Generation Fellowship

Generation Fellowship No Border

Program Overview

Breakthrough Generation was the Breakthrough Institute's young leaders initiative, through which we trained and collaborated with the next generation of ecomodernist thinkers, writers, and scholars.

At Breakthrough, we believe paradigm shifts are a generational affair. Solving the world's major environmental and human development challenges will occur over decades and will not advance through old and outmoded forms of thinking and action. As we continue to host and expand the ecomodernist school of thought, Breakthrough is committed to investing in young thinkers and practitioners, who we believe can create a secure, prosperous, and ecologically vibrant future for all the world's inhabitants.

Every summer from June to August, we offer a small number of paid ($600 per week), highly competitive, ten-week fellowships to young professionals from around the world. The program is designed for graduating college seniors, young professionals, and students in the early stages of their post-graduate education.

Breakthrough Generation fellows join us in our Berkeley offices for a summer and remain a permanent part of our network in the pursuit of pragmatic solutions to the world's greatest challenges in the areas of energy, food and farming, human development, and the environment.

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.

For the remainder of the fellowship, fellows work in small teams divided between the program areas: Climate & Energy, Food & Farming, or Cities. Supervised by research staff, fellows produce policy white papers, reports, and memos. Previous projects 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 — and additional talks, debates, and working groups within Breakthrough’s different program areas.

Alumni of the Breakthrough Generation program have gone on to work in academia, journalism, philanthropy, government, and low-carbon innovation and finance. Our fellows have gone on to work with Google, the World Economic Forum, Princeton, the Clean Air Task Force, the Property and Environment Research Center, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Third Way, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Energy for Growth Hub, and other leading institutions.

How To Apply

This is no longer an active program at Breakthrough Institute / We are no longer accepting applications