IMG 20221025 WA0006 - Dalai Lama Fellowship 2023 for Emerging Leaders

Dalai Lama Fellowship 2023 for Emerging Leaders

Overview of the Dalai Lama Fellowship.

Dalai Lama Fellowship (DLF) offers emerging social innovators a rigorous, interdisciplinary, and deeply contemplative program to reimburse leadership as involving self-awareness, personal sustainability, genuine compassion for others, and the capacity to skillfully navigate complex systems at multiple levels.


Deadline: December 01, 2022
Events: Training & Fellowships
Location(s): Online; United States Worldwide
Our Fellows learn practices for cultivating emotional intelligence, self-care, resilience, empathy, deep listening, and communication skills to foster systems for human and planetary flourishing for generations to come.
Over a year, with the support of mentors and coaches, each Fellow implements an original field project addressing a local challenge and learns how to interweave their transformation with the transformation of the communities with which they are engaging.
Upon graduation, Fellows join a community of LifeLong Fellows, with whom they connect in mutually supportive ways while continuing to advance their leadership journeys.
Our fellowship focuses on flourishing as an end goal, and contemplation as a critical pathway to get there. To flourish is to realize well-being by achieving deep states of health and actualization of potential in all aspects of life (physical, social, emotional, cognitive, academic, professional), as well as to actively contribute to the well-being and flourishing of other people, other communities, and the natural world. Contemplation—the variety of experiential, integrated, and immersive forms of learning and resiliency that afford deep reflection, integration of the personal and the intellectual, transformative understanding, and the cultivation of skills applicable to all domains in one’s life—is critical to flourishing.
To date, we have awarded 214 Fellowships.


For most of the Dalai Lama 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.
Below are more details on each component of the fellowship.

Compassion-in-Action Projects

During the fellowship year, each Dalai Lama 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

Dalai Lama Fellowship’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 and guidance.

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.
“Group learning calls were always so refreshing because it gave us a chance to connect, even though we’re countries apart, but also to hear about each others’ journeys, struggles, challenges, successes, victories, and stories. It reminded me of the strength of our community we have and how much we support each other.” -Elisa Tran, 2018 Fellow, United States

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. They cover
all costs for attending the Assembly such as visa fees, travel, and lodging.
“I’ve never been part of a gathering like [the Assembly]. The quality of care and concern and camaraderie challenged every internalized story of a ‘big bad world’… I felt incredibly seen and appreciated. This changed me for the better.” -Vuyo Henda, 2020 Fellow, South Africa

A Lifelong Commitment

Dalai Lama Fellowship is not only a one-year experience. Upon completion of the program, Fellows become LifeLong Fellows and continue their personal and professional journeys in the community with other program alumni. DLF continues to support LifeLong Fellows through networking connections, small group coaching, thematic webinars, contemplative retreat experiences, and so much more. LifeLong Fellows also have opportunities to contribute back to the community in several.


We are seeking 15 young social innovators from around the world for the 2023 Dalai Lama Fellows program. The application period is from October 19, 2022, to December 1, 2022.

Key Dates:

  • October 19, 2022: Application opens
  • December 1, 2022: Application deadline (applications and all accompanying materials must be submitted by 22:00 Coordinated Universal Time)
  • February-March 2022: Fellows are selected and notified
  • March-June, 2022: Virtual onboarding of new Fellows
  • Late July/Early August 2022: 5-day Contemplative Leadership Assembly in the United States
  • July 2023-June 2024: Formal fellowship year (online curriculum, coaching calls, group learning calls, project implementation in local communities)
  • July 2024 and beyond: Fellows complete the program and enter LifeLong Fellows global leadership and learning community

Description of Ideal Candidate

To fulfill the minimum requirements, through the application a candidate must demonstrate:
  • Age requirements: 20-35 years old as of July 1, 2023
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
  • Current engagement with a social change project and sustained engagement with the project throughout the fellowship year.
NOTE: Preference to applicants who have ongoing projects. Although, each year we have selected Fellows who have a concrete vision for a project and plans to launch during the fellowship year.
 As long as, they have 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 2023. DLF will cover all costs for travel, lodging, and meals for the Assembly)
Deadline: December 01, 2022
For more information, visit Dalai Lama’s Official Page

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