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Individuals with ‘moral ambition’ to tackle global problems sought for new fellowship programme

Melanie May | 2 May 2024 | News

The world. By PIRO on Pixabay

People with the ambition to dedicate their career to tackling some of the biggest global problems are sought for the new Moral Ambition Fellowships.

Those selected will be expected to leave their jobs to devote their time to a seven-month programme that starts with one month of intensive training on becoming an effective advocate for positive change, followed by a six-month placement at an NGO or think tank working in the field of tobacco control or food transition.

The School for Moral Ambition, founded by writer Rutger Bregman, designer Harald Dunnink, former banker Julia van Boven, and former consultant Jan-Willem van Putten, is behind the programme. The two themes were chosen following its research into a longlist of 30+ global problems, where two cause areas came out on top: fighting the tobacco industry, and accelerating the protein transition to help combat climate change. The fellowships will focus on creating impactful change within these two sectors.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

The fellowships starts on 1 September, and ends on 1 April next year. Fellows are expected to commit at least 32 hours per week, ideally full time. Full time commitment (40 hours a week) is required for the training period in September. Fellows receive a Dutch average salary of €3.6k gross per month. Applications are open now, until 19 May.

Who’s it for?

The programme seeks candidates that ideally have around ten years of experience but with a minimum of three, including lawyers, consultants, lobbyists, policy workers, tax experts, food specialists, marketers, and investigative journalists. It also welcomes later career changers aiming to work in tobacco control and food transition post-fellowship.

In a post on X, School for Moral Ambition co-founder Rutger Bregman said: “The most important thing is that you combine the idealism of an activist with the ambition of an entrepreneur.” He added: “We live in a world where the most talented people usually don’t work on the most important problems. That needs to change. And for us, these two fellowships are just the beginning.”

According to the website, which is also where people can apply, by the end of the programme, fellows are expected to have “developed comprehensive skills in advocacy, made substantial contributions to their field, and prepared a foundation for a career focused on making a difference in global issues related to their fellowship topic area”.