When you think of innovation, do you imagine Steve Jobs tinkering away in his garage? Or maybe Mark Zuckerberg writing code in a college dorm room? Did you know there’s an entire community dedicated to using innovative ideas to make the world a better place?
United Way of Northeast Florida believes the solutions to some of our community’s toughest challenges can be derived from social innovation initiatives like Upstream.Social innovation is “the process of developing and deploying effective solutions to challenging and often systemic social and environmental issues in support of social progress,” according to Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Upstream, a social innovation challenge for ages 18-24, invites Northeast Florida residents to develop creative solutions for issues in our community.
Upstream awards up to $5,000 for project ideas that improve the lives of low-income families in Northeast Florida. Finalists use their passion for serving others and United Way partnerships to create social change firsthand. With the assistance of a community-coach, finalists learn skills such as public speaking, professional writing, and networking as they work to bring their idea to life.