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Join the TOM Fellowship, a 9-month International Leadership Program built to empower students to apply innovation and technology to solve overlooked challenges in their community.​

2020-2021 FELLOW IMPACT.


Fellowship Program

What can a TOM Fellow expect?

All TOM Fellows...

  • Join an international cohort of student leaders for monthly workshops, seminars and networking events to hone your leadership, accessible product development, community organizing and adaptive design skills.
  • Establish, manage and grow a community of makers and social entrepreneurs on your campus.
  • Lead on-campus activities to design and build solutions for people with disabilities, unmet needs and more.

What's the curriculum like?

The program consists of monthly workshops and seminars covering a range of theoretical concepts and practical know-how on three-pillars: Community Organizing

  • How to build and grow a local innovation community.
  • How to share your community's story.
  • How to manage and fund your community.
  • What is accessibility.
  • How to build empathy in your community.
  • How to work with people with disabilities.
Inclusive Product Design
  • What is user-centric design, adaptive design and why are they needed.
  • How to develop inclusive products from A to Z.
  • How to build affordable products for local manufacturing by anyone, anywhere.

How long is the Fellowship?

The TOM Fellowship is a 9-month program, running from September to May. Exact dates for upcoming Fellowship cohorts can be found here.

Who should apply to be TOM Fellow?

Anyone who is...

  • A self-starter with an entrepreneurial spirit and a knack for positive social impact
  • A natural leader that likes to work with people and get them excited about big ideas
  • Committed to setting goals and achieving results with a ‘can do’ attitude
  • Excited about using tech for good and solving complex challenges
  • Proficient in English and comfortable speaking in front of others
Keep in mind that Felllowship applicants must be proficient in English and currently enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or PhD program at an accredited institution. Past TOM Fellows occupy a diverse array of academic backgrounds including, but not limited to: Architecture, Biology, Cognitive Science, Engineering, Design, Occupational and Physical Therapy, Medicine, Management, Mathematics, Nursing and Urban Planning.

What schools currently have TOM Fellows?

Afeka College of Engineering (TLV, IL) Bahir Dar University (Ethiopia) Ben Gurion University (Beer Sheva, IL) Bezalel Academy (Jerusalem, Israel) California State University San Marcos (San Marcos, CA) Columbia University (NY, NY) Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) Florida International University (Miami, FL) Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA) Holon Institute of Technology (Holon, IL) Northeastern University (Boston, MA) Pratt Institute (NY, NY) Shenkar College of Art & Design (Tel Aviv, IL) Tel Aviv University (Tel Aviv, IL) University of Maryland (Baltimore, MD) University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PN) University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA) Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)

Does the TOM Fellowship program cost money?

No! There is no fee to participate in the program.

Are TOM Fellows funded?

TOM Fellows in qualifying locations receive a personal stipend for their participation in the program.

What are the responsibilities of a TOM Fellow?

TOM Fellows responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating and/or growing a TOM community of makers and social entrepreneurs on their campus.
  • Leading TOM activities to design, build and distribute innovative solutions for people with unmet needs.
  • Participating in the 9-month Leadership Program along with other TOM Fellows.

Tikkun Olam Makers

What is TOM?

Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM) is a global network of communities dedicated to improving people’s lives by making affordable, open-source technology accessible to all. TOM empowers local communities of Makers to apply innovation and technology to solve overlooked challenges faced by Need-Knowers (people with disabilities, the elderly or other vulnerable groups). TOM is creating impact locally and globally by bringing together like-minded people around a shared vision of a more inclusive world.

Who is TOM?

All TOM communities are made up of:

  • Need-Knowers - Individuals with a disability and/or have an intimate knowledge and understanding of neglected needs that have no viable market solution.
  • Makers - Students, entrepreneurs, engineers, designers, healthcare professionals and anyone with a passion for social impact and problem-solving.
  • Community Organizers - Dedicated volunteers who plan, organize, and manage TOM activities in their local communities.

What is TOM's approach?

TOM started in Israel in 2014 with a simple observation that in every society, there is abundance and scarcity living side-by-side. In other words, in every society, you have many talented people with a range of expertise alongside many people who have basic unmet needs (or “neglected challenges”). TOM’s process of innovation brings together the expertise and the needs, allowing a user-focused solution to be created. All TOM solutions are open-source and shared with the world through our online platform.

Where is TOM?

TOM exists in homes, colleges and universities, in makerspaces and fablabs, and just about anywhere one can set up a 3D printer or basic local manufacturing equipment. For a full list of TOM Communities, follow this link.

How big is TOM's reach?

To date, over 72 communities in 27 countries have worked on 595+ prototypes with the help of over 5,500 volunteers. From Tel Aviv to Tokyo and from Melbourne to Mexico City, TOM Communities are repairing the world through open innovation.

Why TOM?

Simply put - TOM is changing people’s lives through technology and innovation, and by bringing people together to build community. TOM’s moonshot goal for the coming decade is to improve the lives of 250 million people with affordable, customizable, and easily replicable community-driven solutions.

What does TOM mean?

TIKKUN OLAM /tee-koon o-lam/ A Jewish concept calling upon every person to make a contribution toward improving the condition of their community and the world. MAKERS /ˈmākərs/ Refers to the maker movement and the growing power of the do-it-yourself revolution to customize solutions through new technologies and distributed manufacturing.


Year-Round Engagement

Campus activities operate year-round and campus-wide involving students from engineering, design, social work, occupational therapy, management and more.


Activities include:

  • Academic Courses

  • Campus Clubs

  • Design and Build Workshops

  • Seminars by Industry Leaders

  • On and Offline Makeathons

Check back to see our 2020-2021 Program Schedule.

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Find a TOM@University Community