We’re delighted with the quality of these fellows. We selected them out of nearly 500 applicants, after conducting over 80 interviews. It was hard to choose just 20 (and we’re thankful that we were able to raise more funding to welcome 20 instead of 15; it would have been gut-wrenching to say no to 5 more great people: a special callout to our fellowship program supporters, O’Shaughnessy Ventures and alpha.school.)
When we announced this program in July, a crucial open question was “is there enough talent out there worth accelerating?” We now know the answer is a resounding yes. Our fellows:
Will explain and advocate for a wide range of progress topics: from longevity to biotech to health care innovation, from energy abundance to advanced nuclear to water abundance, from eco-modernism to the philosophy of progress, from space to AI to construction to defense tech, from American dynamism to California revitalization, from housing to infrastructure to urbanism, from immigration to meta-science and the philosophy of technology.
→ Imagine the impact we could have if even just 5 out of 20 do for their topics what, for instance, Eli Dourado has done for NEPA and regulatory reform.
Come from a wide range of backgrounds: Think tanks, public policy orgs, and philanthropy (6 people); academics and researchers (3); undergrad and grad students (4); industry (4); and writers and public intellectuals (3). They come from all over the US, and four of them are international (UK, Switzerland, Belgium, and Canada). The youngest is a rising sophomore at Stanford; the oldest is a mid-career professional in their forties.
→ We’re excited that our progress community is built on such a broad base. It’s not a niche movement, but one that resonates in many places and with people from a wide range of backgrounds. Imagine if, through this program and many more cohorts, we have articulate, respected, influential voices for progress in all these fields and places.
Are strong writers and clear, deep thinkers already. We’ll help them get even better and build their audiences. Some already have flourishing blogs with thousands of readers; others write well but to small audiences of dozens or hundreds of people.
→ We will empower them both to write more and better and to grow their audiences, so their ideas have the impact they deserve.
Over the next eight weeks, we will empower these fellows to become intellectual entrepreneurs for progress. They will:
- Be immersed in progress studies—meeting our eleven wonderful program advisors and learning from them
- Grow their writing skills in a structured course focused on long-form, persuasive writing for a general audience. They’ll receive feedback and guidance from a professional editor (for many, a first in their careers)
- Learn how to grow the audience for their work—a key part of the Write of Passage program
Our goal is to help them 2x their potential—and to build a community that sustains them in their careers as progress intellectuals for years to come. Running the program will answer our second critical question: “Can we actually help these people in their writing and their careers?” We’ll share what we learn on this question over the next several months.
We’re thrilled to have such a great community come together. The tide of history isn’t always carried by the side with the best ideas. It is carried by the side with the intellectuals who are best at presenting and arguing for its ideas. Here’s to twenty intellectuals being empowered to establish the intellectual base of the progress movement!