Program Information

The New World Social Innovation Fellowship has four key elements: co-curricular sessions, coaching and mentoring, self-directed immersion learning, and the Social Change Plan. Over the course of the Fellowship, students – known as Cheng Fellows – work to refine their understanding of a specific social problem, reflect on their personal identities and sources of power, and take action in finding their unique pathway forward, making concrete plans to continue their work post-graduation as social innovators in movements, organizations, businesses, and/or government. Fellows will also become part of a dedicated cohort and larger community of changemakers invested in advancing their work and the work of their peers to achieve positive social impact.

The program is rigorous and time-intensive, intended for students with a steadfast commitment to a defined social or public problem and dedication to advancing concrete progress against this problem while in school and post-graduation. Cheng Fellows are expected to enter the program with a deep understanding of a specific public or social problem and the ability to clearly articulate the state, scope, and importance of the problem, as well as their personal motivation to address it.

In addition to the world-class curricular studies offered at Harvard, Cheng Fellows will:

  • Engage with and learn from leading faculty, social innovators, sector experts, major foundations, and others;
  • Join in a cohort of like-minded peers dedicated to and working toward achieving social change;
  • Receive mentorship and guidance from faculty and staff affiliated with the Fellowship, in addition to an extensive network of coaches and mentors;
  • Undertake a self-directed project;
  • Produce a comprehensive Social Change Plan that serves as a reflection of your learning and a springboard for continued action post-graduation; and
  • Be eligible for up to $30,000 in funding in support of project-related inquiry, development, ideation, and advancement upon successful completion of the program.

This program challenges Fellows to grapple with complexity; engage directly and thoughtfully with stakeholders and constituents; dissect the systems and politics that shape the problem space; and continually assess whether the actions they are taking will bring about desired social change.

Program Structure

The Cheng Fellowship engages HKS, HBS, and Harvard College students who are looking to be in action, dedicated, and focused in creating social change around a specific problem. All applicants must be available to attend weekly evening co-curricular sessions (one night/week) on HKS’ campus for the duration of the 2019-20 academic year and in good academic standing for the duration of their participation.

The Award

Cheng Fellows are eligible for up to a total of $30,000 in support of project-related inquiry, development, ideation, and advancement. A limited sum from this pool is accessible to Fellows while they are in school to enable real-world learning and practice of the skills and competencies introduced through the Fellowship. Significant funding is held pending successful program completion and is intended to support project-related work post-graduation. If accepted as a partnership, funding is allocated on a project basis (not per individual Fellow) and dependent on successful completion of the program by the whole team.

Fellowship funding can be used towards:

  • understanding the problem;
  • identifying solutions;
  • testing and implementing a specific solution; and
  • filling in professional skills gaps.

Please note that all funding awarded through the New World Social Innovation Fellows Program is intended to support Cheng Fellow projects and is not applicable to tuition, school fees, etc.

About Adrian Cheng

The New World Social Innovation Fellows Program is supported by New World Development Company, a Hong Kong-listed conglomerate led by Adrian Cheng, a 2002 graduate of Harvard College.

Adrian Cheng is the Executive Vice-chairman and General Manager of New World Development Company Limited.  He is the chairman of New World Group Charity Foundation Limited and a director of certain subsidiaries of the Group. Cheng worked in a major international bank prior to joining New World Development Company Limited in September 2006 and has substantial experience in corporate finance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree (cum laude) from Harvard University with a focus on East Asia studies and was conferred the Honorary Doctorate of Humanities by the Savannah College of Art and Design.  Cheng founded New World Springboard Community Program which encourages young people to give back to society and also founded K11 Art Mall and K11 Arts Foundation which nurtures young artists, offers international scholarships, and hosts exhibitions around the world. He is the vice-chairman of the Youth Federation of the Central State-owned Enterprises, the vice-chairman of All-China Youth Federation, a member of the Tianjin Municipal Committee of The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and a member of Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.