Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center

Shape the GO Innovation Award – a new award to inspire youth in the developing world

GO Campaign, Santa Monica, CA


GO Campaign is a Santa Monica, California based nonprofit organization that supports youth in the developing world. Since 2006, GO has partnered with more than 25 local visionaries and given grants to over 40 grassroots projects in more than 15 countries for the betterment of youth.

We are excited about the GO Innovation Award because we believe it is the first of its kind to bring youth into the solution equation. Imagine the possibilities and the ripple effects of sharing innovation with youth in the developing world, giving them role models, and then giving local innovators the mandate (and the tools) to inspire youth to solve their own community problems through innovation and social entrepreneurship.

As Josh Schuler, Exec. Dir of Lemelson-MIT, noted: It’s especially important to inspire others to invent and innovate – particularly in developing countries with a high percentage of youth populations where highly talented and creative people who may not be formally educated can be marginalized and these people can make tremendous contributions to their countries economic growth and enhance stability. The GO Innovation Award is unique, and it is useful to local inventors, to youth, to the field of innovation and the future of economic growth. This award will undoubtedly lead to ever more inspiring, unique, and useful outcomes.

The Challenge

This is the first major award that GO Campaign is launching and are relying on advice of experts along with our own creative thinking. Your job would be to make yourself one such expert. We don’t have a dedicated staff member to manage the development and execution of the award process. We welcome critical thought and there is room for you to influence this initiative and its impact in the developing world. The project involves marketing the award, bringing on new collaborators, new funders, and ensuring improved execution and outcomes.

We have the support of Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center, IDEAS challenge, d-Lab, Lemelson-MIT, and also interest from USAID and the State Department, and you would take the lead and participate in consult meetings with all of our collaborators.

You must be passionate about and committed to this project. There is a lot of work to be done in order to launch the award including:

Once launched, you would be charged to ensure its success and make sure that everyone in related fields know about this award and that we are receiving appropriate nominations, and that we have the proper system in place to receive and analyze the applications and ultimately choose the winners.

This is not a job where you will simply carry out tasks – you can – and will be expected to – leave your thumbprint on the creation of an ongoing award that we believe has great potential to impact youth and innovation in the developing world. If you’re too busy or distracted to be fully engaged by this project, this is not the project for you.

Qualifications, Preferences, and Assets

Self-starter. Familiarity with awards. Creative thinker. Marketing/PR skills. Interest in youth and innovation in the developing world.

Time constraints

We need someone ASAP. This is not an easy part-time assignment. We expect you to take initiative and be active. Fall of 2011 you could work remotely from MIT. January of 2012 there is opportunity to manage the project out of the GO Campaign offices in Santa Monica, CA. Ideally, you will continue on during the summer to manage the project and stay involved during its first year, from launch to award winner selection.


Scott Fifer
Founder, Exec. Director of GO Campaign

PKG Center Support

MIT students who develop projects around these ideas may apply for support from the Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center's Fellowships and Internships programs. Please check the program descriptions and deadlines and talk to program staff to determine which is most appropriate for your needs and project.

If you want to volunteer or you have funding from outside the PKG Center that enables you to work on this project, that's great! However, please do let us know if you work on a project you saw advertised here, even if you don't use our funds. And remember, the PKG Center staff are happy to advise on service projects even if we are not funding them ourselves.

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