The RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and Dell are seeking undergraduate and graduate students from universities and colleges around the world to share their ideas for making the world a better place.
Students winning the grand prize in the 2009 Dell Social Innovation Competition will receive $50,000 to turn their ideas into a reality.
The RGK Center introduced the competition in 2006 to engage students in social entrepreneurship, encouraging the next generation of leaders to dream up solutions to today's most pressing issues.
"This competition is designed to throw a match to the powder keg of enthusiasm and idealism that exists across college and university campuses," said Peter Frumkin, director of the RGK Center in the LBJ School of Public Affairs. "By channeling young people's impulses to change the world in a positive direction, we think this project can generate a large number of innovative solutions to longstanding public problems."
With Dell as its sponsor, the Social Innovation Competition has expanded its reach to a worldwide audience of students for 2009.
"The young minds in our colleges and universities are bursting with ideas for making the world a better place--they often just lack resources to make them a reality," said Gil Casellas, vice president of corporate responsibilities at Dell. "The Dell Social Innovation Competition will harness those ideas, feed them with the energy of the online community, and then empower them with the funds to make them a reality."
Students brainstorm and submit a creative, innovative idea to tackle a pressing social issue and enter it no later than Feb 20. Along with students, citizens worldwide are invited to comment on, vote for and discuss the ideas in the online community forum. The community's preferences help select the grand prize winner.
Teams selected as semifinalists by judges and the community will be asked to write a business plan and submit a three-minute video for consideration. Of the semifinalists, three teams will be invited to Austin on May 7, when they'll present to a panel of judges for the chance to win the grand prize.
Submissions will be judged on overall concept, demonstration of the opportunity, assessed social impact, financial viability and sustainability, demonstrated leadership ability, management team, performance benchmarks, assessed risk and contingency plans.
About the RGK Center
The RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin introduced the Social Innovation Competition in 2006, awarding more than $100,000 in prizes to student social entrepreneurs. The RGK Center builds knowledge about nonprofit organizations, philanthropy and volunteerism, and prepares students and practitioners to make effective contributions to their communities.