UC Big Ideas Contest Joins The Rockefeller-Acumen Student Social Innovation Challenge

Sep 4, 2019

The Big Ideas Contest has been named one of four university social innovation competitions to be a part of The 2019-2020 Rockefeller Foundation-Acumen Student Social Innovation Challenge. The other three universities are MIT, University of Michigan, and University of San Diego.

With the new partnership, Big Ideas will support students at all 10 University of California campuses as well as at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Makerere University in Uganda to build innovative solutions to poverty and some of the world’s most intractable social challenges. The total number of eligible students across the 12 campuses will be over 300,000 in the 2019-2020 academic year. Students are encouraged to propose innovative solutions across a broad range of social impact tracks, including: Workforce Development, Global Health, Food & Agriculture, Financial Inclusion, Energy & Resources, Education & Literacy, Cities & Communities, and Art & Social Change.

As part of The Rockefeller Foundation-Acumen Student Social Innovation Challenge, the Big Ideas Contest will offer students an exclusive set of resources that leverage the experience of the Rockefeller Foundation and Acumen in building successful social enterprises. Winning teams from Big Ideas will be invited to join a social innovator network hosted by Acumen, where they can connect with peer innovators and receive ongoing support.

“We at Big Ideas are delighted to be part of the 2019-2020 Rockefeller Foundation-Acumen Student Social Innovation Challenge. Collaborations, networks, partnerships–and especially challenges–are what make the social enterprise sector grow and hum,” said Phillip Denny, director of Big Ideas. “We expect the usual avalanche of world-changing ideas from students this academic year.

Acumen is a global nonprofit, founded in 2001 with seed capital from the Rockefeller Foundation, Cisco Systems Foundation, and three individual philanthropists, which tackles poverty by investing in sustainable businesses, leaders, and ideas. The Rockefeller Foundation‘s mission, unchanged since 1913, is to improve the well-being of humanity around the world. Since its 2006 establishment at UC Berkeley, Big Ideas has inspired innovative and high-impact student-led projects aimed at solving problems that matter to this generation through an annual contest that provides funding, guidance, and encouragement.

CONTACT:
Phillip Denny,
Director, Big Ideas Contest
pdenny@berkeley.edu
(510) 666-9120

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