Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Awards and event for organizations making a social impact in Wisconsin

Force for Positive Change logo

FORCE FOR POSITIVE CHANGE CONFERENCE 2022:

BUILDING RESILIENT INDIVIDUALS, ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMUNITIES THROUGH SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

Wednesday, November 16 | Noon – 5 p.m.
H.F. DeLuca Forum, Discovery Building on the UW-Madison campus
330 N. Orchard St., Madison, WI
*Parking is available at numerous locations including lots 17 and 20 and in municipal lots within a few blocks of the Discovery Building.

Meet the finalists for the Force for Positive Change Awards


FULL: Optional preconference bus tour of social enterprises in Madison from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

The group will leave from and return to the Discovery Building. The bus will leave promptly at 10 a.m. and return by 11:45 a.m. in time for lunch and the opening session at noon. The tour includes:

UW-Madison South Madison Partnership

Black Business Hub

Pasture and Plenty

Spark Building


Agenda

11 a.m. – noon: Registration

 

11:45 a.m.: Buffet lunch available

 

Noon – 1 p.m.: Force for Positive Change past winners’ perspectives

This year’s program kicks off with a conversation between some recent competition winners and up and coming social entrepreneurs from CEOs of Tomorrow.

 

1 – 2 p.m.: Changing for the better: How our gifts, culture and story can serve as a Force for Positive Change

Leaders from a range of sectors across the state are leaning into their “why” and creating meaningful change both in their communities and beyond Wisconsin through their powerful examples.

Moderator: Elmer Moore, WHEDA

Panelists:

Annie Jones, Professor, UW-Madison Division of Extension

Ousmane Kabre, Founder and CEO, Leading Change Africa

Christy McKenzie, Proprietor, Pasture and Plenty

Elena Terry, Wild Bearies

 

2 – 3 p.m.: Social enterprise expo and ice cream social

 

3 – 4 p.m.: Concurrent breakouts

Panel 1

Food sovereignty: Thriving in Wisconsin—lessons from ongoing initiatives led by two of Wisconsin’s 12 Native Nations

There are numerous initiatives underway across Wisconsin that promote food sovereignty, including through promoting food-based entrepreneurship. This panel brings Native voices to the conversation. The panel will elaborate on how food sovereignty promotes and nurtures cultural traditional practices, how it reconnects with and builds stronger relationship with plant families, and how these foods feed and sustain communities in a healthy way. Through sharing stories, we will have a conversation – what makes these programs possible, how they work, how they are faring and what might individuals, organizations and communities across the state be able to learn and implement from understanding these programs.

Moderator: Maria Moreno, Earth Partnership

Panelists:

Guy Reiter, Executive Director, Menikanaehkem Inc.

Loretta Livingston, Program Coordinator, Food Sovereignty Program at Bad River

Dylan Bizhikiins Jennings, Doctoral Fellow, UW-Madison HEAL-Earth Partnership 

 

Panel 2

Madison’s social entrepreneurship landscape: Transformational initiatives underway across the region

Wisconsin’s capital city has come a long way in terms of envisioning and implementing a wide-ranging network of social entrepreneurship supports and programs. The best may be yet to come. Hear from local visionaries about what is currently in place and what is on the horizon.

Moderator: Annette Miller, EQT by Design

Panelists:

Alnisa Allgood, Collaboration for Good

Ruben AnthonyUrban League of Greater Madison

Anthony Cooper, Nehemiah

Sabrina Madison, Progress Center for Black Women

Katie Rice, UpStart

Andrew Richards, UW-Madison Discovery to Product

 

4 – 4:45 p.m.: Fireside chat with the Morgridges: Building resilient community through social impact

The fireside chat with John and Tashia Morgridge and a local community leader has become a beloved fixture of the Force for Positive Change. This year’s conversation features the Reverend Dr. Alexander Gee, founder of the Nehemiah Center for Leadership Development and the new Center for Black Excellence and Culture in progress in South Madison. UW-Madison Professor Emerita Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings will moderate this important discussion.

 

4:45 – 5 p.m.: 2022 Force for Positive Change awards ceremony

 

5 p.m.: Event concludes

 


The Force for Positive Change Awards Competition

Is your organization making a social impact in Wisconsin? The Force for Positive Change will provide financial prizes to organizations addressing social challenges locally.

The Force for Positive Change competition began in 2016 with the goal of celebrating both for-profit and nonprofit organizations focused on creating lasting beneficial impact in, by and for Wisconsin. In its fifth year, the competition expands to embrace those organizations working to make a difference in the areas identified by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals while also pursuing a path to financial sustainability and lasting benefits.

The deadline to apply for the fifth Force for Positive Change award competition was September 22.


Prizes

At least six (6) $10,000 cash prizes will be awarded to eligible organizations. At least three (3) cash prizes of $10,000 will be awarded to organizations working towards progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and up to three (3) special consideration cash prizes of $10,000 may be awarded. The special consideration prizes will be awarded to organizations responding to three important areas impacting Wisconsin organizations: the fight for racial equity for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), rural prosperity, and organizational resilience. No organization may win more than one (1) prize. In the event that the quality or quantity of the applications received for the special consideration prizes are insufficient, we reserve the right to convert one or more of the special consideration prizes to a general prize.


Eligibility

All entrants must meet the following eligibility criteria.

  • Be a functioning enterprise (either a nonprofit entity or for-profit company) with a viable revenue-generating product or service already on the market or in use.
  • Address an important social and/or environmental challenge that exists in Wisconsin (that may also exist elsewhere) either through their products or services or through their operations.
  • Have a base of operations in Wisconsin.

Selection criteria

The selection criteria below will be used to judge all entrants during phases 1 and 2 of the competition. The three optional selection criteria allow the entrant to be considered for the three new prize categories for the 2020 competition.

Phase I criteria

  • The extent to which the organization has strong connections to Wisconsin through its staff, investors, directors, clients/customers
  • The degree to which their organization values and measures beneficial societal impact in Wisconsin
  • The extent to which the organization is able to demonstrate financial sustainability
  • The degree to which their organization pursues an innovative approach to a societal challenge in Wisconsin

Phase II criteria

  • The probability of continued success and ability to be a force for positive change in Wisconsin
  • The organization’s plans for future implementation and growth
  • The scalability and replicability of the organization’s approach to creating a lasting positive impact in Wisconsin

Optional selection criteria – to be considered for one of the three special prizes, entrants need to incorporate one of the following criteria into their responses for Phase I and Phase II.

  • The enterprise demonstrates a commitment to addressing systemic racism through all aspects of its operations.
  • The enterprise demonstrates its primary dedication to addressing the particular challenges confronting Wisconsin’s rural population.
  • The enterprise demonstrates an integrated plan for addressing organizational resiliency in the face of numerous contemporary economic and societal challenges.

FORCE FOR POSITIVE CHANGE COMPETITION RULES

All competition participants must agree to the competition rules before submitting their application. View the full rules here. By submitting your application, you agree to abide by the competition rules.

For more information, check our Frequently Asked Questions.

Summary of Force for Positive Change Competition rules

  1. You must submit an application to be entered into the Force for Positive Change competition. The competition will proceed through two phases. The deadline for submitting an application for Phase I was 11:59 p.m. on September 22, 2022.
  2. A subset of applicants will be selected to advance to Phase II of the Force for Positive Change competition. Applicants invited to advance to Phase II will be selected by a panel of judges. Phase I applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
    a. Extent to which the organization has strong connections to Wisconsin through its staff, investors, directors, clients/customers.
    b. Degree to which their organization values and measures beneficial societal impact in Wisconsin.
    c. Ability to demonstrate financial sustainability.
    d. Degree to which their organization pursues an innovative approach to a societal challenge in Wisconsin
  3. Phase II applicants will be invited to submit additional information in written form and in an interview with a team of judges. Phase II applicants will be notified no later than October 3, 2022, and Phase II applications will be due on October 31, 2022. Phase II applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
    a. Probability of continued success and ability to be a force for positive change in Wisconsin.
    b. The organization’s plans for future implementation and growth.
    c. The scalability and replicability of the organization’s approach to creating lasting positive impact in Wisconsin.
  4. At least 12 finalists will be announced no later than November 7, 2022. Finalists will be required to attend in person or to designate a representative of their organization to attend the virtual Force for Positive Change event on November 16, 2022 to be considered for a prize.

If you have any questions about these rules, please email [email protected] or call 608-770-4134 or email [email protected] or call 414-288-4990.

The Force for Positive Change award competition is sponsored by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and Marquette University. The odds of winning depend on the number and quality of entries received. No purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited. For full official rules click here.


Sponsors

WARF logo Marquette University logo American Family Insurance logo

Partners

Cardinal Stritch logo gener8tor logo UW Eau Claire Foundation logo UW INSITE logo Wisconsin Microfinance logo

Previous winners

7 Rivers Recycling LLC

ACTS Housing

Apricity

Artisan Dental LLC

Bloom360 Learning Community

Build-A-Bow

CEOs of Tomorrow

Common Wealth Development

The Community Warehouse

Earthbound Environmental Solutions

Fifth Season Cooperative

Fix Development

Giant Jones Brewing

Harambee Village

Islands of Brilliance

Madison-area Urban Ministry dba Just Dane

Little Free Library

Little John’s Kitchens

Maydm Inc.

Midwest Organic Sustainable and Educational Service (MOSES Organic)

Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA)

Nelson and Pade Inc.

Neu-Life Community Development

New Leaf Foods

The Open Door Coffeehouse

Operation Fresh Start

Public Allies

Purple Cow Organics

Rebel Green LLC

Riveredge Nature Center

Riverview Gardens

Rosenholm Dairy

SOAR Fox Cities

Soaring Independent Cooperative

STEMhero LLC

WasteCap Resource Solutions

Whole Trees

Williamson St. Coop

Wonderstate Coffee (formerly Kickapoo Coffee Roasters)

WARF