RI FOUNDATION Seeking Ambitious Ideas For Rhode Island
The Rhode Island Foundation today announced the Rhode Island Innovation Fellowship, a new, annual program designed to stimulate solutions by Rhode Islanders to Rhode Island challenges. Made possible through the generosity of philanthropists Letitia and John Carter, the Fellowship will provide seed funding for ideas designed to reap community benefit. Beginning in 2012, Rhode Island Innovation Fellowships will be awarded to two individuals. The fellowship provides $100,000 a year for up to three years to develop, test, and implement innovative ideas that have the potential to dramatically improve any area of life in Rhode Island.
“Today’s announcement is unique in the world of philanthropy and foundations. We are thrilled that Letitia and John asked the Foundation to develop and implement this new program that we hope will fuel discovery, passion, and a pioneering spirit,” said Neil D. Steinberg, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation. “The Carters’ commitment to Rhode Island is unparalleled. This Fellowship is about Rhode Island reaching its true potential. To our knowledge, nothing like this has ever been tried in our state. It’s new territory but we are convinced that risk taking will be essential and failure is infinitely better than not trying.”
“There is no monopoly on creative thinking, exceptional ideas, or the potential of people to help solve issues affecting the lives of Rhode Islanders. Letitia and I wanted to provide a platform for change – one in which everyone is invited to participate. We believe The Rhode Island Foundation is the ideal organization to carry forward our dreams for Rhode Island’s future and we are excited to embark on this adventure together,” said John Carter.
The Fellowship will focus on the “greatest good for the greatest number” of Rhode Islanders, a small idea that has big potential to be built to scale, or new approaches to longstanding, intractable challenges. Pioneering work, exceptional leadership, bold vision, risk-taking, potential to scale up, and statewide impact will be favorably regarded in the review process.
The Foundation has asked a group of Rhode Island leaders to serve on the panel charged with selecting the slate of Fellows. Members of the selection panel are:
David Dooley, President, University of Rhode Island
Ann-Marie Harrington, President & Founder, Embolden
Charlie Kroll, Founder, President & CEO, Andera
Marie Langlois, Retired Managing Director, Washington Trust Investors
John Maeda, President, Rhode Island School of Design
Navyn Salem, Executive Director, Edesia, Inc.
Neil Steinberg, President & CEO, Rhode Island Foundation, Chair
Two Fellows will be selected in early spring 2012. They will receive up to $100,000 a year for up to three years to develop, test, and implement innovative ideas that have the potential to dramatically improve an area of life in RI. The Foundation will fund at least two additional fellows each year. The application process is described on the Foundation’s website (www.rifoundation.org/innovation), and the first deadline is December 23, 2011. Additional guidelines and eligibility are also available on the website or by calling Vice President for Strategy, Planning & Special Projects Jessica David at 401.427-4005.
Division of Architecture + Design, Division of Fine Arts, Division of Liberal Arts, Foundation Studies, Graduate Studies, Grants and fellowships, Local/Global Engagement, Rhode Island Foundation, Rhode Island Innovation Fellowship