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Issue 31 | Greater Philadelphia Innovation Awards

Past Editions

Dear Reader,

We are pleased to announce Greater Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal (SIJ) Top 2017 Social Innovators. This edition honors the region’s most passionate social innovators and entrepreneurs whose work and social impact is often missed as they quietly work to make Greater Philadelphia a more inclusive, equitable and thriving region of innovation and opportunity for all of its residents. We received 300 nominations and over 3,500 Philadelphia residents participated in the voting process. The Social Innovator’s named in this edition are Greater Philadelphia’s Resident Picks.  
The Social Innovations Journal believes that the potential for good ideas to inspire more good ideas cannot be underestimated. The value that entrepreneurs and innovators bring to local communities and regions across the nation is often, to our collective societal detriment, overlooked. Tonight we honor and celebrate our regions social innovators. 
The theme of these awards are "Make New Friends, But Keep The Old" symbolizing the shift in generational leadership as the millennial generation is pushing all of us to redefine the social sector AND a shift as both non-profits and for-profits move toward social enterprise and impact. This theme symbolizes that the success of the social sector depends upon us embracing BOTH traditional with new innovative practices. This edition could not have been possible without the support of our Award Presenters who represent Greater Philadelphia’s Social Sector Anchors. YOU SERVE AS AN INSPIRATION TO ALL OF US TO CONTINUE INNOVATING.

Bob Beitcher, CEO of The Motion Picture and Television Fund
Steve Harmelin, Dilworth Paxson
Sharmain Matlock-Turner, Urban Affairs Coalition
John Moore, ImpactPHL
Denise Crossan, Swarthmore College
Don Kramer, Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads
Sandra Ryan, Walmart Retail Clinics
Bill Green, School Reform Commission and Dilworth Paxson
Jennifer Zapf, UPENN Graduate School of Education
Rick Sauer, Phila. Association of Community Development Corporations
Kimberly Allen, Wells Fargo
Paul Ferdas, Lantium
Bernard Brown, National and Community Service
Rahim Islam, Universal Companies
Yael Lehmann, The Food Trust
Rich Negrin, District Attorney Candidate
David DiStefano, Exude
Rue Randau, Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations
Thaddeus Squire, Culture Works
Dr. Arthur Evans, Commissioner of Philadelphia's Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Service
Dermot Murphy, Halloran Philanthropies
Patrick Morgan, Knight Foundation
Barbary Bungy, Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers
Tine Hansen-Turton, Social Innovations Journal

A big THANK YOU to the sponsors of this edition!  Your support of Greater Philadelphia’s Social Innovators work does not go unnoticed.  Thank You!

Public Health Fund and PHMC
Dilworth Paxson
Philadelphia FIGHT
UPENN Graduate School of Philadelphia
Charisse Lillie

Finally, in the spirit of maintaining the Social Innovations Culture movement we are happy to announce the launch of a VIRTUAL Social Innovations Institute & Lab™ ( that serves as a tool and resource for Social Innovators and Entrepreneurs across the globe. The Social Innovations Institute & Lab™ takes participants through a process of innovation that transforms both emerging and established leaders and their companies into sharper, smarter, better versions of themselves. The Social Innovations Institute & Lab™ is an intensive sustainable innovation process that includes idea exploration, testing and plan execution to hone entrepreneurship and innovative thinking skills while developing, and eventually executing, new or improved business models. 


In conclusion, Steve Jobs once said that Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. We congratulate Greater Philadelphia’s Top Social Innovators!  You are collectively leading the charge to solve society’s toughest problems by harnessing entrepreneurship, innovation and capital to power social improvement. It is only through our collective energies that we will achieve these goals.


Yours in Innovation,

Nicholas Torres, Co-Founder
Tine Hansen-Turton, Co-Founder