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Future Rising Cohort 3 Call for Applications

Call for Applications!

Deadline extended for the 2023 cohort of Future Rising Fellows.

Applications now due on June 29th!


The Future Rising Fellowship supports young leaders working at the intersection of climate and gender justice. The year-long program builds Fellows’ leadership and storytelling skills, and connects them with a growing global network of changemakers. 


Fellows are selected from an international pool of exceptional individuals who demonstrate a deep commitment to environmental justice and gender equity. They come from diverse backgrounds and bring unique expertise and a shared dedication to building a just and sustainable future.


Storytelling is at the heart of Girl Rising’s work because we know firsthand its power to drive transformation. A key goal of our program is to help Fellows deepen their storytelling skills and amplify their capacity to lead change.  During their tenure, Fellows work with the Future Rising team to complete a narrative project in any medium that highlights their work, or that tells the story of girls or women who are addressing the impacts of climate change and driving environmental justice.

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Illustration by 2022Future Rising Fellow,
Connie Molina from Colombia
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Girls and Women in Conservation 

Habitat restoration

Mangrove preservation

Sustainable forestry

Marine conservation


Wildlife conservation

Urban greenspaces 

And more...

Local Solutions 

Waste reduction and recycling
Renewable energy
Indigenous wisdom
Clean cookstoves
Community action
Small holder farming
Climate education
Artificial wetlands

And more...

During their year with Girl Rising, each Future Rising Fellow works on a media project to tell a story. This year these stories will relate to two special topics. 


Topic One: Girls and Women in Conservation

Topic Two: Local Solutions. 


What do we mean by ‘Girls and Women in Conservation?'

All over the world, girls and women are innovating and implementing new practices of conservation, or rejuvenating and sustaining time-tested indigenous practices. When women take part in managing natural resources and conservation efforts, there is an increase in collaboration, solidarity and conflict resolution. A growing body of evidence shows that when women and girls participate in conservation programs, there are improved outcomes and more equitable benefits for all. 


We want to amplify stories about young female conservationists who are dedicating their lives to protecting and preserving ecosystems, endangered species, habitats and healthy environments. Therefore, the 2023 Future Rising Fellowship will support young leaders working on conservation projects who wish to use media and storytelling (film /video, animation, graphic novels, photography, journalism) to support their work.

What do we mean by  ‘local solutions?’


Climate change is a global phenomenon but its impacts are local. The solutions to climate change must therefore be local as well to meet the needs of specific environments and people. We want to support young leaders who are working on local solutions by helping them to tell the stories of local initiatives and innovations by, for, or about girls and women who are helping to address the local impacts of climate change.


Who Can Apply

The Future Rising Fellowship Program supports individuals ages 17-25 working to address critical issues at the intersection of climate and gender justice and wish to use storytelling to advance their work.

Please do not use AI language generators such as ChatGPT to write your application. Evidence of AI tools will result in your application being disqualified.


What You Can Expect

Fellows receive a stipend of 5,000 USD and participate in a year-long program of leadership development, storytelling workshops, professional development, and creative enrichment with access to advisors and experts including  journalists, educators, advocates, filmmakers, artists, academics, authors, and climate scientists. 


Fellows work collaboratively as a cohort in  group workshops and professional development opportunities and also work individually with the Future Rising team to produce their narrative projects. These projects may be fiction or nonfiction and may be in any medium. In the past, Fellows have created short films, podcasts, graphic novels, animations, photo essays, and long-form articles, all centered around issues of gender equity and environmental justice. You can see a sampling of past projects here

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about applying to the Future Rising Fellowship Program:

Is it free to apply?                                                                                                                Yes,There are no application costs.

How does the application process work?
You must apply by completing the application form, answering all the questions, and uploading work samples. Incomplete applications cannot be considered.

What is the application timeline? 

Applications close 11.59AM US Eastern Standard Time, JUNE 29TH, 2023
Interviews with qualifying candidates will take place via zoom in July 2023
Announcements for the selected Fellows will be in August 2023

Do I need to be fluent in English to apply?
Though Fellows are encouraged to create projects in their own local languages, monthly meetings and communication with the rest of the cohort take place in English. Therefore, the ability to speak and understand conversational English is required.

Do I need to be an experienced storyteller to apply?                                                              Formal experience as a storyteller is not formally required though it is certainly advantageous. It’s most important that you have a clear idea of the story you want to tell and that you articulate how you plan to tell your story in your application.

Can I reapply if I am not successful this time?
Absolutely. You may reapply so long as you are between the ages of 17-25.

How long is the Fellowship?
The Fellowship runs from August 2023 - August 2024.

What is the time commitment?

The time commitment for the Fellowship is flexible and we encourage as much engagement as possible. We anticipate that Fellows will need to devote roughly 15 hours per week during the first month as an intensive storytelling ‘bootcamp’ will take place in August, and 5 hours per week after September 2023. All fellows are required to attend.

Do I need access to the internet?
Yes, you will need access to communicate with the Future Rising Staff and other Fellows, as well as to attend regular virtual convenings.

Will there be a stipend for Fellows?
Each fellow will receive a stipend of 5,000 USD and can apply for a small additional grant for direct project expenses and materials.

What is included in the program? Can you provide more information about the virtual workshops?                                                                                                                               

The year-long program includes monthly virtual workshops on storytelling, professional development, and creative enrichment. These workshops help Fellows build valuable skills and knowledge to develop and create their narrative projects.

What kind of experts and mentors are available to Fellows throughout the program?      Fellows will have access to experts in various fields, such as media professionals, journalists, educators, advocates, filmmakers, artists, academics, authors, and climate scientists. These experts will provide guidance and support to Fellows throughout the program.

Are there specific project requirements for the narrative project that Fellows create?       

The narrative projects must be planned, written and created during the fellowship time period. Ideally, the applicant already has access to the story, location or the participants, or people involved in the story. 

Can you give examples of the types of projects that previous fellows have worked on?        Previous Fellows have created a range of projects, including short films, multimedia pieces, podcasts, graphic novels, photo essays, and long-form articles. All of these projects were related to climate change, environmental justice, and gender equity. To see some specific examples please go the Future Rising Stories web page. 

Is the Fellowship open to applicants from different countries outside of the U.S.?         

Yes, the Fellowship is open to applicants from all countries. While the Fellow’s storytelling projects can be in any language, all Fellowship meetings and discussions are in English.  

Can the narrative project be created in any medium? Are there any restrictions?              Fellows have the freedom to choose any medium for their narrative projects. 

How can I attend one of the information sessions? Can I ask questions during the session?​ Yes, you can ask questions at the info sessions!  A member of the Future Rising Team will be hosting the info session.  You can register on Eventbrite to attend either info session:

  1. Watch Info Session #1 

  2. Watch Info Session #2 

Download the Info Session Deck here.

Download applications guidelines here.

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