Launched in 2008 to support individuals pursuing innovative and unconventional approaches to open society challenges, the program has invited proposals around a single topic since 2017. Selected fellows work independently as well as together as a group and receive project support and living stipends ranging from $80,000 to $100,000 for a year to pursue their projects. In 2020, fellows will work collaboratively to address the problem of income inequality.
This year's cohort includes Imani Jacqueline Brown, an activist, writer, and organizer who will use advanced mapping techniques to illustrate how fossil fuel corporations are responsible for decades of economic and environmental injustice in Louisiana; Amelia Evans, an international human rights lawyer who will draw on her experience with multi-stakeholder initiatives to debunk the myth of the ethical corporation; Rights CoLab founder Paul Rissman, who will work to develop strategies that pressure U.S.-based investment advisers into taking actions that mitigate economic inequality; Nathan Schneider, assistant professor of media studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, who will work to promote specific entrepreneurial and policy strategies for increasing user co-ownership of online platforms; and Trebor Scholz, who will use a multipronged strategy to promote integrating the cooperative model into the digital economy.
"It is our hope that this extraordinarily talented group, working in concert and perhaps even at odds with each other, will generate the creative friction and energy to generate new mechanisms for tackling the root causes of global economic inequality," said Open Society Fellowship Program director Alethia Jones. "As we enter a new decade, we must vigorously pursue fresh approaches to address enduring open society challenges."
For a complete list of this year's fellows, see the Open Society Foundations website.
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