The Aspen First Movers Story

In 2009 the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program launched a fellowship program for First Movers −−exceptional innovators in business, a.k.a. intrapreneurs, who are creating new products, services and management practices that achieve greater profitability and positive social and environmental impacts. 

The goals of the program are to strengthen the capacity of these businessmen and women to innovate and lead change in their companies and to build a cohort of leaders who will, over time, collectively change how business is done and how business success is measured. 

First Movers by the Numbers

  • 130 Fellows from 99 companies headquartered in 17 countries
  • 17 companies have had more than one Fellow participate in the program. 
  • 28/35 industries represented (as classified by SASB) including food & beverages, apparel, transportation, retailers, resources/energy, finance, healthcare, technology and media. 
  • 37 of the Fortune 500/Global 500 companies

First Mover Projects 2009-2014Fellowship Projects: 2009-2014 

An integral part of the experience is undertaking a next stage innovation project during the Fellowship.  This project is based on a compelling idea the Fellow has for new products, services, business processes or models that can be implemented in his or her company. The innovation should help the company move toward greater strategic integration of a critical social or environmental objective. The project should be ambitious, feasible, closely aligned with the core strategic priorities of each Fellow’s company and potentially game-changing for the company/industry. 

Advice to Social Intrapreneurs from First Mover Fellows

2015 Class of Aspen Institute First Mover FellowsThe 2015 Class

These individuals are working within companies to unite business growth with a sustainable society in the products and services they are developing. This year's Fellows come from a wide variety of business sectors including technology, healthcare, food and beverage, consumer products, apparel, finance, public utilities, automotive, and chemicals.

FAQFirst Mover Fellowship FAQs

Fellowship overview: What are the goals of the program? How long does the Fellowship last? What is the focus of the seminars? Is there a financial cost to the Fellowship? How can I nominate someone for the Fellowship? And much more!