Institute for Open Leadership


Creative Commons has developed the Institute for Open Leadership (IOL) to train new leaders in education, science, and public policy fields on the values and implementation of openness in licensing, policies, and practices. By training new leaders, connecting them to each other and helping them complete their first capstone open project in their institution, we will prepare them to guide emerging movements in open science, open education, open government, and open culture. These movements are using Creative Commons licenses to broaden public access to knowledge, data, culture, and research around the world, creating new opportunities for education, innovation, and creativity.

The first Institute for Open Leadership took place 12-16 January, 2015 in San Francisco, California. IOL 2 is happening March 14-18, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Who should apply to be an IOL 2 Fellow?

We encourage applications from public and private sector professionals interested in working to develop and implement an open policy within their organization or institution. We accept applications from any field, including academia, the arts, cultural heritage institutions, government, scientific labs, and others who are eager to become experts in open licensing, pursue new opportunities for open publishing of content and data, and directly influence policy decisions in your institution and field of work.

We seek candidates with excellent interpersonal and communication skills, proven leadership abilities, and a commitment to the program and follow-on activities. Those selected will come from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities and organizations. We also aim for gender balance. Strong English language skills are required as the participants will need to communicate about complex open issues with peers and experts.

What is needed to apply?

Applicants must submit all of the following information via email to [email protected] by October 30, 2015 (midnight, Pacific Standard Time).

1. Cover letter (1 page max)
2. Resume (2 pages max)
3. Open policy project proposal (2 pages max)
4. Estimated travel budget (coach airfare, ground transportation, visa costs, etc.) (1 page max)
5. Letter of support from a recommender, with their contact information (1 page max)

Example of project proposal from IOL 1
Example of project proposal from IOL 1
Example of project proposal from IOL 1
Example of project proposal from IOL 1
Example of project proposal from IOL 1

How are fellows selected?

  • Strength of proposal – Is your project adequately scoped with concrete outcomes and measurable results?
  • Plan for collaboration – How will you work with stakeholders in your field to educate and promote open policies?
  • Potential for impact – Are you in a position to influence policy at your organization?

How many fellows will be accepted?

15 fellows

When are applications due?

October 30, 2015 (midnight, Pacific Standard Time)

When will I be notified if I am accepted?

November 13, 2015 [Updated: November 20, 2015]

When and where is IOL 2 happening?

March 14-18, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa

Who pays for travel and accommodations?

We aim to defray as many travel expenses (airfare, hotel, ground transportation, food, parking, visa costs, etc.) as we can for each IOL fellow. Every effort will be made to host the Institute in a cost effective location so IOL fellows and their institutions bear little or no additional expense. We will ask each applicant to submit an estimated travel budget.

What is required of IOL Fellows?

Selected fellows will attend a week-long in-person institute to work and learn with mentors and other fellows. Fellows will propose an open policy project they will develop during the institute and work to implement afterwards. Fellows will transform the concepts learned at the institute into a practical, actionable, and sustainable initiative within their home institution.

Selected fellows will be expected to actively participate in the IOL Fellows mailing list,share their projects and work progress with the Open Policy Network and the public (blog posts, presentations, etc.), and give a final presentation about their project via a webinar within 12 months of attending the institute.

Fellows agree to share project plans and resources created at the institute under a CC BY 4.0 International license.

What are the benefits of being selected?

IOL fellows will learn about various aspects of openness (licensing, policy, education, science, culture, data, etc.) from global open leaders, form professional connections with other fellows, receive feedback on their project proposals and help revising project plans, and will join the global open movement. The institute will provide attendees with multiple examples of real open policies for review, critique and potential adoption.

I have a question that isn’t answered here. Who do I contact?

Send a note to [email protected].

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