What kind of time commitment will the Change Academy require?

If this is the way you are thinking about the Academy, let us suggest politely that you not apply. The Academy is not intended to be ‘leadership development’ or a fun side-project. Rather, it’s intended to accelerate your progress toward one of the most important goals your organization aspires to achieve. You are using us to help you accomplish something you need to accomplish anyway. Chances are, you will spend an enormous number of hours pursuing your goal—and the Academy itself will make up a small and strategic subset of those hours.  

Can leaders from corporations apply?

Yes, but honestly you have a harder burden of proof. We’re only interested in social impact, not profit, so you’d have to convince us that you share the same motive.

Can government leaders apply?

Yes. But part of how we’ll analyze your application is to assess how likely it is that your group can accomplish the change challenge. So if there are major roadblocks to your success—political gridlock, slashed budgets, legal uncertainties, etc.—and if those roadblocks are out of your control (and ours), that will be a significant disadvantage to your application.

Can students apply?

No, not unless you are also a full-time employee of an organization.


Yes, so long as your change mission involves social impact rather than spiritual.

I have an idea for social change but I haven’t started an organization. Can I come to cultivate my idea?

No, this is not a good forum for startup entrepreneurs. You are better off looking for options such as the Echoing Green fellowship that are good at cultivating social entrepreneurs.

Is the Change Academy focused on some particular domain, such as health care, education, etc.?

Any domain is fine. Because the Heaths’ books are built around research in psychology, there will be a bias toward goals that are behavioral rather than structural or policy-oriented. For instance, a group that wanted to encourage parents to read to their children would be favored over a group that wanted to change the policies around charter-school formation. But this is a preference rather than an “iron law.” (It would ultimately be considered under the “Fit” criterion. See, ‘How will the application be evaluated?’)

What if there are only a few people in my nonprofit?

We want to admit organizations that have the capacity to make an enormous positive impact, so if your organization is that small, please understand that you will have an extra burden of proof when it comes to the issues of Impact and Organizational Strength (See, ‘How will the application be evaluated?’) We could imagine, though, that a very small organization could have a strong application by leveraging the broader capabilities of partners.

Can I get a discount? A sponsorship? A scholarship? Can’t I come for free? What if I help clean up afterward?

No, the cost is the same for everyone. This program is a money-loser for CASE—we run it because we believe so strongly in its goals. So asking for a discount is kind of like adding insult to injury. ☺

Will I get course credit/a degree/a certificate/continuing ed credits?

No, unfortunately, you won’t get any of that. But what you will get is hands-on assistance to help you accomplish one of your most important organizational goals.

I’m worried that I will try really hard but fail to hit certain milestones and you won’t refund my $5,000.

Don’t worry. We truly, truly do not want to keep your money. The three milestones (to earn the $5,000 refund) are based on effort, not on outcomes—we can’t base them on outcomes, since outcomes involve a measure of luck. So if you try hard, you will achieve them.

When is the fee due? And when would we receive the “refund,” if we earn it?

The $10,000 fee is due by December 31 if your organization is admitted. The refundable part ($5,000), if earned, would be returned to you at the conclusion of our final session on July 29, 2015.

What airport would we fly into?


I have another question not listed here.

Email Christy at Christy@heathbrothers.com and we’ll get back to you.