Meridian Social Innovation Fellowship

Meridian Social Innovation Fellowship is a year-long leadership exchange that brings together problem-solvers with high potential from around the world to create sustainable solutions for critical social and economic challenges facing their communities. The Fellowship provides those leaders with networks and resources to implement social innovation projects in their countries.

The 2015 cohort of the Social Innovation Fellowship highlighted Western Europe. The Fellows - from Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain - focused on developing and implementing their social innovation initiatives to address serious issues of economic recovery, integration of immigrants, and youth engagement in their communities. During their program in the U.S., the Fellows benefited from mentorships in Washington, DC, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, and San Francisco. Key components of the U.S. program included a project management curriculum, cross-sector mentorship, and an online community of interest. After their U.S. leadership exchange, the Fellows virtually re-convened monthly. They also received ongoing training, maintained communication with mentors and their local affiliates, and deepened connections with their growing network of peers and experts.

Key successes of Social Innovation Fellows' projects throughout Europe include:

  • Provision of technical support to 1,500 entrepreneurs and start-ups.
  • Engagement with 500 youths from marginalized populations.
  • Empowerment of Muslim women to support refugees.
  • Contribution to European Union policy changes on innovation and entrepreneurship.

2015 Fellows

Partner Embassies

  • U.S. Embassy Belgium
  • U.S. Embassy Italy
  • U.S. Embassy the Netherlands
  • U.S. Embassy Poland
  • U.S. Embassy Spain


Project Timeline

Project summary

Meridian Social Innovation Fellowship | May 2015
Number of Visitors: 8
Regions: Europe and Eurasia
Countries: Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain
Impact Areas: Entrepreneurship, Science and Technology, Civic Engagement, Public Diplomacy, Foreign Policy
Program Areas: Global Leadership
Partners: Public Sector, Private Sector, Diplomatic Corps