Grinnell College Launches Social Innovator in Residence Program to Inspire Students and Foster Social Innovation
Grinnell College is excited to announce the launch of its Social Innovator in Residence Program, building on the College's legacy of promoting social justice and engaged citizenship. The program aims to bring world-class innovators to campus, leveraging the lessons learned from 10 years of the Grinnell Prize. After a one-year pause to evaluate the lessons from a decade of honoring the extraordinary contributions of social justice innovators with a singular award, the College is transitioning from a singular prize to a broader experience that offers expanded opportunities for collaboration and learning. Through the Social Innovator in Residence program, students will have the chance to engage with inspiring leaders who are making an enduring difference in the world, fostering interdisciplinary creativity, and promoting civic engagement and social change.
The selected individual will participate in a five to seven-week residency on campus, during which they will interact with Grinnell's students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the wider community. Through a range of programming and activities, the social innovator will have the opportunity to continue their primary social innovation work and engage with the community to create lasting social impact. The social innovator will provide mentorship for students interested in social innovation or who are working on their own social innovation projects. Social innovators may also participate in collaborative opportunities such as workshops, lectures, class visits, skill building sessions, access campus resources, and also have time for renewal, inspiration, and respite.
"We are excited to launch the Social Innovator in Residence Program and bring individuals with world-class impact and influence to our campus to inspire students and promote creative and sustained thinking about some of the most challenging issues in our society," said Grinnell College President, Anne F. Harris. "Through this program, our students will have the opportunity to learn from and engage with social innovators, develop new skills, and continue to develop as change-makers in their own right."
The Social Innovator in Residence Program aims to provide social innovators with opportunities to advance their work by leveraging the resources of Grinnell College. Goals for the program include fostering reflection and exploration with campus constituents, receiving research support, developing collaborations, teaching and leading workshops, building professional connections and mentor relationships, amplifying social innovation work and message, and providing time for reflection and renewal. The program provides longer-term collaborations to help social innovators hone their work.
Students at Grinnell College will benefit from the program in a variety of ways. The structure of each residency will be tailored to the selected social innovator's unique expertise and vision. The social innovator in residence may, for example, explore opportunities for civic dialogues around pertinent social issues. Through these interactions, students will be able to draw connections between the social innovator's work and similar issues within their classes as well as local community, region, country, and beyond. Additionally, they will develop the knowledge base, skills, and coalitions necessary to transform or disrupt inequitable systems.
Mark Peltz, Daniel and Patricia Jipp Finkelman Dean of Careers, Life, and Service, said, “Grinnell's commitment to social justice is reflected in every aspect of our approach to education, including the Social Innovator in Residence Program. Through the Center for Careers, Life, and Service, students have access to co-curricular and academic community-engaged learning opportunities, which complement the College's curriculum and residential experience. The re-imagined program will provide students with a broader understanding of social justice and innovation in practice, preparing them to become agents of positive change in their communities and the world.”
The program is designed not only to build upon the inspiration and lessons from past Grinnell Prize winners but will also work to expand these opportunities beyond an individual award by creating long-term opportunities for social innovation and education. In addition to inspiring students through the residency program, the College aims to provide ongoing support for the growth of social innovators and create a community of changemakers dedicated to tackling complex social problems.
Applications and Eligibility
Applications will open on July 1, 2023. The application period will run until September 5, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (CDT). After the application window has closed, the selection process will continue with finalist selection taking place in November. Ultimately, the winner will be announced in February 2024, and their residency will begin in the fall of 2024. Applications are open to anyone world-wide.
The Social Innovator will receive an award and stipend that together total $50,000 and will be housed on campus during the residency. Applications for the fall 2024 residency will open July 1 and residency selection will be announced in early 2024.
Learn more about the Social Innovator in Residence Program, Eligibility and Application guidelines.