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Social Innovator Award

As an Institute for Social Innovation, it is important to have markers of what an ideal social innovator should embody.

If we want to create more people activating and creating sustainable social impact, we need to understand what social impact truly looks like. Defining the skills, knowledge, and traits is not easy, but words can minimize the true essence of the person who actually sets in motion the change and motivation.

2015: Dr. Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl, Christo Greyling, Logy Murray, Maclean Dlodlo

This year, The Lewis Institute is honoring two teams of global social innovators: Dr. Paul Farmer and Ophelia Dahl from Partners in Health , a non-profit health care  organization dedicated to providing health care access to the world's poorest and most vulnerable communities; and Christo Greyling, Logy Murray, and Maclean Dlodlo from Channels of Hope , an innovative social model adopted by World Vision that engages community and faith leaders to respond to some of the most difficult issues affecting their communities, including HIV and AIDS; maternal, newborn and child health; gender equality; and child protection.

Past Recipients

2014: Mick Jackson and Razia Jan

The Lewis Institute honored Mick Jackson and Razia Jan with the 2014 Social Innovation Award in April 2014. 

2013: Dr. Kwabena Darko

The first Lewis Institute Social Innovator Award was given in May 2013 to Dr. Kwabena Darko who exemplified the qualities, attributes, and impact that we believed would be so powerful for students to learn from and, as a result, would be influenced to activate real and lasting change in the world. This award serves as the marker for extraordinary achievement and a benchmark for how one sets in motion large scale change and impact.


Award Criteria

​​​​​​​​A social innovator sets in motion change that affects the life course of the individual, his/her community, and eventually a nation. This award inspires others and helps us identify and develop more social innovators with the desire, passion, love, commitment, and vision that leaders like Dr. Darko, Mick Jackson, Razia Jan,  Dr. Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl, Christo Greyling, Logy Murray, and Maclean Dlodlo​ embrace.​
  1. Innovative—Nominee is innovative and demonstrated a new approach.
  2. Committed—Nominee has personally dedicated himself/herself to the issue.
  3. High Impact—Nominee addressed a serious social problem and created tangible impact to the beneficiary population.
  4. Scalable—Nominee has affected systemic change (e.g. policy change, societal change, influence in their field) and/or demonstrated high replication and growth.
  5. Sustainable—Nominee has a clear and compelling mission and objectives, a viable and growing program, compelling measures of success, viable funding model, and other key factors indicating sustainability.