Global Citizen Year is addressing our current global challenges by changing the composition, operating system, and impact of the next generation of changemakers.

Why We Exist: The Challenge

Our world is in crisis. Who will help change it?

Our greatest challenges—from pandemics and populism, to persistent racial injustice and our imminent climate crisis—cannot be solved by one community, or country alone. The fate of humanity rests on our ability to collaborate across lines of difference; and while our lives are interconnected, our experiences are not.

My reason for hope in this time of peril… comes from those who demonstrate compassionate, competent, and courageous leadership. We need leaders who build bridges, not walls...who bring us together, and who transcend the politics of division.”

Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

History shows that ideas don’t change the world—leaders do.

Almost all of our most celebrated social change leaders have one thing in common: at an early age, they were shaped by formative experiences proximate to the problems they’re now solving.

These experiences gave them the context, empathy and insight to see opportunities where others saw obstacles, and to work collaboratively to find shared solutions.

Overcoming our shared, global challenges requires a critical mass of leaders who represent society’s diversity, are equipped to work across lines of difference, and are committed to a purpose beyond themselves.

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What We Do: The Solution

Global Citizen Year is pioneering a new educational pathway to launch the leaders our world needs now

Our current educational paradigm is outdated and failing to create the leaders our world urgently needs. High school has become a high stakes game to get into college and most get to campus without a clear understanding of WHY they are there.

In the U.S. just 3% of students report having a transformative experience in college. By equipping young leaders with empathy, agency and a global perspective, we’re changing the inputs into higher education in order to dramatically improve the outcomes.

Step 1

Recruit and Select

Each year, we identify diverse young people with exceptional leadership potential: self-starting, driven, and influential among their peers. We intervene at the most formative age, when students have the maturity to leave home but have not yet fixed their values and identity.

Step 2

Train and Transform

Our programs’ core components (curriculum, coaching, and a diverse cohort) shape future leaders’ trajectories by influencing their values, identity, and sense of purpose.

Step 3


Our alumni approach college and careers with agency, empathy, a global perspective, and a driving sense of purpose. Global Citizen Year is the foundation that shapes their life’s choices and trajectory.

Step 4


Over time, we will unleash a critical mass of leaders who reflect society’s diversity and are committed to advancing the greater good. Supported by our powerful and growing network, Global Citizen Year alumni will be a significant force in advancing human progress.

We are partnering with leading colleges and universities to leverage the
resources of higher education, while influencing its evolution

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Global Citizen Year is a bold new idea with the potential to have a significant impact over time. By harnessing the idealism of today's youth, Global Citizen Year will build a new force of leaders who will create lasting solutions to overcome poverty and inequity on a global scale.”

Wendy Kopp,
Founder of Teach For America and Teach For All

Our Vision

A critical mass of leaders who bring curiosity, conviction and courage to overcoming our shared global challenges

With a decade of proven impact, Global Citizen Year is at an inflection point. In the next decade we aim to grow our impact and influence exponentially.

By 2030 we’ll train 10,000 young leaders annually: the same throughput as the Ivy League, with the same outsized influence on society.

Participation in Global Citizen Year will be a mark of distinction. Colleges will provide preferred admissions, financial aid and academic credit for our alumni, and employers will clamor to higher them. And as our alumni move into positions of influence—as CEOs, journalists, senators or social entrepreneurs—they’ll drive solutions that create a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.

Beyond our direct impact, we’re using our model as a proof-of-concept to catalyze a sea-change in our educational paradigm. By partnering with colleges, policy-makers and our own alumni we will ensure that, one day, a Global Citizen Year becomes a rite of passage and the hallmark of a world-class, higher education.

We are proud to work with a range of world-class partners who help us
identify, train, and support our students

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The Future is up to you

Join our amazing community of donors to launch the leaders the world needs now.
Global Citizen Year is a 501c3, non-profit, and all contributions are fully tax-deductible.