Social Innovation Prize in Wisconsin: Nominations accepted until August 31 for the 2010 Social Innovation Prize in Wisconsin

Recognizing Social Innovators Age 60 or Better Who Are Addressing Critical Social Issues.

The Social Innovation Prize in Wisconsin

Honoring Fred Lindner is modeled after The Purpose Prize, a program of Civic Ventures , which describes an emerging social phenomenon – the older adult social innovator. Civic Ventures is a think tank and an incubator, generating ideas and inviting program to help society achieve the greatest return on experience. As they state,

An inspiring new group of role models for “engaged retirement” is emerging. Unwilling to stuff envelopes or go off quietly to the sidelines, these change-makers are taking matters into their own hands and fashioning a new vision of the second half of life, one in which the expertise and talent of a lifetime is refocused on finding solutions to challenges in our communities, our country, and the world. They are living proof that aging does not equal stagnation and decline, that later life is a time of innovation, productivity, and creativity as rich as the younger years. Yet, as a society, we have done little to elevate or underwrite the remarkable efforts of a new movement of individuals in their 60s, 70s, and beyond who constitute a lost continent of social innovation and leadership. This lack of recognition and investment reinforce the idea that the second half of life is a time of decline rather than a time of creativity, invention and contribution.

To remedy that situation with a generous grant from The Helen Bader Foundation, The Social Innovation Prize in Wisconsin’s Planning Committee has launched a major initiative investing in a new generation of social innovators–individuals in the second half of life who are marshaling their accumulated experience to tackle some of America’s most urgent issues.

At the heart of the effort is the Social Innovation Prize, which celebrates and supports outstanding individuals 60 or older who are already producing significant social innovation and accomplishing work of great importance.

Uniquely, The Social Innovation Prize challenges prevailing perceptions by acknowledging social innovators over the age of 60 and presenting a financial prize to one winning application. The Prize offers this award to an individual who has demonstrated uncommon vision, determination and entrepreneurialism in addressing community, state, and national problems. The Social Innovation Prize will tell the story of this person as well as other nominated innovators in the second half of life.

Rather than a lifetime achievement award, however, we view The Social Innovation Prize as a down payment on what this 60-plus innovator will do next.