The application deadline for the the 2024 cohort of The Roots of Progress Blog-Building Intensive is Friday, June 7—just over a week away. If you want to apply, do it now.

The Blog-Building Intensive is an eight-week program for aspiring progress writers to start or grow a blog. It also makes you a Roots of Progress fellow, which means that even after the intensive, you are part of our network and we are committed to supporting your career success as a progress writer. See more details on the program homepage.

Not just for beginning writers

Are you an experienced writer, and wondering if you’ll get anything out of the program? It is not only for beginning writers!

Last cohort, many of our fellows were experienced professionals: Several worked full-time for relevant think tanks, some had academic positions, some had published in major media outlets, some had successful Substacks with large audiences.

They joined the fellowship for various reasons: to grow their audience, to build a personal brand, to write more in their own voice, to meet our fabulous lineup of advisors, to get more connected to the progress community, to join a peer group of writers excited about progress.

Brian Balkus, who had already published in Palladium Magazine, said:

I found this program incredibly helpful even as a somewhat more established writer. It enabled me to meet some fantastically intelligent and interesting writers and develop relationships that will hopefully extend beyond the program. No matter where you are in your writing career this program can help refine your thinking, make you a better writer, and grow professionally.

Elle Griffin, who already had over 10,000 Substack subscribers, said:

The Roots of Progress Fellowship was life-changing. In 10 years, all of the fellows in my program will be famous intellectuals who are actively creating a better future, and I’ll know it all started here and that we built it together.

Jenni Morales, who was a researcher at the Center for Growth and Opportunity, said:

This is the most unique group of people and writers and intellectuals that I’ve had the opportunity to sort of bump shoulders with, and it’s been so valuable and so interesting. I’ve just been exposed to so many new and interesting ideas. I think the rigor and level of thought that they put into their work is really impressive.

So, don’t worry that you’re overqualified. Just apply.

But you don’t need to be already established

Mostly, we are looking for people who:

  • have a clear, compelling vision of what they want to write about, on a progress-related topic
  • have already written something very good on that topic
  • are serious about writing on that topic as a career, or as a significant side project

You don’t have to be published, and you don’t have to have a significant audience/following. Those things help, but we are looking for people who are mostly undiscovered. Our goal is to help you get the audience you deserve.

AI and heavy industry tracks

Reminder, this year you have the option of applying for the general track or one of two focus tracks:

  • AI. This is one of the fastest-growing and highest-potential tech frontiers, and it has received an enormous amount of attention—but the world still needs more great writing on this topic. We need writers with technical depth who can clearly explain how AI works to a general audience, domain experts who can think through in detail how AI will transform fields from software to law to science to education, and serious consideration of AI risk and safety that navigates successfully between complacency and doomerism.
  • Heavy industry: manufacturing, construction, transportation, logistics, energy, defense, and other technologies involving atoms more than bits. These fields have stagnated in the last several decades, especially in the US. Yet, there are signs of a renaissance in “hard tech” ventures, from supersonic jets to Starship to marble-carving robots. We’re interested in writers who will cover the opportunities on these frontiers.

You’ll meet and get to know others interested in the same topics, and you’ll get to hear from our fantastic lineup of advisors, including:

  • For AI: Andrej Karpathy, formerly of Tesla and OpenAI; Bob McGrew, VP of Research at OpenAI; Kanjun Qiu, CEO of Imbue; and Holden Karnofsky, visiting scholar at CEIP and former CEO of Open Philanthropy
  • For heavy industry: Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic; Delian Asparouhov, co-founder & President of Varda Space Industries (space-based manufacturing); Ela Madej, Founding Partner at Fifty Years; and Brian Potter, senior fellow at the Institute for Progress and author of the blog Construction Physics

We also have a great lineup of general progress intellectuals and writing/audience-building guides, including Tyler Cowen (Mercatus Center), Max Roser (Our World in Data), Eli Dourado (Abundance Institute), Noah Smith, and Virginia Postrel. Check out all the advisors and other program details on the program page.

And, did I mention? The deadline is next Friday, so apply today.

Still not convinced?

Our best advocates for the 2024 program are the 2023 cohort, who sang its praises as “life-changing” and “accelerating my career path as a progress intellectual.” Hear it from them:

Deadline is next Friday

Did someone say that already? Anyway, apply today.


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