Humphrey School program helps launch national competition for best ideas to fight poverty

A competition that’s looking for the best ideas to fight poverty — and offers  cash prizes — is being launched, in part, by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

The Ideas for Action Award is designed to develop and promote new thinking and policies to reduce poverty long term.

The University center is collaborating on the awards program with the Nancy Bell Evans Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, with sponsorship from the Northwest Area Foundation.

Organizers say the goal of the competition is to:

“instigate examination, discussion, evolution of practical ideas, and, eventually, implementation of policies that will help reduce poverty and build sustainable prosperity.”

Awards of at least $5,000 will go to up to 10 winning ideas selected by a review panel. They say the winning ideas “will be enthusiastically shared with prominent policymakers and practitioners across the Upper Midwest, Pacific Northwest and nationwide.”

Larry Jacobs, director of the U’s Center for Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, said:

“The historic numbers of poor Americans is shocking and calls for new thinking and renewed attention on what is working to create opportunities for those of low income. The Ideas for Action contest is race for progress.”

The first deadline — for receipt of letters of intent — is June 29. More information is at the Evans School website.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 06/08/2012 - 07:54 am.

    I wonder if ideas have a chance

    of winning if they don’t involve using government resources.

  2. Submitted by william laney on 06/09/2012 - 09:45 am.

    “Why Nations Fail”

    “The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty” by Acemoglu and Robinson is must reading. A society’s political and economic institutions that allow a few to extract the profits in a society are ultimately doomed to fail. In the last 30 years over 90% of wealth in our country has become concentrated in only 20% of households; a situation similar to that which existed just prior to the Great Depression. Political decisions are an important reason why this has occurred, most notably the repeal of Glass-Steagall. This resulted in the creation of a handful of immense banks that were able to extract incredible wealth for their own use. They used it to gamble, and lose, many times the GDP of the country. If you want to correct the economy, and eliminate poverty, you start with reforming the banking industry.

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