The Impact Fellowships Summit

The Impact Fellowships Summit

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The Impact Fellowships Summit is a forum for leaders and managers of fellowship programs that support leaders to drive positive change in communities. Participants learn, share, and network to improve the quality of fellowship programs.

Globally, 21st-century leaders face political, environmental, technological, and social change. If these leaders are to succeed, the fellowship programs that prepare them must respond to this change, and, continue to learn, adapt, and incorporate approaches to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Following the successful summit "Beyond Fellowship Adaptation: Towards Sustained, Inclusive, and Systematic Impact" held between November 16-18, 2021, and research we recently conducted on sustaining our learning community, IREX is engaged in strategic planning for what’s next with the Impact Fellowships community to continue to offer opportunities for peer-learning and networking, fellowship resources, and tools towards sustained impact. 

In the meantime, please join our Impact Fellowships Givitas Community, a virtual collaboration platform to assist your fellowships. The platform provides a forum to ask for and offer help, advice, connections, and introductions to all who participate in the IFS community. 

It is free and easy to sign up and use! You can watch a tutorial on how to use Givitas and you can contact   support@givitas.com for further assistance with registering if needed.

Check back here periodically for more updates from IFS and make sure to access our resource page for links to tools, resources, and recordings of past IFS summit or webinar sessions.

What Is an Impact Fellowship?

Impact fellowships are programs that support emerging and experienced leaders to increase their effectiveness as changemakers. Impact fellowships build participants’ confidence, enhance their abilities, increase their access to opportunities, and strengthen their networks.

Whether the participant is the founder of a community-based organization in Wisconsin, a primary school teacher in Uganda, or a university student in Pakistan, fellowship program participants are selected for these opportunities because they have demonstrated the passion and potential to bring about positive change for their institutions and communities.

History of the Impact Fellowships Summit

Founded in 2016 by Atlas Corps, ProInspire, and Public Allies, the Impact Fellowships Summit fostered an inclusive learning and sharing community for individuals who work on social impact fellowship programs, identified and acted on opportunities for collective action, and facilitated ongoing collaboration and support among community members.

The first two years of the summit successfully built and tested the model, creating an intimate, valuable space for the community to assemble for learning and sharing.

In 2018, building on the great work of the founding organizations, IREX took on the convening role for the summit. IREX brings a unique perspective as an organization that has managed fellowship programs with participants from over 100 countries and promoted leadership development for over 50 years.

In April 2019, IREX convened its first Impact Fellowships Summit around the theme Dynamic Leadership for a Changing World. Over two days, 128 fellowship practitioners representing 86 organizations attended to share, learn, and network. In October 2020, 180 practitioners representing more than 110 organizations gathered virtually over three days to share, learn, and discuss Diverse and Equitable Leadership for a Changing World. As a result of the 2020 summit, 97% of attendees said the summit content was relevant to their work and 91% were exposed to new tools and resources that they planned to bring back to their organizations.

IREX looks forward to continuing to leverage its expertise to evolve the structure and content of the summit and push the boundaries of a traditional learning conference, while maintaining the original spirit of collaboration, flexibility, and learning.