Program Details & Expectations

Detailed information on our programs in Warsaw and Berlin

Warsaw: 12th Fellowship Program: "Ideas Incubator"

When: May 26 - June 25, 2017

Where: Warsaw, Poland

What makes Humanity in Action fellowship special is that it is focused on people – their unique experiences, passion for taking action and readiness to engage in a global network of activists! 

The program is not only an opportunity to engage in a vigorous and multidimensional debate as well as to share experiences and knowledge with people from variety of disciplines and different countries, but also it is a gateway to new skills, networks and new potential for making a difference. In addition to cooperating with their peers and human rights trainers, the fellows will deepen their knowledge and skills by engaging in an dialogue with experienced human rights activists, NGO leaders, NGOs, renowned academics and policy experts, journalists, and representatives of public administration. During the site visits to various human rights oriented institutions and organization, the fellows will also get to see how they operate on daily basis.

So far, over 200 participants from all over the world took part in the Warsaw fellowships. The experience of the fellowship for many of them happened to be a turning point in their lives. According to the newest study on Humanity in Action alumni, the senior fellow community is personally and professionally profitable to fellows: approximately half of fellows consider someone within the Humanity in Action community to be a role model. One in four Fellows has found a job through a Humanity in Action connection.

Please refer to the program of the 2016 fellowship in Warsaw for more details.

Thematic scope

As it is the case with all Humanity in Action fellowships, the Polish program called, “Ideas Incubator,” deals with the question of how the Polish state and society have been dealing with human rights challenges in historical and contemporary perspectives. Special attention will be drawn to histories of discrimination and resistance - especially in the context of World War II, the Holocaust and National Socialism, relationships between majority and minorities, civil society, societal (in)justice, activism, and solidarity. Those important and complex issues will be tackled through the Polish perspective so that they're not analyzed solely in an ‘abstract’ vacuum, but in a given socio-political-economic and historical context. In other words, Poland’s past-present-future will be treated as a case study in order to look for certain universal and particular patterns/mechanisms that influence how a showcased society is functioning at a given time and the role of individuals to make ‘things work better’. Special attention will be given to present cases of contemporary human rights violations from the perspective of various categories of discriminated or excluded members of the Polish society.
Since after World War II, Poland has been a rather homogenous country. The society lacked an exposure to ‘the other’ and, as a consequence, Polish society was polarized in debates on diversity. Nowadays, the political and social debate is divided to even a greater extent due the swift rise of populist and xenophobic rhetoric following dominant European trends, and hostile attitudes towards refugees and migrants. In many instances, free speech turns into hate speech. That is why this year’s fellowship will be focused on the issue of hate speech, hate crime and discrimination - how it manifests, what kinds of threats it poses to a democratic society, and how it could be counteracted. Throughout the program, the participants will have a chance to come up with ideas/best practices regarding what kind of initiatives young activists could undertake to try to counteract discrimination in on-line and off-line realities, and - by that - make at least some difference.
Participants will take part in trainings on how to raise awareness on human and minority rights - with a special focus on community organizing using social campaigns and various kinds of social action. The overall goal for participants will be to develop and implement social campaigns on social media. The task would be first to reach out and research problems and needs of selected groups facing discrimination within the society and developing innovative strategies for counteracting these human rights infringements.

"Humanity in Action has fundamentally changed my perspective on foreign policy, international relations, minority rights, and human rights, among many other things. I have come to look at these issues in a more critical and sophisticated manner. A great network of friends from Poland, the US, and Ukraine, which I developed in the program, is a great asset for my future. Humanity in Action was instrumental for me to narrow down my passion within the field of human rights, and to develop a global understanding of transnational conflicts and global affairs.“- Sudip, USA, social activist, Warsaw Fellow


The fellowship consists of ‘input’ and ‘output’ sessions, which complement each other. In the ‘input’ sessions, the stress will be more on developing knowledge and exchanging ideas in debates, whereas the ‘output’ activities will be more focused on enhancing skills essential in human rights activism by completing a given task. In other words, throughout the fellowship, thanks to applying active learning methods and with the help of experienced trainers, the participants will have a chance to effectively combine theory with practice and to ‘learn by doing’.
An important note to prospective applicants: The fellowship is intensive and time-consuming. Participants are expected to be prepared for the daily active participation and to make time for meeting with participants after the organized program. We therefore kindly inform potential participants that there will NO be time for tourist excursions, university, work, meeting family, friends and partners etc. during the fellowship.


The Humanity in Action Fellowships in Poland and Germany are free of charge. 

Humanity in Action Poland, thanks to generous support of the Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future", and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (concerning Greek Fellows’ participation), covers the costs of participation, accommodation (housing costs are covered for those fellows who reside outside the Warsaw area), public transportation, entrance fees and relevant guided site-visits. Additionally, Humanity in Action provides a meal stipend. However as it will cover some but not all the meals, fellows should also bring spending money for food and social activities during the program (depending on personal needs the amount might range from ca. 800-2300 PLN/200-550 EUR in the Warsaw Program, ca. 450 EUR in the Berlin Program). 

Important: all the fellows will be responsible for financing the cost of transportation to and from the fellowship programs. Please note however, that Humanity in Action might cover this cost for fellows with documented need.

The transportation to the venue of the Humanity in Action International Conference in Berlin (June 22 - June 25, 2017 ) will be provided by Humanity in Action. 

For more details about the fellowship in Poland, please contact us via email: poland(at) 

The Berlin Program

When: May 26 - June 25, 2017

Where: Berlin, Germany 

Against the historical background of Germany’s colonial history, the Second World War and the Holocaust, 22 carefully chosen participants from at least five different countries will examine contemporary questions around identity formation and societal pluralism in Germany.

Germany's past and present serve as case studies for the Humanity in Action Berlin Fellowship. On this basis, Fellows will examine patterns and mechanisms that underpin human rights related challenges today by learning from historic examples. Particular attention is given to the relationships between minority and the majority populations, the role of civil society, and phenomena of social injustice, including for example the concept of group-focused hostility. Fellows will visit historic sites of remembrance and speak with experts from the private, public and nonprofit sectors. The Berlin Fellowship’s main platform of inquiry lies in the personal exchange with renowned policy-makers, activists, academics and artists, as well as among the Fellows. 

The program will explore Germany’s approaches to its own histories, Germany’s remembrance culture and Germany’s human rights situations today. More specifically, it addresses the neglected colonial past of the country and its impact on German society today; the Holocaust; forced labor during the Nazi era and forms of modern forms of labor exploitation; Nazi ideology and current right-wing extremism; as well as immigration and integration policy. A variety of issues related to minorities belonging in Germany, including their marginalization and contemporary mechanisms of discrimination – often with a view to their historical origins, will form part of the Berlin Fellowship. Among these issues are racism, Antisemitism, Islamophobia, Antiziganism, trans- and homophobia, classism, the devaluation of people with disabilities but also feminism and gender-related identity questions. 

To be equipped with tools to translate their own ideas into action, Fellows will engage in practice-oriented skills workshops. To be inspired by ideas already turned into action, Fellows will meet with representatives of successful civil society initiatives in a variety of the above-mentioned realms. To ensure their own future impact, Fellows will start developing their ideas for projects in their own communities during this Fellowship program. 

Please refer to the program of the 2016 Humanity in Action Fellowship in Berlin.

For more details about the fellowship in Germany, please contact germany(at)