This post was recently on the TED Fellows blog, and I'd just like to share it, but also blog it as a note for us here at Superflux.
How the TED Fellows Program develops Leaders:
"The TED Fellows Program is one of the leading examples of an increasingly essential type of community for young leaders. In the past five years, we've seen the emergence of a number of programs that help young entrepreneurs. In the web technology field alone, Y Combinator and Techstars have spawned an entire industry around star-tup incubator programs. The PopTech Social Innovation and Science and Public Leadership Fellows, the Unreasonable Institute fellowship, the Global Health Corps fellowship, the Global Citizen Year fellowship, the Singularity University program, and more, help foster innovation in other fields. These communities tend to promise their participants two types of value. First, there is some specific value related to each unique event: being able to attend TED in one case; having access to the mentors and funding of Unreasonable Institute in another. But there is also a second equally important value, which is the value of the social capital that flows between members of the community. When a company, nonprofit, or scientific lab is fully mature, it can deploy its extensive team and existing financial capital to get things done. Lacking these resources, start-up projects need communities of support such as fellowships to provide encouragement, resources, and validation."
(Goes without saying that designers can be (business) leaders too! As we work with some brilliant organisations on big ideas through our Consultancy and start ambitious initiatives through our Lab, this is inspiration.)