U.S. - China
Social Innovation Fellowship

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What are you doing this summer?

We're looking for motivated and globally-minded college students to join us this summer as Social Innovation Fellows.

As a fellow, you'll mentor a group of American and Chinese high school students in the U.S. - China Social Hackathon, where they're challenged to come up with a solution to a problem they observe in their communities.

Fellows will guide students through the process of brainstorming their idea, collecting feedback, and designing a minimum viable product. At the end of the program, they'll pitch their ideas to a panel of social entrepreneurs.

The winners of the competition will be able to attend an in-person hackathon at Georgetown University during the summer of 2019!


Over the course of 5 working meetings, fellows will guide their group members to explore one of the topic areas below and identify a specific problem they observe within the topic area. Students will create a profile of the "users" who face such a problem, and develop a digital solution to address the problem. The 6th and final meeting is the group pitch day.

Session 1: June 25 - July 6

Waste Management (Session 1)

Consumption is a major driver of the world economy, but also of the world's waste. What should we do with all of the discarded plastic, paper, metal, and other materials we produce? The answer to this question has a huge impact on a number of issues affecting all of humanity: land, sea, and air pollution; climate change; and urban planning, to name a few.

The Role of Technology (Session 1)

We used to think of the "technology divide" as separating those with money from those without: children from wealthy families would have more access to technology, making them more technology literate (and giving them better job prospects), than those from poorer families. However, now we are seeing that children from poorer families actually spend more time in front of phone and computer screens, affecting their education and wider development. What can be done to narrow this divide?

Human Migration (Session 1)

Countries like India and China are urbanizing at some of the highest rates seen in human history, while countries like the U.S. are seeing urban decline, or the erosion of culturally distinct areas due to gentrification. These are just some of the modern issues that arise from the phenomenon of human migration. How can we ensure that everyone is able to live a fulfilling life no matter where in the world they go?

Session 2: July 23 - August 3

Digital Banking (Session 2)

From QR-code payments to blockchain to mobile-only banks, the digitization of the banking industry is changing the way people interact with their money, often even eliminating the need for a physical asset. What opportunities are there within this trend to increase access to the banking system for poor and rural populations?

Education (Session 2)

Around the world, access to education is often determined by how much money a family earns. In the U.S., schools receive revenue based on taxes assessed on the value of property within their district, meaning that schools in wealthy areas have greater access to funding for teachers and classroom materials than those in poorer areas. In less-developed countries, children in poorer areas sometimes must forego an education in order to provide for their families. What can be done to make access to quality education more equitable and more readily available?

Population Aging (Session 2)

The increasing average age of a population means that not only are there more elderly people in need of care, but also that there are less younger people as a percentage of the population participating in growing the economy by working or starting a business. This can lead to strained state resources, lower quality of life for the elderly, and increased pressure on young people to provide for both their parents and their own children. How can we ensure that we are able to support aging populations while maintaining growth in the overall economy?



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Fellowship Details

  • Dates
    • Session 1: June 25 - July 6
    • Session 2: July 23 - August 3
  • Format: Zoom video conferencing (account provided)
  • Timeline
    • Applications due June 2 through the DIVVII Community Center. If you don't have an account, you can create one for free here.
    • Twenty minute online interview with DIVVII within two weeks of application
    • Submit proposed discussion topics for preferred topic area within two weeks after successful interview
    • Receive group assignments June 19th

Fellow Responsibilities

  • Design a series of discussion topics within your topic area
  • Lead a series of group discussions and activities following DIVVII's lesson plan
  • Track student assignments and follow up about unsubmitted work
  • Submit a report/reflection after each class meeting
  • Evaluate student projects on pitch day


  • Current undergraduate or graduate student at an internationally-distinguished college or university
  • Demonstrated interest and fluency in entrepreneurship concepts and/or international business through campus events, student company, volunteering, or class concentration
  • Awareness of world events and are aware of global issues and trends
  • Able to use a laptop or desktop computer in a quiet location for all twelve video meetings (no mobile or tablets for fellows)
  • Preferred Candidates:
    • Founded or co-founded a successful student company, and/or received recognition from an accelerator, incubator, or business competition;
    • Demonstrate an understanding of Chinese business, culture, and/or language through study abroad, research, and/or internship/work experience;
    • Have experience as a tutor, teacher, or academic mentor (in any subject); and/or
    • Have experience as a group leader or manager (e.g. resident assistant; student organization, Boy Scout, youth group, or other team leader; intern coordinator; shift supervisor, etc.)

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