Wilson Center Programs

Immersive Experiences to Strengthen Your Skills

The Wilson Center organizes and sponsors a variety of marquee 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.

  • Student participants of SPARK program with Ramsey Weeks Truck

    Spark, a Community-Based Social Innovation Challenge

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

  • A speaker gives a TEDxGrinnellCollege talk.


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

  • Bail Abolition Network receives a $2000 check during Pioneer Weekend.

    Pioneer Weekend

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

  • Wilson Center speakers

    Speaker Series: Diverse Paths of Leadership & Innovation

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

  • First place winners of the Kinetic Sculture Competition

    Kinetic Sculpture Competition

    Teams of two 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.

  • Students standing in front of laptops discussing something on the screen


    A weekend-long event where Grinnellians come together to collaborate, innovate, and build technology (a minimum viable product/prototype) to help alleviate a social justice issue.

  • All participants stand on a bridge together at Leadershape Retreat, 2017

    The LeaderShape Institute

    The Wilson Center hosts the Institute in collaboration with LeaderShape for Grinnell College students. The Institute is a multi-day retreat at the YCamp in Boone, Iowa.


  • Students prepare to tell their stories at the Moth Story Telling Slam

    The Moth Story-Telling Workshop

    The Wilson Center collaborates with the MOTH Radio Hour to bring a story-telling workshop and slam to the Grinnell College campus.

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