the lewis institute  Social Innovator Award

A social innovator sets in motion change that affects the life course of the individual, his/her community, and eventually, a nation. Our nominating committee looks at five specific criteria in selecting award winners: innovation, personal commitment, depth of impact, scalability of solution, and sustainability of enterprise. This award not only serves to celebrate extraordinary global social innovators, but also to inspire and inform the greater Babson community on what it takes to activate real and lasting change in the world. 

This Year's Recipients

This year, we focused on honoring those who have affected infrastructure for change, thereby influencing institutional and societal mindsets. We are especially excited to have honored two individuals who leveraged their extraordinary vision along with their Entrepreneurial Thinking and Acting to re-imagine community based education by positively disrupting traditional models of higher education and to address homelessness, one of the most important societal dilemmas in our country and beyond. 

Michael Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College 

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Under Michael’s leadership since 2007, Paul Quinn College has undergone a stunning turnaround and is becoming a national symbol of what is possible in educating for the future. The 450-student Historical Black College located in South Dallas is pioneering sustainable models to make education more accessible and affordable. Watch his TEDxSMU talk here.

Rosanne Haggerty, President and CEO of Community Solutions 

Dedicated to eradicating chronic homelessness, Rosanne is on a mission to provide homeless Americans with stable homes. Community Solutions provides a powerful social impact scale model through the development of inclusive, supportive housing and research-based practices designed to end homelessness and strengthen communities. Watch her TEDxAmherst College talk here

Past Recipients

2016: Gavin Armstrong, Bill Bolling, and Bernie Glassman

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The Lewis Institute honors Gavin Armstrong, Founder of Lucky Iron Fish; Bernie Glassman, Founder of Greyston Bakery and the Greyston Foundation; and Bill Bolling, Founder of the Atlanta Community Food Bank

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

Dr. Paul Farmer and Ophelia Dahl of 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. 

2014: Mick Jackson and Razia Jan

Mick Jackson, Founder of WildHearts Office, an office supply company that supports the WildHearts Foundation, a pioneering charity focused on micro-lending and entrepreneurship education; and Razia Jan, founder of Razia's Ray of Hope Foundation which provides free education to young women in Afghanistan.

2013: Dr. Kwabena Darko

The first Lewis Institute Social Innovator Award was given in May 2013 to Dr. Kwabena Darko, Founder and Chairman of the sustainable chicken farm Darko Farms and the inspiration for the book and nonprofit One Hen.