Academic Programs


Applications Open for Young Social Entrepreneurs at Watson University

Deadline: November 1, 2016

Watson U is a new model of higher education designed to maximize the impact of the next generation. Promising young leaders from around the world are convened in Boulder, Colorado, where they start and advance ventures aimed at alleviating some of the world’s most urgent problems. The program consists of:


Watson U is looking for 18-23 year old early stage social entrepreneurs with a bias towards action. We evaluate each application using three main criteria:

The Person

Gritty Idealism: Watson scholars are idealistic in the sense that they believe they can make the world a better place, but gritty in the sense that they aren’t afraid to start and bootstrap a solution in a resource limited environment.
Entrepreneurial Courage: Ideal candidates protect their courage- by demonstrating they aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zone with a bias towards action and prototyping- while also protecting the courage of their fellow scholars- through support and peer to peer mentorship.

Motivation: We look at applicants’ key influences and motivations behind the creation of their ventures and their interest in attending Watson U, as well as their overall character. Competitive applicants are willing and able to dedicate themselves fully to this program as well as to their venture. They are communicative, open-minded and curious.

The Venture
Addressing the Root Cause: We evaluate the extent to which the idea the scholar is developing addresses the root cause of the problem they are choosing to solve – and how well have they articulated both their solution and the problem – rather than simply putting a band-aid on a problem.
Viability of Idea: We look at how likely it is that the applicant’s venture will succeed. Does the scholar have a solid idea and model to develop, advance, and eventually scale?

The Stage
Age and Life Stage: Students can apply to Watson’s semester program before (gap year), during, or immediately after their undergraduate studies, or come to Watson U for their Bachelor’s degree, which can be completed in as little as 2.5 years. Watson scholars are between the ages of 18-23.
Venture Stage, Early Prototyping: The students we select are early stage in the development of their ideas, but in most cases a strong applicant has already implemented at least a prototype of their idea. This means that they are typically past idea stage.

Partial and Full scholarships are available. See above for the full program description.

Arava Institute

The Arava Institute is a leading environmental and academic institution in the Middle East, working to advance cross-border environmental cooperation in the face of political conflict. Check out their academic programs, internships, and summer programs.

“Submit your application today to spend the spring 2017 semester at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies! On the Arava Institute’s academic program, you will take courses focused on cross-border environmental issues in the Middle East while living in a diverse community of students from the U.S., Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and countries around the world. All students at the Arava Institute receive course credit from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, accepted widely by most American universities.

Click here to submit your application today.

Questions? Please contact me at or 617-860-7718.


Ari Massefski
University Relations Manager
Friends of the Arava Institute”


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