Wilson Center Programs

Immersive Experiences to Strengthen Your Skills

The Wilson Center organizes and sponsors a variety of marquis programs intended to inspire students and develop their knowledge and skills in leadership and innovation. Many of these programs have been started and led by students, serving as a means to practice and refine innovation and leadership skills. Wilson seeks to encourage innovation and leadership in a broad range of contexts by organizing programs that include a community-collaborative social entrepreneurship program, our own TEDx event, a speaker series, leadership workshops, and innovation and pitch competitions.

Photo of Students, faculty and staff for funded SPARK social innovation

Spark, a Community-Based Social Innovation Challenge

Spark is an innovation challenge focused on solving social problems in our community.

Photo of Ozzie Ercan at TEDxGrinnellCollege 2017


TEDxGrinnellCollege is an independently organized event that brings people together to share a TED-like experience.

Photo of Dylan Ambrosoli '18, Nathan Calvin '18, Nomalanga Shields '18 and Myles Becker '19 hold up a giant $2,000 check for winning Pioneer Weekend

Pioneer Weekend

Pioneer Weekend is an opportunity for students to showcase and validate ideas, experiences, and innovation through a 3-day competition.

Photo of Collage of eight Wilson speakers

Speaker Series: Diverse Paths of Leadership & Innovation

The Donald and Winifred Wilson Center for Innovation and Leadership sponsors a semester-long speaker series and an associated course for students.

Photo of Winning students and their sculpture

Kinetic Sculpture Competition

Teams of 2 or more Grinnell students come together across disciplines to create a sculpture that has a kinetic, or moving, component. Teams display their works for judging and potentially win cash prizes.