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The 2020 Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize will honour young innovators less than 15 years out of their Bachelors program, who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. The Prize aims to support and inspire innovative social change makers throughout the world.

Nominations are now being called for the 2020 Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize. Nominees should be creative problem solvers. The innovation can be a product, a process, or a novel use of old or new technology. It can also be an innovation that creates new opportunities or it can be a market-based solution. It can also be an innovation that leads to a more sustainable/just solution to an existing problem.


The prize is a US$100,000 award. Half of the monetary prize will be given to the winner and half to the winner’s organization.


Nominees could be single individuals or a team of 2 people who are working together, who are primary project innovators. Nominees may be nationals of any country and do not need to be affiliated with Grinnell College, but they must have completed a Bachelors degree (or equivalency) between 2004 and 2020. They should be change-makers working on the cutting edge of social innovation, or leaders collaborating and co-creating solutions to pressing social justice issues. They could also be visionaries tackling immediate challenges while addressing related systemic issues, or mentors who are inspiring the next generation of social innovators.

Nominees should be a force for social justice and have identified a concrete social or environmental justice need, designed and implemented equitable and creative solutions to address that need, and have begun to address the need’s systemic and root causes. They should have made a substantive community or environmental impact. They must also demonstrate the essence of Grinnell College’s broad liberal arts education through serving the common good and possessing expertise in the areas of critical thinking, innovative problem solving, and measurable systemic change making.

Nominees must not be widely known outside their immediate community or field and possess sufficient English fluency to engage with the Grinnell College community.

Self-nominations are not accepted.


Nominations are to be submitted online by 7 October 2019.

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