The Big Ideas@Berkeley Contest Is Open!

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Believe in the Power of Your Ideas!

Calling all Cal Students!   Dust off the drawing board and prepare to think big!   The Big Ideas@Berkeley contest is now underway — offering $300,000 to help you turn your idea into reality.

Now in its seventh year, Big Ideas@Berkeley gives students the opportunity to channel their passion for social change into creative and pragmatic solutions. The 2012/13 contest will include new categories and offer more workshops and mentorship opportunities. Both undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged submit proposals in one of the following categories:

    • Global Poverty Alleviation
    • Creative Expression for Social Justice
    • Clean & Sustainable Energy Alternatives*
    • Financial Literacy*
    • Improving Student Life
    • Information Technology for Society
    • Maternal & Child Health*
    • Promoting Human Rights*
    • Scaling up Big Ideas

(*New Category in 2012-2013)

As past participants know, Big Ideas is more than a contest; it’s an entire ecosystem designed to provide funding, encouragement and advice to Berkeley students. In addition to the chance to attend writing and budget workshops, applicants are matched with mentors from social enterprises, industry, and non-profits – who are eager to help students develop their ideas.

With three info sessions (9/5, 9/18, & 10/4) and two workshops (9/26 & 10/18) Big Ideas is designed to support students from all parts of campus. “I greatly appreciate the resources Big Ideas devotes to students throughout this process because I did not have much experience writing proposals… I felt I had support all along the way,” said Diana Pascual Alonzo, whose project Youth Leadership Now won the Creative Expression category in 2011.

The Big Ideas Contest officially opened on September 4th, 2012.  Pre-proposal applications are due by November 6, 2012.   For more information about rules, categories, resources, funding, and contact information, please visit the Big Ideas website at