It’s an interesting idea, but even if this ends up producing very engaged participants you have to be careful.
If you (deliberately and successfully) only select for people who are super keen, you end up with a super keen cohort but potentially only minimal counterfactual impact as all those you selected would have ended up really involved anyway. This was briefly mentioned in the post and I think is worth exploring further.
Thank you so much for the insights! We’ve tried longer applications to ensure that the fellows are more engaged due to bad experiences of fellows dropping out / derailing the conversation in the past. However, the point about counterfactual impact has nudged me to shorten our application!
I agree that exactly that tradeoff is important! There’s definitely a balance to be struck, and you certainly wouldn’t want to exclude those who already very aligned on the basis of low counterfactual impact, as the participation of those people will likely be very positive for other members!