Synergos Senior Fellows

The Senior Fellows Network is comprised of distinguished international civil society leaders committed to collaborative efforts that address the underlying causes of poverty and inequity.
Launched in 1999, the Senior Fellows program links extraordinary civil society leaders in a worldwide learning, service and action network. The network aims to strengthen the capacity and opportunities for these leaders to be catalysts and play a major role in partnerships that address the systemic causes of poverty and promote sustainable social change.

Through the three-year fellowship, Fellows have the opportunity to enhance their skills, knowledge, and experience through peer-to-peer learning, annual and regional meetings, learning journeys, workshops, and contact with eminent persons. They exchange innovative ideas, models, and tools in the development field, which Synergos distributes to a wider audience. The Fellows also have opportunities to connect and collaborate with other distinguished change makers in the development field aligned with Synergos, including philanthropists and foundations, non-governmental organizations, businesses, governments, global institutions and academics.
The Senior Fellows program is administered in partnership with The Synergos Institute Canada and is made possible in part thanks to support from Kim Samuel Johnson.

Who Are the Senior Fellows?

Senior Fellows are individuals who:
  • Demonstrate a commitment to changing the systems that perpetuate poverty and social injustice.
  • Possess a compelling vision about solving complex, systemic problems of poverty, inequity and social injustice.
  • Are leaders who believe in the power of partnerships and exhibit that belief in the way they conduct their work.
  • Recognize the importance of tapping the wisdom, knowledge, views, and experience of all stakeholders in identifying and solving problems.
  • Are viewed as a respected leader and advocate by those who are poor and/or marginalized.

Selection Criteria

Individuals applying to the Senior Fellows Network will be selected based on the following criteria:
  • Have experience and/or intend to play a leading role in multi-stakeholder partnership processes to address complex development challenges;
  • Have a demonstrable commitment to addressing the systemic causes of poverty and inequity and present a compelling vision for change in their area of work;
  • Have a record of distinguished accomplishment as a leader addressing issues of poverty, inequity and/or social injustice;
  • Currently are in a full-time executive  position of a civil society organization that focuses on poverty alleviation, social justice or community development;
  • Have a demonstrable commitment to the participation of and accountability to the community they serve, as well as credibility and legitimacy from that community to speak authoritatively about its issues;
  • Be committed to developing and enhancing leadership qualities that successfully create and sustain effective working relationships among key partners and stakeholders across society’s sectors;
  • Demonstrate personal characteristics suitable for network collaboration;
  • Be proficient in written and spoken English.

Fellowship Requirements

Fellows are expected to be active participants in Fellowship activities for three years, while simultaneously performing their ongoing professional responsibilities. After the three years, Fellows are invited to remain part of the Synergos Senior Fellows Network and to continue participating in program activities as they are able. Fellowship status is reviewed after the first year and after the third year in the program.
Given the peer-to-peer nature of the Fellowship, it is essential that the Fellows make the necessary time commitment to participate actively in its activities. We estimate the total commitment of time on the part of a Fellow to be 14 days a year in the first three years. The Fellows are expected to:
  • Contribute to the body of knowledge being developed by Synergos to address poverty and increase equity.
  • Attend the annual global meetings, which usually entail international travel, as well as make a meaningful contribution to relevant regional or thematic affinity groups.
  • Be available for at least one peer consulting assignment.
  • Participate in our online community and use it to share skills, knowledge and experience.
  • Make at least one significant contribution to the advancement of the work of other Fellows through an article, presentation or other forms of knowledge sharing.
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