Atlantic Media and Allstate today introduced The Renewal Awards, a new program that will spotlight and reward innovators who are improving their communities from the ground up. The awards are a new editorial extension of The Next Economy series from Atlantic Media’s National Journal and The Atlantic, which explores the creative ways Americans are using innovation to solve problems at the local level. The Renewal Awards launch today with a call for public nominations at RenewalAwards.com.
“Despite the partisan stalemate in Washington, the evidence is that we are living through a golden age of grassroots initiative and problem-solving. Creative new solutions are emerging from non-profit organizations, businesses, local governments and innovative partnerships that bring together all of these institutions,” said Atlantic Media Editorial Director Ron Brownstein. “Through The Next Economy and now The Renewal Awards, Atlantic Media is committed to identifying and celebrating the best of these local innovators, as they do their part to help renew the country.”
The Renewal Awards will accept nominations throughout 2015 for the people and organizations whose projects and ideas are driving measurable change in communities. The six finalists will consist of four general recipients, selected by a panel that will include Atlantic Media editorial staff and outside judges, an “Allstate Youth Empowerment” recipient, selected by Allstate, and one “Reader’s Choice” recipient, selected by The Next Economy audience. The winners will each receive $10,000 in grant funding and an all-expenses paid trip to Des Moines, Iowa, in early 2016 for a summit on local innovation with national and local leaders.
“We’re a network of thousands of small businesses. We know that great ideas start at the local level,” said Tom Clarkson, West Territory President for Allstate. “There are innovative people across the country who are making a difference on social issues and getting results. The Renewal Awards are our opportunity to spotlight these local innovators, and spread their good ideas to benefit other communities. This awards program is about celebrating innovators and involving more people in brainstorming and generating creative ideas that will change our communities for the better across the country.”
To kick-off The Renewal Awards, Atlantic Media and Allstate will host a national event in Denver on March 11 about the transformative work already shaping that city and others like it. Keynote speakers include Bill Basl, Director of AmeriCorps, and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. Attendees will draw from local and national startups, incubators, community groups and government. This will be the first of several events held around the country as part of the initiative that will explore how local innovators and community leaders are grappling with their most pressing challenges —and making the most of opportunities.
The Renewal Awards is the latest project from The Next Economy series, a seven-year partnership between National Journal, The Atlantic and Allstate. The series encompasses reporting from National Journal and The Atlantic, the Heartland Monitor Poll (which explores Americans’ shifting economic attitudes and experiences), and national and local events.
Public nominations and official contest rules for The Renewal Awards are available at RenewalAwards.com.