Today’s leaders must contend with many challenges locally and globally. As a community of leaders, we have identified several interrelated challenges that we want BLI students to contemplate, collaborate and engage with. We believe building capacity in these areas will prepare Michigan students to be effective leaders who address these BIG questions with grace and humility. We ask how to,
- Mitigate social disparities (i.e., unequal distribution of resources and services in education, housing, income, occupational safety, access to physical and mental healthcare, etc.) across/within cultures, ethnicities, race, gender, sexualities, abilities, and/or regions to ensure equity.
- Strengthen connections between communities and steward peace (e.g., freedom from disturbance; resolution of disputes and the maintenance of a tranquil world; preservation of and respect for individual dignity) in enduring, nurturing, and sustainable ways.
- Foster well-being and resilience (e.g., academic, mental, physical, social obstacles; combat stigma).
- Utilize technology for social good (e.g., responsible use of technology; improving the quality of life for people marginalized by visible identities such as race, gender, ability, or invisible identities such as socio-economic status, ability, sexual orientation, mental health; mitigating the negative impact of technology).
- Promote sustainable environmental behavior (e.g. recycling, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, responsible consumerism, corporate accountability); cultivate connection and harmony between people and nature.
- Promote civic and democratic engagement, including non-partisan voter engagement, civics and media literacy, and dialogue across differences.
The BLI will accept five teams to the 2021 cohort. All teams are provided with financial support, academic and professional mentorship, and a variety of skills training:
- Eligible to receive a minimum of $15,000 of project funding, including stipend support for all students, and housing stipend during bootcamp for students facing financial hardships.
- Experience coaching and mentorship from BLI professional staff, graduate assistants, alumni, and experts in the field.
- Refine research skills such as targeted data collection and analysis, academic literature reviews, survey development, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews with stakeholders.
- Gain experience in grant writing and reporting, budgeting, project management, teamwork, public speaking, navigating ambiguity, stakeholder analysis, and curating and managing an advisory board.
- Learn about ethically and equitably engaging with a community.
- Receive and integrate ongoing, timely feedback into project development and implementation.
- Engage in critical reflection.
- Cultivate a professional community through networking opportunities and cohort meet-ups
The London Idea
One lucky Capstone team is selected annually as the London Idea Project. The student team selected will benefit from specialized support for their action, connections to mentors, and a visit to Chicago to connect with leaders in their chosen field of study. While in Chicago, the team will have an opportunity to present at The London Idea Foundation benefit.
The London Idea was created to celebrate the legacy of Adam London, a 2011 graduate of the University, majoring in Organizational Studies. He was an innovative ideator, a passionate creator, and an avid explorer. The London Idea Foundation’s partnership with BLI continues Adam’s work connecting people and ideas.
The 2020 TLI team was Blueprints for Pangaea!
- At least one team member must be a BLI Fellow who has completed ALA 175, or is currently enrolled in ALA 175. There is still time to take ALA 175 in winter 2021 as the one credit class starts on March 8.
- All team members must be undergraduates in good academic standing who are enrolled at the U-M through December 2021.
- Teams must have a minimum of two members and up to a maximum of four members who are actively participating in the Capstone program, and able to attend all required dates listed in the next tab.
- Program Cycle: May 2021 – December 2021
- Spring Intensive: May
- Spring Showcase: May
- Summer Data Collection: June – August
- Fall Implementation: September – December
- Final Showcase: Early December
Not sure if your idea qualifies?
Schedule a consultation! The Capstone Program does not require a fully fleshed out idea. If you’re unsure about whether your idea or project qualifies, schedule a consultation with Program Manager, Fatema Haque
How do you select projects to fund?
We review your completed applications, invite promising teams to interview in-person, and then the selection committee makes the final decision.
My project has received funding from another source. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes. We allow projects that have received funding elsewhere as long as you can commit to meeting all of our requirements.