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Grant Opportunities: Open Call for ICFJ’s Leap Innovation Lab

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Deadline: 12-Jun-22

Applications are now open for the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ)’s Leap Innovation Lab to identify the most pressing challenges affecting journalism and its mission to serve the public.

Addressing those challenges requires creativity – and the time and support to think innovatively.

Leap is a space to explore and shape the unfolding future of journalism.

How it Works

Mentors will lead small news teams through a 10-week design sprint and development process to solve a specific problem.

  • Explore (four weeks): Two workshops a week with experts in the field to map the landscape, identify needs and introduce new tools to address them.
  • Sprint (two weekends): An intensive Design Thinking process to rapidly develop and test a project or a product prototype.
  • Develop (four weeks):  Teams work with mentors to develop their idea enough to integrate into their newsrooms or pitch it to a funder for further development. They will provide grants to build out the best ideas.

They’ll provide financial support and guidance for Leap Innovation Fellows to work on tools and products that are helping journalism reinvent itself.

How they support
  • They are supporting journalism innovators in several ways:
  • Innovation lab:
    • Sprints: A 10-week program to explore, design and develop products and learn innovation processes
    • Hackathons: Events where developers and journalists can meet and invent together.
    • Fellowships: Support for innovators working on tools and products that are helping journalism thrive.
  • ICFJ’s Leap innovation lab provides a guided, focused experience to ease the risk and cost that inhibits innovation in the newsroom.
Eligibility Criteria
  • The program is open globally, and you can be from any country.
  • They encourage small teams from the same organization to apply together so they can better implement what they create. But they also accept applications from individuals.
  • Leap is right for you if you are a journalist, technologist or product person who:
    • Can identify a journalism challenge and work to solve it
    • Likes to collaborate with others
    • Wants to be a changemaker
    • Is ready to commit at least three hours a week
    • Is willing to share your product or outcomes with the journalistic community
    • Is fluent in English

For more information, visit https://www.icfj.org/leap

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