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Kimberlyn Leary, incoming executive director of policy outreach at McLean Hospital will serve as an evaluating judge for a new competition that will award a $100 million grant to a single proposal designed to help solve a critical problem affecting people, places, or the planet. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s competition, called 100&Change, is open to organizations working in any field of endeavor anywhere. Applicants must identify both the problem they are trying to solve, as well as their proposed solution. Competitive proposals will be meaningful, verifiable, durable, and feasible.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity to invite innovation, across sectors, and to develop solutions with real impact,” said Leary.
As a judge for 100&Change, Leary will evaluate valid proposals randomly assigned to her according to a strict set of criteria designed to favor proposals that maximize measurable impact in their chosen areas. More information about the judges and their evaluation methodology will be shared publicly via the competition website, 100andchange.org. Participants submitting valid proposals will receive feedback from the judges.
Kimberlyn Leary is an associate professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an associate professor of health policy and management at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, where she is the “Enabling Change” program director. Leary is also the executive director of policy outreach at McLean Hospital/Partners HealthCare, a senior researcher at the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University, a fellow at the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School and with the New America Foundation’s International Security Program, senior advisor to the CEO at the National Math and Science Initiative, and a trustee of Amherst College. As a Robert Wood Johnson health policy fellow, she served as an advisor to the White House Council on Women and Girls for one year, developing the “Advancing Equity” initiative, which focused on improving life outcomes for women and girls of color, and for an additional six months, as an advisor to White House Office of Management and Budget’s Health Division.
“Solving society’s most pressing problems isn’t easy, but we believe it can be done,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch. “Potential solutions may go unnoticed or under-resourced and are waiting to be brought to scale. Every three years, we plan to award $100 million to help make one of these solutions a reality. Through 100&Change, we want to inspire, encourage, and support other people’s ideas, here in our hometown Chicago, across the nation, and around the world, about how to address major challenges and enable real progress toward a solution.”
100&Change will consider applications from across the United States and around the world. Nonprofit and for-profit organizations can apply, subject to eligibility rules. The competition will not accept applications from individuals or government agencies.
“We believe that 100&Change can have a ripple effect beyond what a single $100 million grant enables,” said Cecilia Conrad, MacArthur’s managing director leading the competition. “Setting audacious goals is inspiring. Clear evidence of impact can encourage other funders to invest in solvable problems more broadly, and applicants who do not receive the $100 million grant will still receive valuable feedback on and attention to their ideas.”
To participate, applicants must first register on the website by September 2, 2016. Then they must complete a substantive online application, detailing the problem, solution, and budget, along with posting a video pitch. Proposals will be accepted through October 3, 2016. Semi-finalists will be announced in December. Each semi-finalist will receive assistance from an expert team to identify and address questions about technical and organizational capacity required to implement each proposed solution, including specific plans to monitor, evaluate, and learn during implementation. Each semi-finalist will also be asked to show significant, authentic engagement with affected communities. MacArthur’s Board of Directors will select finalists in the summer of 2017. Finalists will present their solutions during a live event in the fall of 2017, after which the Board will make the final decision about the $100 million grant recipient.
The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including over-incarceration, global climate change, nuclear risk, and significantly increasing financial capital for the social sector. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy; the strength and vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago; and generating new knowledge about critical issues. More information is at macfound.org.