Global Fellow

San Francisco, CA

Company Description

IDEO.org is a non-profit organization created by IDEO, the design and innovation firm well-known for its successes in innovation across the private, public and social sectors. IDEO.org focuses specifically on challenges related to poverty and seeks to improve the lives of people in low-income communities across the globe through innovation solutions and the spread of human-centered design through the social sector. IDEO.org works directly with non-profits and social enterprises on projects using the human-centered design process across a wide range of focus areas related to poverty alleviation, including health, agriculture, financial services, gender equity, water and sanitation and community building. IDEO.org is committed to sharing and spreading the human-centered design approach and the emerging ideas related
to the challenges of poverty by harnessing networks like HCD Connect.org and building a fellowship program for future innovators in the social sector.

Job Description

We are looking for leaders in the social sector who have demonstrated professional experience improving lives in low-income communities. 

The IDEO.org Fellowship Program enables future global leaders from the business and social sectors to spend a year working full-time with experienced designers on social impact challenges in the United States and around the world. Fellows will create solutions for nonprofits, social enterprises, and foundations on an array of topics, like agriculture, water and sanitation, health, financial inclusion, unemployment, and more. Collaborating in small multidisciplinary teams, Fellows learn, grow, and innovate to make the world a better place. If you’re ready to join a team that’s passionate about ending poverty and have the experience and skillset to make it a reality, this is exactly what you’ve been looking for...


Because you've always wanted to:

  • Tackle poverty-related challenges  and see real impact from your work.
  • Gain expertise in human-centered design and work with world-class designers.

  • Travel the world while connecting and designing with individuals and communities firsthand.


We're a match if:

  • You have applied your skills to real-world problems. You are grounded in insights about challenges communities face and have worked on the ground with a nonprofit or social enterprise.
  • You are able to demonstrate key components of the design process and you can easily switch from macro to micro thinking 
  • You are an excellent communicator with great instincts about how to synthesize and tell a captivating story, build a deep rapport, and give honest feedback. 
  • You are used to working across industries and disciplines and comfortable embedded in multidisciplinary teams.

Have what it takes?

  • Minimum of five years of professional full-time work experience; or, an advanced academic or professional degree related to business, public policy, international development, economics, finance, or a related field, plus three years of work experience.
  • English fluency (written and spoken). Additional language capabilities are preferred.
  • Ability to work from September of 2014 - October 2015 in the U.S. (IDEO.org can help with visa applications).

Additional Information


Only apply when your application is complete with the requirements below.  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 

Click 'I'm Interested', then click 'Apply with Resume', then upload your completed application (CV, Cover Letter, Visual Story link, Letter of Recommendation, HCD Connect user name) as ONE document. Thank you! If you have any questions, please email: fellowship@ideo.org

Application Requirements: 

  • CV or Resume.
  • Cover letter: tell us why you and IDEO.org are made for each other.
  • Visual story: create a visual story about something more you’d like us to know about yourself. Use photos, video, drawing, or whatever visual medium seems most appropriate for you. We are really interested in your creativity, but also want to see how well you can tell your story succinctly (videos should be 3 minutes or less). If necessary, include a link to your visual story in your cover letter.
  • One letter of recommendation: from a professional or academic contact. What do other people think of your potential to do great things as an IDEO.org Global Fellow? 
  • Participate on HCDConnect.org: share your stories, answer other participants’ questions, or post your own. We want to see how you can engage our online community and encourage others to share their stories. Include your HCD Connect user name in your resume.
  • Accepted formats: DOC, PPT, PDF, PDF with image inside, or TIFF file.