First Cohort of Brilliant Leaders Fellowship Kicks off in May

The Steelcase Foundation is excited to launch its first cohort of its Brilliant Leaders Fellowship in May. The Brilliant Leaders Fellowship invests in the professional development, social capital, healing, retention, and growth of local community nonprofit leaders. As visionary and courageous leadership can often be lonely and exhausting, Fellows will get the change to step back from the day-to-day demands of their role, meet with extraordinary peers who push their thinking, build social capital with systems and community leaders, reflect on their work and purpose in spaces that offer healing from the emotionally heavy work they do, and get encouragement and support to pursue their vison and futures. 

Program Goals + Outcomes

The Brilliant Leaders Fellowship is a 12-month transformational experience for leaders to gather for learning, sharing, and connecting with the goal of creating a strong system of support, ideation, collaboration, and leadership. The fellowship will include reflection on values-based leadership and equity, time for inspiration and celebration of participants as agents for change, and intentional community building among leaders with space for healing and respite. 


The cohort will convene a dynamic and diverse group of nonprofit leaders supporting education and economic and social mobility and wellbeing across Kent County focused on the following:

  • Steelcase Foundation’s mission alignment.
  • Reinventing and building systems of care, learning, and economic mobility for children, parents/caregivers, and families. 
  • Two-gen approaches to further early-childhood, postsecondary, and employment pathways; health and well-being, and social capital.
  • Narrative leaders, influences and storytellers who break through noise, open hearts and minds, and build public and political will.
  • On-the-ground innovators.

Fellows commit to participating in three Forums, bi-monthly small group check-ins, and two individual check-ins. In return, they are provided the space, inspiration, and support to think, dream, and build meaningful connections.    

Fellowship Dates 

  • Forum I (Michigan): October 25 – 27, 2023 
  • Forum II (TBD): Feb 7 – 9, 2024 
  • Forum III (TBD): June 5 – 7, 2024 

Application Process 

Nomination for Brilliant Leaders participants is ongoing through May 22, 2023. If selected, fellowship applications will be due July 11, 2023. Short interviews will be conducted in July and August for those continuing through the process, and final notification will be completed in August. 

Application Timeline

  • Nomination deadline: May 22, 2023 
  • Application deadline: June 11, 2023 
  • Finalist notification: July 7, 2023 
  • Finalist interviews: July-August 2023 
  • Fellowship notification and acceptance: August 2023 
  • Public announcement: September 2023