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Monday, June 15, 2009

Breakthrough Generation Launches 2009 Fellowship Program

Last week, eight young leaders and intellectuals from around the country arrived at the Breakthrough Institute for the 2009 Breakthrough Generation Fellowship. Breakthrough Generation is the young leaders initiative of the Breakthrough Institute, a public policy think tank, and this summer represents our second annual fellowship program.

Selected from a large pool of applicants from the world’s top universities, this year’s fellows will continue Breakthrough Generation’s efforts to empower progressive young leaders to advance bold ideas for a stronger, safer, and more prosperous world. I invite you to follow their writing and join the discussion at the Breakthrough Generation website:

Follow Breakthrough Generation’s writing and ideas

Our 10-week fellowship includes a two-week introductory program, including a graduate-level reading course, daily blogging, and presentations from some of the country’s top energy and economic experts (reading syllabus is available for PDF download here). After this introduction, the fellows will perform research and writing throughout the summer to develop and advance the Breakthrough Institute’s efforts on energy, climate, and economic policy.

Learn more about Breakthrough Generation below the fold...

Breakthrough Generation was founded in 2007 on the premise that America’s youth are faced with an unprecedented opportunity to define a new politics for a new age. A new “post-boomer” politics is emerging today, and while its shape has yet to be determined, young people are already taking the lead. Young adults defined the course of the 2008 elections, and the youth energy movement has become the largest student movement in decades. How young people seize this opportunity can change the course of the nation -- and the world -- for years to come.

Last summer, the 2008 Breakthrough Generation Fellows had an idea to help seize this opportunity: why don't we propose a National Energy Education Act, modeled after the post-war National Defense Education Act, to create the next generation of scientists and engineers to achieve the technology breakthroughs necessary for overcoming the climate challenge?

They wrote a policy white paper. They published op-eds. And, working their connections, they made their pitch to the presidential candidates. Months later, in April 2009, President Obama announced he was launching exactly such a program – re-branded "RE-ENERGYSE” (REgaining our ENERGY Science and Engineering Edge) – with $115 million in funding for 2010.

What will come from the 2009 Breakthrough Generation Fellowship? Only time will tell, but Breakthrough Generation is committed to empowering these and other progressive young leaders to develop and advance bold ideas for change. I hope you’ll join the discussion at the Breakthrough Generation website, and if you’re a rising young leader, I hope you apply for our 2010 summer fellowship. Stay tuned!

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