The Baker Innovation Grant

Investing in Big, Bold Ideas.

In 2017, we launched the Baker Innovation Grant (BIG), providing five promising McCourt students with $20,000 in grant funding to develop innovative solutions to pressing social, political, and policy challenges.

The BIG is motivated by the idea that we should stretch the limits of how we think about social, political and policy problems and the ways to address them. Conversations about intractable problems have become calcified. If we could wipe the slate clean and tackle a problem, what would we do? How would we reimagine our solutions?

The Baker Center is looking for the next generation of leaders to think about solutions in bold, new ways; leaders who will turn big ideas into action. The BIG is one of the largest student grant programs at the McCourt School.

About the Grant

Our Baker Innovators, all students enrolled in a graduate degree program during the 2017-2018 academic year, each received $20,000 to develop, incubate, and refine their unique solution to a challenge. This pioneer group of Innovators was provided with customized leadership training and skill-building workshops, access to exclusive peer discussions, and expert advice to tackle their chosen solutions more effectively. Their year-long exploration will culminate in a presentation of their progress and impact on the eve of the Baker Forum in February 2018.

Made possible by the generosity of Jon M. Baker, Sr. (C’64), the Baker Innovation Grant is the newest initiative of the Baker Center for Leadership & Governance. Understanding that no single institution can confront our global challenges alone, the Baker Center was founded to convene key stakeholders to reimagine solutions to pressing social, political and policy challenges, and begin the important work of restoring faith in our institutions. The Baker Center challenges students to explore new and creative ideas and seeks to cultivate the next generation of leaders.