Back to Home
DSI / Social Design
About DSI

Announcing the 2019 Paul Polak Scholarship

We are delighted to announce that for the fifth 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 incoming class of 2021.

Apply by our priority deadline of January 15, 2019 to be eligible. DSI applicants will automatically be considered for the Paul Polak Scholarship if the application is received by January 15, 2019; no separate application is required. Please apply at dsi.sva.edu/apply.

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.

136 W 21st St,
5th Fl.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 592–2205