Dalai Lama Fellowship for Young Social Innovators 2022

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Application is open for the 2022 Dalai Lama Fellowship.

Dalai Lama Fellows was founded in 2010, with the support of the 14th Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama Fellows (DLF) offers emerging social innovators a rigorous, interdisciplinary, and deeply contemplative program to reimagine leadership as involving self-awareness, personal sustainability, genuine compassion for others, and the capacity to skillfully navigate complex systems at multiple levels.


For most of the fellowship, Fellows participate remotely. They work on their compassion-in-action projects while engaging with DLF’s online leadership curriculum and receiving virtual coaching and mentorship. At the beginning of the fellowship year, Fellows gather for a week-long Contemplative Leadership Assembly in the United States.

Compassion-in-Action Projects

During the fellowship year, each Fellow works on a compassion-in-action project in a community with which they have strong relationships. These projects allow Fellows to apply the concepts and practices they’re learning through the program to their social innovation work, thus distributing their personal growth to far wider networks in the ecosystems with which they are engaged. 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.
The curriculum is rooted in three main themes:

  • Head – Training the mind and attention, cultivating self-awareness, understanding systems
  • Heart – Harnessing the wisdom of the heart, deepening compassion, working across differences, navigating uncertainty
  • Hands – “Getting the hands dirty,” enacting wisdom and compassion in social innovation work

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

Eligibility Requirements

We are seeking 20-25 young social innovators from around the world for the 2022 Dalai Lama Fellows program. 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)

Application Summary

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

How to Apply

Application deadline is February 1, 2022

Click here to apply

Visit the official website for more information

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