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Purpose Fellowship



Purpose US seeks to rethink how organizations are owned, governed, and financed. We’ve supported dozens of businesses and community initiatives in raising capital on non-extractive terms, transition into steward-ownership structures, and develop inclusive multi-stakeholder governance models.

As we develop more equitable and inclusive structures, we need to learn from existing and emerging initiatives. We are interested in partnering with researchers, activists, educators, investors, and entrepreneurs working on legal and policy innovation, investment, technology, science, and cultural initiatives.

Specifically, we’re looking to support work being done on the climate crisis, racial inequality, community wealth-building, and investment as they relate to questions of equitable ownership, governance, and finance. We are especially interested in working with community-led initiatives, especially in historically marginalized communities.


Our Fellows commit to working ~1 day/week for 3 months and produce a final report or project. The nature and format of this project will be developed in collaboration with the Purpose team. Fellowship projects could include academic research, contributions to an existing project or body of thought, or the development of practical resources. We are open to all forms of media: written, video, podcast, etc. Our objective is to leave the framing and structure of the Fellowship open for exploration and creativity. We are interested in co-developing the outcomes with Fellows.

Fellows will receive monthly stipends for their participation. The Fellowship will begin in September 2020.


  • Conduct independent research, development, and execution on a self-directed project
  • Consistently participate in meetings and online communications alongside others involved in the research process
  • Formulate considered, novel opinions to share with others on the subject matter under consideration
  • Occasionally attend conferences where relevant to present or support works showcased
  • Incorporate feedback from a variety of stakeholders
  • Deliver final project



  • Excellent writing skills
  • Excellent command of the English language
  • Professional experience and interest in ownership, governance, or finance
  • Professional experience working with startups, mature businesses, economic development, impact investing, new governance, or community ownership.


  • Actively working to develop or deploy a project or piece of research directly related to alternative ownership, governance, and finance.
  • This would be suitable for someone enrolled in a graduate study program in economics, finance, urban planning, policy, sociology, anthropology, etc.
  • Experience in law and/or financing
  • Willingness to engage in and facilitate collaborative narrative processes from time to time as necessary.


  • Practical projects that create examples, templates, toolkits, and other resources in the fields of alternative ownership, governance, and finance
  • New approaches to local economic development leveraging alternative ownership, governance, and non-extractive financing
  • Ownership, governance, and financing as frameworks for market development strategies in healthcare, regenerative agriculture, technology, local economic development, or other critical industries
  • Integrated and non-extractive financing structures
  • Stakeholder engagement in asset governance and benefit