Civic Ventures Announces 2007 Purpose Prize Finalists

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15 Social Innovators Over 60 Eligible to Win
Five $100,000 Prizes
Prize Winners Showcase Entrepreneurial Path to Encore Careers By Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life
SAN FRANCISCO “” Civic Ventures, a think tank and program incubator helping society achieve the greatest return on experience, today announced 15 finalists for the 2007 Purpose Prize. The Prize, now in its second year, is a three-year, $9 million program investing in social innovators over age 60 and is the nation’s only large-scale award for those working to solve a critical social problem in the second half of life.

The 15 finalists, chosen from more than 1,000 nominees, have used their years of experience to come up with creative solutions to problems ranging from global warming to infant mortality, hunger to the dropout rate of Hispanic youth, insufficient preparation for disasters to inadequate foster care. (To learn more about the finalists, see their summaries below.)

Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, co-founder of the Purpose Prize, and author of a new book, Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life (PublicAffairs Press, June 2007), says the enthusiastic response to the Prize reveals big changes in how boomers approach work.

“As baby boomers leave their midlife careers and continue working into their 60s, we are experiencing the biggest transformation of the American workforce since the women’s movement,” says Freedman. “One of the most interesting and significant developments from this transformation is the emergence of social innovation and entrepreneurialism from people over 60. And there are no better examples of these pioneers than the Purpose Prize finalists.”

In Encore, Freedman outlines a new stage of life between the end of midlife careers and the beginning of true old age and introduces a new stage of work – the “encore career” – that combines continued income, new meaning and greater impact. Prize finalists, Freedman says, “show that social entrepreneurship, once thought to be mainly the province of the young, can also be a path to vibrant encore careers for those in the second half of life.”

“The Purpose Prize finalists are taking their wisdom, their skills and, in some cases, their savings to engage in work that has meaning beyond themselves,” adds Jim Emerman, director of the Purpose Prize program and vice president of Civic Ventures. “These men and women are at the forefront of a burgeoning movement that’s reshaping the second half of life and having an extremely positive impact on their communities.”

The Purpose Prize will award each finalist at least $10,000. Five of the finalists – to be announced in September – will win $100,000 each. The winners will be selected by 21 judges, all leaders in business, politics, journalism and the nonprofit sector, including actor Sidney Poitier, Harvard professor and former presidential advisor David Gergen, journalist Cokie Roberts, author Gloria Steinem and business entrepreneur Jeffrey Taylor.

The 2006 and 2007 winners and finalists, along with more than 100 Purpose Prize Fellows, will participate in a summit on innovation November 10-13 at Stanford University. Funding for the summit and Prize comes from The Atlantic Philanthropies and The John Templeton Foundation.

The finalists include:

* Ray Anderson, 72, (Atlanta, GA): Leading the business community by adopting practices for his own multi-million dollar carpet company that protect the environment and boost profits
* Gloria Jackson Bacon, 69, (Chicago, IL): Training hundreds of low-income parents to inspire and support their children in school and help them succeed in life
* Donald Berwick, 60, (Cambridge, MA): Enlisting wide-scale cooperation and scientifically-proven protocols to help hospitals improve care and save more than 100,000 lives
* Sally Bingham, 66, (San Francisco, CA): Leading an interfaith response to global warming by helping churches, synagogues, temples and mosques buy green electricity, reduce energy consumption and add a moral dimension to environmental activism
* Phil Borges, 64, (Seattle, WA): Utilizing stories, pictures and technology – podcasting, videoconferencing, and the Web – to expand cross-cultural understanding among youth around the world
* Richard Cherry, 64, (New York, NY): Saving energy and providing green building services to low-income New Yorkers
* Adele Douglass, 60, (Herndon, VA): Advancing the humane treatment of farm animals through the certification and labeling of meat and poultry
* Jose-Pablo Fernandez, 62, (Houston, TX): Teaching Hispanic parents computer skills to get them involved in their children’s educations and to boost the children’s chances of success
* Sara J. Gonzalez, 71, (Atlanta, GA): Training new Hispanic entrepreneurs and linking them to the larger business world
* Gordon Johnson, 74, (Daytona Beach, FL): Creating new approaches to foster care that keeping siblings together and improve the quality of care and attention given to each child
* H. Gene Jones, 91, (Tucson, AZ): Accelerating student achievement by integrating music and art in a district-wide curriculum that improves critical thinking, problem-solving and test scores
* Marian Kramer, 63, (Detroit, MI): Organizing a grassroots, legal and legislative fight for the right to affordable water in Detroit
* Gary Maxworthy, 69, (San Francisco, CA): Using expertise from a career in food distribution to redistribute tons of nutritious produce at a city food bank – that would otherwise go to waste – to low-income people
* Wilma Melville, 73, (Ojai, CA): Saving lives at disaster sites by training rescued dogs to serve on canine-firefighter search teams
* Sharon Rohrbach, 64, (St. Louis, MO): Saving the lives of newborns through home visits by nurses


About Civic Ventures
Civic Ventures is a think tank and program incubator, working to help society achieve the greatest return on experience.

About Atlantic Philanthropies
The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Their work is aimed at ageing, disadvantaged children and youth, population health, and reconciliation and human rights.

About the John Templeton Foundation
The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discovery in the areas engaging life’s biggest questions. These questions range from explorations into the laws of nature and the universe to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness and creativity.

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