Announcing nextNY Fellows: An Innovation Community Leadership Initiative

Five years ago, I started nextNY with the idea that it would be participant driven--that the community would take an active role in managing itself. I think that we've done a decent job with that, and we have a number of examples of individuals who have used it as a leadership platform, but it isn't as much of a leader factory as I had hoped. With that in mind, I tried to come up with a structure and set of incentives to make it easier for new up and coming faces in the crowd to step up and make a name for themselves by making a positive impact on the innovation community.

I am excited to announce nextNY Fellows--a program that will support four new community leaders in 2011 build on what we already have and make it better, all while building their own skills and network.

The details of this program are below. EnergyHub, an innovative Brooklyn startup in the cleantech space, has already signed up as a sponsor, and we're looking for three more.

Here's what they will get:

- A $500 stipend for 2011 to be used on leadership development. This can include classes, training, books, conferences, Meetups., etc.

- Monthly small group lunches with leaders in the innovation community--like venture capital firms and successful entrepreneurs.

- An opportunity for visibility--press & PR, community awareness, networking connections.

Their responsibilities:

- Maintain a digital presence (Twitter, blogging) that represents the NYC innovation community in a positive, professional manner--highlighting
events, people, projects and stories of interest.

- Run two nextNY events (e.g. community conversation roundtables, meetups, conversations, networking events) on any specific topic of interest.

- Adopt a nextNY "structural value" project (e.g. fix our blog, improve leadership/job opportunity listings, launch calendar, etc)

- Encourage active participation on our listserv.

Part of the thinking behind this program is that I've seen a lot of instances where Meetup co-organizers don't work. They wind up doing lowest common denominator work, and only when they're asked. They don't take initiative, because that seems to get left in the hands of the organizer. Perhaps instead of thinking that we're asking too much of them, I thought perhaps we're asking too little, and giving them even less in return. Sometimes half of something isn't anything.

Applications are Due on Thursday, January 20th at 11:59PM.

Apply here: