Stretch your limits, learn proven frameworks to create change, and connect with leaders building a future that works for everyone.

StartingBloc brings together change leaders and social innovators from across the world for 5 days of workshops that hone your leadership skills and view your work from different perspectives.

Most importantly, you will join a community of passionate leaders who have each others’ backs. Our Fellows consistently connect each other to opportunities, jobs, and mentors, they team up on projects, and they hold each other accountable.

What You Can Expect


Over the 5 days you will learn proven frameworks from renowned change leaders. Modules include transformative action, paradox management and rapid prototyping. StartingBloc Institutes integrate both hard and soft skills to enhance your knowledge base and offer a holistic approach to leadership.


Each Institute welcomes 70-100 new Fellows. These Fellows are your ‘cohort’ and each person offers unique experience and perspective. Many Fellows have gone on to create companies together, provide accountability and help each other find meaningful work.


The Institute is just the beginning. Over the course of 5-days you will learn skills and make connections that will benefit you for the rest of your life. Your cohort and the StartingBloc Fellowship as a whole are there to help you succeed. Upon completion of the Institute, you will gain thousands of allies across hundreds of sectors.

Upcoming Institutes

New York 2017
August 17th-21st
Late-Apply Deadline
July 20th

DC 2017
October 26th-30th
Application Deadline
August 10th

LA 2018
February 22nd-26th
Application Deadline
October 19th

Apply Now

Scott (StartingBloc speaker) helped build the Unreasonable Institute, changed my life, and and has forever since been cornerstone to our work at Unreasonable.

Daniel Epstein, Unreasonable Institute Co-Founder, Forbes Top 30 Impact Entrepreneurs

After the scrimmage (Day 3 of the Institute) I used rapid prototyping at a staff meeting. And what I saw for the the first time was 100% intellectual and emotional engagement for the entire meeting.

Every conversation with a fellow was like meeting a long lost friend who challenged my ideas while making them better. I started a new job just two weeks after my Institute and I credit much of that to StartingBloc.

Bhavna Devani | Mobile + Wearables

The amount of experience, talent and knowledge in the room was astounding and I'm so honored to have been a part of it. As I got to know more of my Fellows, I felt like I had finally found my tribe.

Hannah Johnson | Strategist, GOODcorps

The StartingBloc community has given me meaningful job opportunities, helped me get published in numerous outlets, and provided support when I needed it most. It was the best investment I've ever made.

Adam Poswolsky | Author + Speaker

Tiffany Yu

Tiffany Yu

Founder of Diversability

Tiffany Yu is the founder of Diversability, an award-winning social enterprise to rebrand disability through the power of community. She is also a web developer interested in building mission-driven companies. Previously, Tiffany was the Director of Business Development at REVOLT, the music network from Sean Diddy Combs and an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. In 2016, she was named one of the New York Business Journal's Women of Influence. Tiffany is a StartingBloc Fellow and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and has been featured in Forbes, the Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal. Follow her on Twitter at @ImTiffanyYu.

Chauncey Nartey

Chauncey Nartey

Associate, Goldman Sachs

Chauncey is an Associate at Goldman Sachs, where he works to drive diversity strategy for the Americas. Immediately prior to his role at Goldman, Chauncey served as the Director of Talent at ROADS Charter High School, a network of high schools on a mission to prove what’s possible for the young people most consistently failed by our educational institutions.Chauncey also founded the Association of Black & Latino Educators (A.B.L.E.). Chauncey began his career as a corps member in Philadelphia, teaching US and global history at the middle and high school levels. He subsequently served as a Campus Director for Citizen Schools. Chauncey holds a BA in Political Science and Public Policy from Duke University, and a MA in Urban Education from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a StartingBloc NY’15 Fellow.

Susie Lee

Susie Lee

CEO, Siren

Susie Lee is the CEO and co-founder of Siren, a dating app that unlocks real personality for first time-conversations. A graduate of Yale, Columbia and UW with degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, science education, and art, Lee brings her skills as a social sculptor to amplify humanity in technology. Her work has been collected by numerous institutions including the Denver Art Museum, Mitchell Center for the Arts, Frye Art Museum, and Crystal Bridges Museum of Art. Siren partnered with Durex on a 37million view campaign and has been featured on NPR, The Guardian, CNN, The Stranger, GeekWire, ThinkProgress, Frieze, and The Establishment.

Majora Carter

Majora Carter

CEO of Startup Box

Majora Carter is an urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She is responsible for the creation & successful implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies, and job training & placement systems. After establishing Sustainable South Bronx and Green For All (among other organizations) to carry on that work, she built on this foundation with innovative ventures and insights into urban economic developments designed to help move Americans out of poverty.

Michelina Ferrara

Michelina Ferrara

Deputy Director, Atlas : DIY

Michelina Ferrara is a fierce and fiery advocate for social change. Her experience as an organizer, youth worker and activist connects issues ranging from youth incarceration to immigrant justice to reproductive justice to creating safe spaces for youth—building an intersectional framework that transforms our communities. She lives, loves, and shouts from Brooklyn where she can be found rocking high top sneakers & big earrings, and chanting Assata Shakur: It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and protect each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains!

Robert Egger

Robert Egger

Founder, DC Central Kitchen & LA Kitchen

The DC Central Kitchen is a $10 million-per-year engine of social enterprise and job creation.

James Beard Foundation's Humanitarian of the Year and an Oprah Angel.

'Top 50 Most Influential Nonprofit Leaders' list four years in a row.

Shivani Siroya

Shivani Siroya

Founder, InVenture

She is an Unreasonable Institute, Echoing Green and Ted Fellow.

InVenture provides simple money management tools and credit scores to offline populations.

Currently teaching 'Mobilizing Communities' at Pepperdine University.

Scott Sherman

Scott Sherman

Executive Director, Transformative Action Institute

Scott is an expert on the most effective ways that citizens succeed in creating social progress and innovation.

His work on nonviolent social change has been praised by the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa.

He has won the outstanding teaching award from the UC Berkeley and is a faculty member in UCLA's School of Public Affairs.

Emily Kerr

Emily Kerr

Founder, Liga Masiva

Appeared in Oprah, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and recognized as a top innovator by The Feast and the YPO.

Created an Innovation Lab for low-income job-seekers in Denver, and is currently launching a Montessori school for adults in Philadelphia.

Previously the Founder & CEO of Liga Masiva, a 'global farmers market' connecting smallscale farmers directly to consumers.

1 | Choose Your Institute

Make sure the timing and location is feasible for your schedule.

2 | Write Thoughtful and Thorough Responses

The application is the only window we have into your professional life. Let us know what drives you and gets you up every morning.

3 | Craft a Unique Bio

If accepted, your bio will be shared with your new cohort. Make sure it represents you!

4 | Submit Your Application

Once submitted, our application review team will review your responses. You will receive a response within 2 weeks of submission.

Day 1 | Off the Bloc

Fellows set goals for their Institute experience, get to know the other Fellows, and learn about Transformative Action: a set of proven tactics for creating change.

Day 2 | Owning your Vision

Fellows focus on their vision for themselves and for the world. They learn Polarity Mapping, explore how to craft a compelling story, pitch to the whole room at the Ideas Marketplace, and practice asking for, and offering, a helping hand.

Day 3 | Taking Action

This day is about tackling problems through relentless iteration. Fellows learn Rapid Prototyping techniques by applying them to challenges brought in by ten local impact-driven organizations. The Social Innovation Scrimmage is put on in partnership with ReWork.

Day 4 | Different Perspectives

On this day, Fellows explore some of the ways that the “rubber meets the road.” They engage in dialogue with accomplished change leaders, who stand for what they believe in different ways.

Day 5 | Moving Forward

What is it to create lasting change? How do you craft a career worth having? And how do you make the most of the StartingBloc community from here on out?

Purpose Driven :: 25%

Incoming Fellows are driven by purpose and active in their desire to create positive change.

Clarity of Purpose :: 25%

Clarity of the applicant’s vision for creating impact as evidenced in the essay responses.

Leadership & Teamwork :: 25%

Ability to communicate new ideas and influence others to adopt them.

Passion for Social Innovation :: 25%

Enthusiasm for using social innovation as a tool for solving the world’s tough problems. .


Our Commitment to Diversity

StartingBloc values diversity of thought, because combining unique perspectives often leads to innovation. The Fellowship is comprised of people from different sectors, geographies, and cultural backgrounds. The experience of each Fellow contributes to diverse modes of thought in the community as a whole. In your application, please show the admissions committee what makes you unique, and the diversity of thought that you bring to the Fellowship.

Apply Now!