New Fellowship Program Supports Young Professionals Who Want to Make a Difference in the World

In January, the Deloitte consulting firm released its annual survey of millennial professionals in the workplace. Findings from the survey of nearly 8,000 young professionals were telling:

· 76 percent said they regard business as a force for positive social change

· 62 percent said business leaders are committed to social change

· 59 percent said they had at least a fair amount of accountability for protecting the environment (and the environment ranked higher on accountability than other social issues). About 40 percent said they thought they exert a “significant” level of influence to protect the environment.

In short, the majority of young professionals — like many other businesspeople — realize that business leaders can be a force for change. Further, working millennials feel the need to take action, especially when it comes to the environment.

Question is, how to do so?

Today, E2 and mission-driving hotel brand 1 Hotels are launching a unique new way for young professionals to leverage their business voices and backgrounds to help change environmental and clean energy policies for the better.

Through the new 1 Hotels Fellowship at E2, a total of 10 early and mid-career professionals will receive $25,000 each to organize and execute projects designed to advance policies to address pressing environmental and clean energy issues around the country.

You can see more details — including a link to apply — here.

The fellowships are made possible through a generous grant from Barry Sternlicht, the founder of 1 Hotels and chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). E2 is a project of NRDC. Sternlicht and NRDC President Rhea Suh announced the E2 fellowships at an Earth Day event in New York.

Since its founding 17 years ago, E2 and its business members have worked to advance policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. We’ve done this through direct advocacy and meetings with lawmakers; through research and reports that show how smart environmental policies can drive economic growth, and through our communications work that tells the story of clean energy and sustainable businesses.

The idea behind the 1 Hotels Fellowship at E2 is to tap into the passion, the desire and the creativity of young businesspeople, whose voices are desperately needed in today’s political and policy climate.

Young professionals who want change the world can apply for the fellowship by submitting policy-focused project ideas that are local or national in scope. Sample projects include:

· Organizing business roundtables and advocacy trips to connect business leaders with lawmakers in key states to discuss policy issues;

· Researching the economic and jobs impacts of investments in clean water or clean energy that can used for advocacy;

· Creating social media and other communications campaigns and tools that tell the stories of businesses making a difference at the intersection of the economy and the environment.

The 1Hotels Fellowship at E2 will be an integral part of E2’s new Emerging Leaders program, which is designed to give young professionals training, mentoring and opportunities to add their voice with other businesspeople in advocating for policies that will create a clean economy. You can learn more about the E2 Emerging Leaders program here.

Now more than ever, it’s critical for young business leaders to stand up, speak up and get engaged if they want to keep our country on a path toward a clean energy and clean economy future.

If you’re among the majority of millennials who want to leverage your business voice to make a difference in the world, this is your chance.

Executive director, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)

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