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An impact purpose space

For over 20 years, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship – sister organization of the World Economic Forum – has fostered social innovation worldwide for a more just, equitable and sustainable world. The Foundation highlights and encourages the adoption of outstanding models of social innovation, mobilizes its ecosystems and the platforms of the World Economic Forum to achieve collective action, and advances systemic thinking and practice. Through its work, the Schwab Foundation has grown a transformative movement of leaders that drive systemic change through values-based approaches centring on inclusivity, collaboration, relationships of trust and long-term sustainability.

The Social Innovation Awards

The Schwab Foundation’s 2023 Awards seeks to honour social change leaders, across a diversity of social innovation models in society in four different award categories:

  • Social Entrepreneurs
  • Corporate Social Intrapreneurs
  • Public Social Intrapreneurs
  • Collective Social Innovation Award (NEW)

This year, the Schwab Foundation incorporates a new award category, the Collective Social Innovation Award, to recognise evolving systemic approaches to social change. Inspired by the collective approaches developed by social entrepreneurs over the years, collectives are groups or networks of organisations committed to addressing a bigger problem than what an individual organization can take on and best suited to achieving large scale, system-level change.

You can learn more about each category and the eligibility criteria here.

Please note that the Schwab Foundation does not accept unsolicited applications and instead relies on a referral and nominations process sourced from a global network of social innovation experts and partner institutions.

Who are we looking for?

  • Leaders, social and environmental change models and initiatives that have a primary emphasis on vulnerable, excluded or marginalized populations and their natural ecosystems
  • That stand out for their creative and unique way of addressing the issues
  • Whose work is already well established and has proven its impact
  • With a systemic lens to tackle the root of the problems instead of an isolated issue
  • That both drives and considers the environmental impact of its activities
  • That embraces diversity and inclusion in its governance, strategies and practices
  • Whose work leverages technology to amplify and accelerate impact

The 2023 Selection Journey

  • January 20th, 2022: Nomination opens
  • March 13th, 2022: Last day for nominations, followed by initial screening
  • April - May 2022: Successful nominees are invited to submit a detailed application of their work
  • June 2022: Assessment of applications received
  • July 2022: Successful applicants are invited to participate in an interview
  • August 2022: Assessment of interviewed candidates
  • September 2022: Finalists are presented to the Schwab Foundation’s Board for final assessment
  • October - December 2022: Successful candidates on-boarding
  • January 2023: Awards announcement at World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting.


  • Check out our FAQ Section.
  • You may also sign up here for updates about our annual award selection process.