We are delighted to announce that for the fourth year, incoming students can apply for the Paul Polak Scholarship from MFA Design for Social Innovation. Paul has been a friend, adviser and inspiration to our program, and to the millions of people around the world whose lives he has changed through his work to end poverty. This $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student in the class of 2020.
DSI applicants will automatically be considered for the Paul Polak Scholarship; no separate application is required. Please apply at dsi.sva.edu/apply. Apply before February 28 to be eligible.
Previous recipients of the scholarship include Bruno Silva, Jade Broomfield and Tae-young Choi.
Paul Polak is a revolutionary in the world of social innovation, and a natural-born designer. He has worked with thousands of farmers in countries around the world to help design and produce low-cost, income-generating products that have already moved 22 million people out of poverty. He is the founder of International Development Enterprises (IDE), a former psychiatric researcher who pioneered the practice of context-based research and treatment for people with mental illness, and an entrepreneur whose organizations are addressing issues of poverty, health and climate change while they create economies that allow people to earn their own way out of poverty. He was named one of the world’s “Brave Thinkers” by The Atlantic, along with Barack Obama and Steve Jobs, for being willing to “risk careers, reputations, and fortunes to advance ideas that upend an established order,” and has been recognized by Scientific American as one of the world’s leading 50 contributors to science. He was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the western states, and received the Florence Monito Del Giardino award for environmental preservation in 2008. He is the author of Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail, and with Mal Warwick, The Business Solution to Poverty: Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers.
And, Paul Polak has been a beloved mentor and advisor since the DSI program began.
Social Design is the application of design methodologies to solutions for complex human problems. Design for Social Innovation at SVA is the first MFA program in Social Design, with an experience-based curriculum of discipline and rigor. Our graduates are pioneering solutions to the major issues of our time, working in the most enlightened and inspiring organizations.
It is a rapidly growing field with exciting career opportunities. Global corporations use it to ignite creativity and commitment within their cultures, foundations embed it into their efforts to end poverty and improve human health. Governments and NGOs use it to innovate new approaches, erase the boundaries of internal silos and step around archaic bureaucratic processes. Designers use it to create lives for themselves filled with purpose and impact.
It is used in neighborhoods to address crime and homelessness, in America’s Rust Belt cities to revitalize them, in India, to jumpstart economies, across Africa, to connect hundreds of thousands of women to prenatal and infant care, in Kenya, to mitigate violence, and in the U.S. to inspire citizens to stop sending almost as much edible food to landfills as they eat. That is just to name a few examples. Learn more at dsi.sva.edu. Please direct questions about MFA DSI and the Paul Polak Scholarship to firstname.lastname@example.org.