CEO, Global Citizen Year & award-winning social entrepreneur
Abigail Falik is the founder and CEO of Global Citizen Year, and an award-winning social entrepreneur. Global Citizen Year exists to normalize choosing a bridge year after high school: an experience that builds self-awareness, global skills and grit — the foundations for success in college and beyond. A recognized expert on social innovation and the changing landscape of education, Falik has been featured in Forbes, NPR, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. In 2018 she was named one of Goldman Sach’s 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs for the second time, and she’s also been named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. For her achievements as a social entrepreneur, she has been recognized as an Ashoka Fellow and a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur. Falik currently serves on the advisory boards of World Learning, Teach for All, and the Harvard Business School. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in International Relations and M.A. in International Comparative Education from Stanford University.
To learn more about her work, visit globalcitizenyear.org.
To practice what we teach at Global Citizen Year: leaving our comfort zones, putting curiosity before judgement, and taking risks that advance equity and inclusion.
Lead from the heart and stay grateful.
Emails, emails, and more emails!
Taking my four-year old son on a bike ride.
Work-life alignment matters more than work-life balance, and self-care is key to productivity and happiness.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
I grew up in Berkeley, and my passion for cross-cultural understanding was instilled early by the diverse and passionate communities that played a part in my upbringing. After several detours I’m back in the Bay Area, and am loving the experience of raising my two young sons in my vibrant home town.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Julie’s in Oakland is always great for brunch—especially their avocado toast!
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Heading out for a hike, run, or some yoga.
10:00 AM – On weekdays I’m likely going through my inbox, and on weekends I’m religious about unplugging, slowing down, and spending time with family.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
Lunch tends to be quick—I usually just grab something near the office and (unfortunately) eat at my desk!
7:00 PM – Reading to my boys (2.5yrs and 4yrs) about dangerous and extinct animals.
11:00 PM – Out cold. I’m religious about getting my eight hours!
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
One cup of strong coffee, and lots and lots of water.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Google maps, google KEEP, and any other app that feels like a tool instead of a distraction! I’m a huge fan of the new Screentime feature on the iPhone.
What should everyone try at least once?
If you can, travel to faraway places and immerse yourself in cultures unlike your own. There is a unique power in meaningful global experiences: they take us outside our comfort zones and awaken our empathy in ways that shape us forever.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
I love getting lost in good books, joyful moments with my boys, and the Berkeley hills. In 2000, I stopped out of college and moved to Salvador, Brazil with a backpack, a book of Portuguese verbs and the name of an NGO I hoped to work for (which, it turned out, didn’t exist). The experience of getting lost repeatedly and of forging my way in a new city stretched me in ways that changed who I was, and shaped who I am.