Call for expressions of interest to join the inaugural cohort of #ShiftThePower fellows!

15 Mar 2022


Are you interested in supporting broader efforts to shift power and build the (civil) society we want by helping to connect the dots between innovative and emergent practices around the world?

Are you involved in exciting, innovative, and experimental grassroots or community-led work anywhere in the world?

Are you interested in connecting with others like you around the world, both to learn and share, but also to strengthen the collective voice and muscle of local actors?

If this sounds like you, then read on, and then apply to be part of – and help to co-create – the inaugural cohort of #ShiftThePower fellows.


#ShiftThePower and the role of networks

#ShiftThePower is a global network of activists, practitioners and allies seeking to re-imagine a system that harnesses the power of communities and advances equity, dignity and justice.

Its origins lie in the emerging global field of community philanthropy, which is made up of a diverse range of community-based and community-proximate grantmaking organizations around the world, including community foundations, women’s funds, socio-environmental funds, human rights funds, community foundations and other grassroots grantmakers. More recently, its reach has expanded to include a broader cross-section of civil society allies and activists engaged in the pursuit of a “re-imagined” system.

As well as advocating for change in the dominant system of international development, #ShiftThePower is about mobilizing the demand side of systems change – and a vision of a “good society” – by modelling alternative practices and structures and by inserting new voices in the mainstream development knowledge economy.


About the fellowship

All over the world, new ways of deciding and doing are already emerging, but these are often away from the gaze, or at the edges, of the mainstream development system. Regional and thematic networks are playing a critical role in both thickening the “weave” between individual actors and providing platforms for collective advocacy.  The #ShiftThePower fellowship will contribute towards strengthening the global movement and will help strengthen the weave between and among changemakers around the world.

It will be supported by the GFCF and Root Change, two organizations that are committed to doing development differently and to contributing towards bottom-up systems change processes.


Who are the fellows?

#ShiftThePower fellows will be individuals, ideally but not necessarily, based within an organization that shares the values and ambitions of the #ShiftThePower movement.

They are grounded in practice in their context, but curious and eager to connect with others and to weave relationships and strengthen networks. Fellows will help weave the supportive architecture that will underpin the movement, by connecting and driving solidarity and practice between and among activists, thought leaders, allies and organizations – in a cooperative model of working which draws from and is shaped by emergent practice and grassroots action.


The opportunity

We are looking for individuals who can commit between 8-12 hours a month for a six-month period: this will include independent work and regular sharing meetings with other fellows and colleagues at the GFCF and Root Change. Fellows will have a passion for connecting with peers, keeping meticulous notes, writing, blogging, social media and leveraging technology. In addition, fellows will:

  • Be comfortable with ambiguity and embrace the challenge of engaging change and driving change within complex systems.
  • Think conceptually and apply big ideas, breaking them down into everyday tools, processes, relationships, and plans.
  • Be excited by the possibility of challenging and exploring power dynamics and imagining new ways of working.

Fellows will be supported with stipends (to fellows’ organizations or to individuals if independent) by an inclusive and engaging team from the GFCF, Root Change and the #ShiftThePower movement.


How to apply?

The first round of applications closed on 28th March 2022 following an enthusiastic response. We look forward to announcing the first round of fellows in the coming weeks! In the meantime, any questions can be directed to

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