Climate Strategies Accelerator (CSA) Fund 2017 for Young Leaders with solutions to end Oil Dependence.

Application Deadline: January 31st 2017

The CSA (Climate Strategies Accelerator) is both a fund –– with $20 million and counting ready to invest in new climate solutions –– and an accelerator, staffed with experts who know how to get big, audacious ideas off the ground. In 2017, we’re looking for 8-10 leaders with imaginative solutions for ending oil dependence.

Once selected, leaders will join the Oil Breakthrough Lab, a week-long boot camp and intensive 90-day accelerator designed to refine and strengthen their visions. Over the course of the lab, leaders will receive mentorship from experts; exposure to a global network of funders, luminaries, and seasoned innovators; and (most importantly) dedicated working time.

Participants will come out of the lab with a polished proposal and pitch, which they’ll present to the CSA network of funders at a collaborative, in-person event. The CSA Fund will then decide if any of the candidates will move on to become Program Leaders, receiving grants of up to $1-2 million per year over a three-year period to further pursue their ideas.

CSA Selection Criteria

CSA are looking for high-potential concepts for far-reaching social or political change. The CSA does not invest in for-profit enterprises or innovations (though these are also essential to carbon reduction). Instead, we seek new ideas that leverage political, cultural, social, or behavioral change to reimagine transit systems, urban planning, water use, land rights, technology, consumer habits, and more.

CSA expect that participants’ ideas will evolve –– we want them to. The solutions that innovators pitch to funders at the end of the Breakthrough Lab may look very different from their original proposals. We are more interested in finding the right people for the accelerator than the perfect ideas.

Breakthrough Lab candidates should have:

  • ● A history of creating real, meaningful change in their fields
  • ● Strong and diverse networks
  • ● Drive, tenacity, and imagination
  • ● Willingness to work full-time on their project for three years
  • ● Systems thinking and collaborative approach
  • ● The right ratio of talent to arrogance

At the end of the Breakthrough Lab, the CSA Fund may choose to invest in one or more candidates, who would then become Program Leaders, receiving $1-2 million USD per year for a three-year grant period to pursue their ideas. There is no guarantee that any of the Fellows will become Program Leaders.

Selections will be based on:

  • ● The anticipated impact of the project (i.e., tons of carbon or disruptive political change)
  • ● The strength of the leader’s strategy and theory of change
  • ● Leader’s demonstrated ability to work with a large network to achieve the goal
  • ● English proficiency (this Breakthrough Lab will be conducted only in English, though future Labs may be conducted in additional languages)


CSA don’t believe any one person or organization can achieve the scale of change we seek; we’re looking for innovators who are ready to work with an entire ecosystem of players –– from government and NGOs to private enterprise. We seek leaders who can serve as a hub within a network, partnering with and resourcing other groups and individuals (including redistributing grant funds) in order to achieve their goals.

Application Timeline

January 31, 2017: Online applications due

February 2017:

  • ● CSA team reviews applications and selects semi-finalists
  • ● Semi-finalists receive written feedback and questions about their concepts
  • ● Finalists are selected (based on responses) and continue to round of video interview

March 3, 2017: Final selections are made

Breakthrough Lab Timeline

May 2017:

  • ● Breakthrough Lab kicks off with bootcamp
  • ● Fellows receive $5,000 USD participation honorariums

May-August 2017:

  • ● 90-day acceleration sprint
  • ● Each Fellow works with CSA’s network of experts, mentors, and coaches to develop a polished proposal and pitch deck

September 2017:

  • ● Breakthrough Lab concludes at an in-person event in Asia, where Fellows will pitch their ideas to the CSA funder network
  • ● CSA Fund evaluates each Fellow’s proposal to see if any qualify for prototype grants, or to become Program Leaders

January 2018: Program Leader announcements are made

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Climate Strategies Accelerator (CSA) Fund 2017


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