“The Foundation made a real commitment to make the fellowship more diverse. I saw it happen almost before my eyes...there were more women in the room, more people of colour, people from different countries.”

  • Peter Bloom
We recognise the need for greater diversity within our fellowship, but we consistently fail to meet our own expectations and goals in this regard. We welcome a diverse range of applicants and ideas every application round, but ultimately, we have a western view of the world. We are victims of our cognitive biases that arise from many processes that operate below our awareness and influence our behaviours.
‌In every application round, we usually have a list of two or three applicants that would help us further increase our community's diversity. Unfortunately, they have good ideas but fail to articulate them in the ways we've come to expect. Our bias makes them and their ideas less compelling, and that's a huge problem that we need to address.
We are actively trying to solve this to avoid our philanthropy maintaining the status quo. Diversity of thinking and experience is an essential component of the fellowship. Interaction between people with different sets of skills and frames of reference can unlock genuinely revolutionary ideas. Our fellows from India, the Middle East and Africa have brought new thinking and perspectives into the fellowship. But we still need to find additional voices to challenge and inspire our growing community and find individuals to trust and respect because - not despite - of their different frames of reference.
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