Warnock Foundation Releases Findings, Funds Ideas to Improve Baltimore

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Today the Warnock Foundation published the Baltimore Social Innovation Journal, a new publication that features social innovators, profiles their ideas, and provides seed money to help them implement their projects. The first volume of the journal is available online here and in limited-edition print.

David Warnock
David Warnock

The 13 innovative ideas profiled in the inaugural issue include a nomadic art museum, a way to crowdsource business ideas for abandoned properties, a re-imagining of neighborhood greening and a project that dreams of bringing a world-renowned light festival to the Inner Harbor.

“We hope you enjoy our profiles of these innovative, bright and committed Baltimoreans,” said David Warnock, the chairman, founder and funder of the Warnock Foundation. (We interviewed him a few weeks back. Read the interview here.)  “No foundation working alone can fund systemic change – but we are convinced we can help people who are bettering Baltimore one person and one neighborhood at a time.”

The genesis of the Baltimore Social Innovation Journal was the Speak Up, Baltimore survey, an online poll conducted by the Warnock Foundation in fall 2013. The survey asked area residents to assess Baltimore’s assets, obstacles, and make determinations about the city’s future. The survey solicited participants through email, advertising, and social media. Ultimately, 632 people participated.

“We were deeply grateful for the hundreds of people who shared their perspectives on Baltimore with us. It will guide our activities at the Warnock Foundation in the years ahead,” Warnock said at the time.

In the month-long Speak Up, Baltimore survey, the Warnock Foundation found that only 16 percentof respondents thought that Baltimore was one of America’s greatest cities. A full 66 percent, however, believed we should aspire to be one of America’s greatest cities, and almost half thought that Baltimore can be one of America’s greatest cities within five years.

The hope of participants, and the many ideas that survey takers shared with the Warnock Foundation, prompted the launch of the Baltimore Social Innovation Journal in October 2013. Using email and social media, the foundation asked for 100-word submissions of innovative ideas from the community at-large. Fifty-four ideas were submitted, and the 13 finalists were chosen from among those entries.

“Despite the obstacles we face, Baltimore is a city full of good people with great ideas and a willingness to aim high,” Warnock added. “These ideas give us hope for improving Baltimore.”

Each of the 13 winners of the inaugural Baltimore Social Innovation Journal will receive seed funding to implement their idea, and an opportunity to present the idea for feedback from a group of Baltimore funders and investors. The amount of seed funding will be announced at the Baltimore Social Innovation Journal launch party on January 30, 2014.

The Baltimore Social Innovation Journal, including a list of winners and the profiles of each of their projects, can be found online at http://baltimoreinnovation.org/, and is available in limited-edition print by request.

The Speak Up, Baltimore survey is available at http://warnockfoundation.org/doing/speak-up-baltimore-survey/.


Edited from Press Release

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