wider network of Senior Fellows and associates, Breakthrough Generation makes for many avenues to continue an exciting career. To see what some of the former fellows are doing now, click here.