Pennovation: How Can You Make Philadelphia Better ?
The first edition of the Franklin Social Innovation Prize is aimed to promote non-profit initiatives among Penn students and recent graduates.
On May 12, the Center for High Impact Philanthropy and Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice presented the inaugural Franklin SP2 Social Innovation Prize, an award aimed to challenge students to give innovative solutions to fix Philadelphia's social issues.
The six finalist teams presented their projects in a live pitch competition held at the Pennovation Center, and the winner was decided by our panel of esteemed experts in the social innovation, impact and justice worlds, including former Mayor Michael Nutter and Danielle Wolfe, executive director of the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation.
All entrants in the Franklin Prize competition focused on tackling some of the most prevalent societal challenges—from food deserts to mass incarceration to homelessness, as reported in The Philadelphia Citizen.
The winner of the $5,000 Prize this year was Fresh Box, which has come with an innovative solution to deliver urban food deserts in Philadelphia and surrounding areas.
“Our team has a passion for food justice. We believe that food access is a human right. We believe that no family in America should ever be hungry and that all Americans should have access to clean, healthy food,” said in a statement the team members, students Lauren Kruglinski, Robin Kendall and Benjamin Young.
"Each member on our team has a diverse work history and connection to food. Collectively, we have experience in, government agencies, businesses, schools, and nonprofits both nationally, and internationally," they added.
Other competing teams included New Beginnings Community, which seeks to provide former prisoners with economic opportunities; From Prison to Professional, which provides former convicts with vocational training; Transforming Work, which seeks to help connect Philadelphia youth to long-term employment, as reported in The Philadelphia Citizen.