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Training the Next Generations of IDEAS Leaders


IG Co-Founders Dan Egol (Executive Director) and Minjon Tholen (Board Chair) facilitated two interactive workshops on IDEAS for Lead For America’s inaugural class of Hometown Fellows


In 2019 Lead for America launched its inaugural class of 54 fellows to embark upon a two-year public service fellowship to tackle some of the toughest civic challenges in their home communities. The fellowship starts with Lead For America’s Catalyst Institute where fellows learn from world class leaders while deepening their leadership potential and building meaningful community with other young change-makers.


Equity in Action is a core value of Lead For America. Understanding that serving communities holistically requires intentionality around IDEAS: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Social Justice, Lead For America requested INW’s training support in preparing its first cohort to lead with these values at their core.

Over the course of two half-day sessions, INW facilitated interactives workshops wherein Lead For America’s hometown fellows:

Collectively defined each value in the IDEAS framework

Applied their understanding of these concepts by connecting their definitions to various facets of the fellowship program as well as to Lead For America’s Convergent Leadership Model

Explored unconscious bias and the ways it could manifest during their fellowship experiences, particularly with respect to community-based research, communicating with various stakeholders, facilitating town meetings, and program development

Derived empowerment from centering their lived experiences and collaborating during these workshops as a community of young-changemakers aligned in their commitment to IDEAS-centered change in their home communities.

Approach & Solutions


As a result of this training, Lead For America’s inaugural cohort of Hometown Fellows increased their individual and group capacity to lead with IDEAS. In participant evaluations, our workshops were noted as one of the most impactful parts of the Catalyst Institute. Chief Program Officer of Lead For America reflected, “INW’s deep commitment to LFA and to sharing your knowledge with our group was so impactful and really created space for us to dive into meaningful conversations around IDEAS principles and implicit bias throughout the rest of our training.”

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