What is the International Strategy Forum?
The International Strategy Forum (ISF) is an initiative of Schmidt Futures that bets early on the next generation of problem solvers with extraordinary potential in geopolitics, innovation, and public leadership. Chaired by Fareed Zakaria and Jared Cohen, ISF seeks out non-traditional talent across boardrooms, newsrooms, laboratories, policy-making councils, foundations, and beyond. Through convenings, mentorship, and more, ISF equips rising leaders in technology and international affairs with knowledge, network, and resources to tackle hard global problems.
What are the benefits of becoming a Fellow?
The benefits of becoming an ISF Fellow take many forms. The program is personalized and tailored to Fellows’ needs as they grow during their fellowship year and beyond. All ISF Fellows receive access to the following benefits:
Convenings: Fellows attend two convenings during their fellowship year.
1. ISF Global: Each February, Fellows from all across the world participate in a global convening, commencing the yearlong program.
2. ISF Regional (Africa, Asia, North America, and Europe): Fellows reconvene with their regional cohorts during the second half of their fellowship to discuss international affairs in smaller settings.
Network Events: Fellows are invited to virtual and in-person events hosted by ISF and partner organizations, including briefings with subject-matter experts, Fellow-led discussions, and leadership and upskilling courses.
Mentorship: Fellows have access to ISF Advisors and alumni of the program for mentorship and collaboration.
What is the time commitment for Fellows?
Fellows attend two convenings (ISF Global and ISF Regional) during their fellowship year. Each convening is 3 – 4 days in duration.
Outside of the convenings, Fellows have the flexibility to engage as much as possible with program offerings. On average, Fellows can expect to commit up to 4 hours per month with ISF.
What makes ISF unique?
ISF is a global network. Similar networks tend to be siloed by region. ISF is a worldwide community focused on tackling shared global challenges.
ISF focuses on technology and geopolitics. Foreign policy programs often fail to recognize the outsized impact technology will play on the global stage. ISF brings together international strategists with experts in hard sciences and other professions to break down barriers between fields.
Is ISF in person?
Global and regional convenings are in person, pending guidance from public health officials. During the year of fellowship, ISF offers in-person, virtual, and hybrid events.
Is the application available in languages other than English?
The application is only available in English. All programming is in English.
Am I eligible for ISF?
You are eligible if:
1. Between the ages of 25 and 35
2. Citizen, dual citizen, or resident from a country in Africa, Asia, North America, and Europe
3. Demonstrated expertise and/or strong interest in technology and/or global affairs
What is the application process?
1. Written Application
2. Panel Interview
How do I access the application?
Applications are shared by ISF Advisors, alumni, and partner organizations.
Why does the program start at ages 25 – 35?
Just as Schmidt Futures bets early on exceptional people making the world better, ISF believes that young individuals building their careers have unique perspectives that are often overlooked on the world stage. ISF is dedicated to investing in these ideas and talents before they have been spotted by others, so long as they hold outsized promise for the future of technology and international affairs.