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Offer: INK Fellows Program for Young Innovators

The INK Fellows Program at a glance

The INK Fellows program mobilizes young innovators and changemakers from emerging economies to bring their ideas and passion to the INK Community. INK Fellows are budding luminaries in their respective fields, inspirational role models and the architects of tomorrow. Fellows may be entrepreneurs, artists, social advocates, critical thinkers or, as we say, innovative changemakers from any field. Fellows are selected because they are young people who have already proven their potential to be the gamechangers of their industries. INK seeks out these young revolutionaries, brings them together in a supportive peer group, and provides exposure to accelerate the ability of the Fellows to impact society.

The INK Fellows Program in detail

The INK Fellows program has two main goals: 1) to create a community of like-minded peers, and 2) to give the Fellows public exposure. Combined, these goals work in concert to achieve our ultimate aim of accelerating the ability of the Fellows to impact society.

1) Community building

The experience of being a changemaker is very isolating. Driven by their passions, Fellows often do not have the financial security or the social support network that comes with traditional jobs. They must independently seek out development opportunities and mentors, and they struggle with tackling all these responsibilities at a young age with little to zero prior experience.

Meeting like-minded peers provides a bollard of support. Fellows learn from their peers about successes and failures, which guides their future actions. The members of each Fellows cohort become lifelong friends. Being a member of that community gives the Fellows the peer support they need to get great advice and feel personally confident as they take their ideas to the next level.

2) Public Exposure

Most young changemakers have great ideas but lack the resources to develop an audience. Without public exposure,Fellows miss out on potential customers, funding opportunities, public accolade and other support critical to their continued development and success. Moreover, public access is not guaranteed to lead to success. A great business idea ineffectively communicated may never find supporters. Fellows need both the platform to reach the public and the tools to make people care about their ideas.

INK provides public speaking training to teach Fellows how to effectively tell their story. Fellows learn to give an “INKtalk,” a 6-minute personal story about their life and their ideas that has the power to capture and hold the attention of a broad audience. Fellows are coached about every detail of their INKtalk, from the overarching content, to the layout of their slides, to their posture speaking on stage in front of an audience. The final package is a succinct and compelling talk that effectively communicates the story and passion of the Fellow to inspire public interest.

All Fellows attend the annual INK Conference, and are given the opportunity to compete for one of a limited number ofFellows speaking slots to present their ideas as part of the speaker program. INK reserves the sole discretion to determine which Fellows will speak on stage at the Conference, and these selected Fellows present their ideas to a curated audience of India and the world’s leading entrepreneurs and business leaders. These INKtalks may be subsequently edited into high-quality videos and posted online on the INK website, enabling them to reach our global digital audience. (N.B. talks are posted online as per the schedule and discretion of INK. Not all INKtalks are necessarily published online.)

All Fellows, including those who do not speak onstage, attend the entire INK Conference. They have the opportunity to meet and network with attendees, gain contacts and pitch their ideas to high-value individuals from India and abroad.

All local (Indian) Fellows are also given the opportunity to present their INKtalk at INK salons, which are smaller events run by INK throughout the year at college campuses or for corporate communities. Every Fellow who resides in India is guaranteed a speaking opportunity for at least one INK salon, and these talks may also be recorded and edited to be posted on the INK website for our digital audience, as per the timing and discretion of INK.

The videos of the best INKtalks may, at the discretion of TED, also be posted on TED.com.

Fellows gain additional online exposure by writing guest posts on the INK blog throughout the year of their Fellowship. INK also regularly writes Facebook and Twitter updates about the accomplishments of the Fellows.

In summary, all INK Fellows get:

All expenses covered to attend the INK conference (including conference registration fee, airfare and hotel accommodations)
The opportunity to be selected for a speaking slot at the INK conference
Training on how to give an INKtalk
Fellows located in India: local speaking engagement at one INK event during the Fellowship year
The opportunity to have their INKtalk selected to be posted online at INKtalks.com
The support and camaraderie of the Fellows peer community
INK social media exposure throughout the Fellowship year
Customized assistance dependent upon the needs of their project

The INK Fellows Program selection criteria

We look for candidates who have:

A powerful vision for the world
Taken tangible steps to fulfill this vision
Demonstrated serious accomplishment at a young age
A compelling and inspiring story
A need of active support from the INK community
The capability to actively support and enrich the INK community
The ability to articulate and communicate succinctly

Requirements to apply

Candidates must be between the ages of 18 and 40.
INK prefers Fellows to be from young economies, but great candidates from any location will be considered seriously and competitively.
Candidates must be present for the entire duration of INK2012 and arrive in Pune one day earlier. Fellows will be in Pune from October 10th - 14th.
Candidates should be changemakers specializing in any field, for example (but not limited to) art, dance, architecture, business, fashion, journalism, medicine, music, technology, science, sports, and social activism. Everyone, from every field, is invited to apply. Please see our list of INK2010 and INK2011 Fellows to get an idea of the diversity of INK Fellows.
A candidate’s actions MUST speak louder than their words. Humility is important, and self-promoters will not be accepted.

INK2012 Fellows Application <-- All applicants click here to apply

Application Deadlines

May 1: Application period opens

July 15: Application period closes at 11:59 PM IST

August 15: INK2012 Fellows announced

October 11 – 14: INK2012

Application Details

We want to know more about you and what you do, and why you would make a great INK Fellow. You may answer Option A (written questionnaire) or Option B (YouTube video); the INK2012 application is copied below for your reference so that you can compose your answers before submitting your form here.

Option A

What are you most passionate about?
What are you doing to support that passion?
What is the inspiration for what you do?
What is a moment you are most proud of?
Why is what you do unique?
What is the biggest challenge you face? How do you plan to overcome this challenge?
Share a statement, a statistic, a lyric, a mission statement, a compelling fact, or any other detail in 140 characters or less.
What is your favorite INKtalk and why?
Optional: You may upload one image, song (under 3 minutes), movie (under 3 minutes), or writing excerpt to support your application here. (No 3rd party newspaper or blog articles, please. All content should be original.)

Option B

So you want to apply to be an INK Fellow, but feel like none of the questions in this application relate at all to your life? You’re getting discouraged, because you feel you’ll never be able to express yourself properly if limited by the constraints of a written application? No problem. Create a 3-minute YouTube video about yourself. Include whatever you want and convince us why you should be an INK2012 Fellow. We will consider your application equally along with all the written candidates.

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