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We live in a highly complex, interdependent world. The scope of the challenges we face now and in the future cannot be handled by individuals, organizations, or government alone.

Hawaiʻi needs cross-sector collaborations that engage the systemic challenges that threaten our quality of life. Our hope is that by investing in leaders who have a proven record of service to Hawaiʻi and by offering these leaders a way to connect, collaborate, and find support amongst a larger network of like-minded leaders, they will encourage and amplify innovative, positive change in Hawaiʻi. 

The Omidyar Fellows program seeks to cultivate the conditions in which Hawai‘i thrives by enhancing connections among leaders and improving their desire and capabilities to mobilize communities and organizations who can create these broad and durable improvements. Since its launch in May 2012 by the Hawai‘i Leadership Forum, eight cohorts have completed the curriculum phase of the Omidyar Fellows program and have become fully engaged in their ongoing and enduring commitment to the Forum of Fellows.

Developed over several years, the Omidyar Fellows program is based on global best practices in leadership development and has been customized for leaders in Hawai‘i. Through research and practice, we found these essential components to develop multi-dimensional leaders in a setting that builds actionable skills, creates a strong peer network, and allows for self-reflection and personal growth:

  • Community – Both seasoned and emerging leaders achieve transformative learning when part of a community of peers. The common experience of self-examination and skill development creates a sense of shared identity for moving forward together and a mutually supportive community to draw on once the formal curriculum ends.
  • Context – The individuals in the program must be able to leave behind for the moment their organizational context in order to explore issues, solutions, and new skills that will help them to accelerate their impact efforts. They will return ready to practice what they have learned. The workplace then becomes a real-life learning laboratory where new skills and confidence can be applied.
  • Coaching – Strong leadership programs include assessment tools as well as qualitative feedback to build self-knowledge. Incorporating individual executive coaching allows each participant to translate data and feedback into actions to address vulnerabilities and triggers and reinforce strengths.
  • Curriculum – The curriculum is selected and tailored from a wide array of topics and subtopics related to adaptive leadership and change management. Topics inform and build upon each other while integrating solid, proven leadership practices. The curriculum also must be applicable and understandable from a range of diverse perspectives and delivered in a manner that connects with adult learners.

The program covers all costs for each participant. While the investment is significant, so is the promise of a group of leaders with the skills and experience needed to help lead Hawaiʻi into the future.