Business and Society Program

First Movers Fellowship Overview

First Mover

The First Movers Fellowship is offered by the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program whose mission is to equip business leaders for the 21st century with a new management paradigm – the vision and knowledge to integrate corporate profitability and social value. 

The Fellowship is for exceptional institutional intrapreneurs – accomplished innovators recognized as top performers in their companies.  And they have a compelling idea about a new product, service, business process or model they urgently want to implement that will help their companies develop a culture in which business success is defined in financial, social and environmental terms. 

The First Movers Fellowship experience offers these individuals a chance to become part of a growing community of innovators who share a passion about their work and belief in the new possibilities for business. It also serves as an innovation lab where Fellows develop the skills to make their innovations real and successful in their organizations. 

Why a fellowship program?  

Intrapreneurs can be found in many companies -- large and small, and across industries.  We believe that these innovators have the potential to develop the ideas and approaches that will help their own companies, and the business community as a whole, live up to its full potential as a vehicle for positive social change.  But realizing their potential requires investment and nurturing.  By identifying these First Movers, offering them the skills to be as effective as possible, connecting them with others to fuel their passion and courage, and learning from their experiences, we will generate a critical mass of business leaders who, over the longer term, will help companies integrate social value, along with financial value, as core strategic priorities.  

First Movers Fellowship Timeline (for the 6th Class of Fellows)

December 1, 2013: Nomination period opens for 2014 Fellows.

February 28, 2013: Nomination period closes for 2014 Fellows.

December, 2013 - March, 2014: Phone interviews with promising candidates.

June, 2014: Class of 2014 Fellows announced.

June - July, 2014: Fellows refine Fellowship projects.

July 17 - 20, 2014: Fellows convene in Aspen, Colorado for the first seminar.

August - November, 2014: Fellows develop projects with coaching from Fellowship staff and in collaboration with their Thought Partners.

November 18 - 21, 2014: Fellows convene in Wye River, Maryland for the second seminar.

November, 2014 - April, 2015: Fellows continue work on projects.

April 21-24, 2015: Fellows convene in New York for the third seminar to complete the official phase of the Fellowship and join Global Network of First Mover Fellowship graduates.

The Fellows' Financial Commitment

The Fellowship is a program of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program. Fellows' companies pay a participation fee of $23,500 to cover program planning and facilitation and room and board for three seminars. Fellows also cover their own travel expenses to attend the seminars in Aspen, Wye River, and New York.