Five $100,000 Purpose Prizes Awarded to Americans

Nov 03, 2011, 09:00 ET from Civic Ventures

Making an Extraordinary Impact in Their Encore Careers

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Civic Ventures today announced the 2011 winners of its Purpose Prize.

Five social entrepreneurs over 60 will receive $100,000 each for using their experience and passion to make an extraordinary impact on some of society's biggest challenges. Now in its sixth year, the $17 million program is the nation's only large-scale investment in social innovators in the second half of life. The winners include:

Jenny Bowen, 66, Half the Sky Foundation, Berkeley, Calif.: A screenwriter who adopted two daughters from China in her 50s and partnered with the Chinese government in efforts to transform the care of 800,000 orphans. (Bowen is the first winner of The Purpose Prize for Intergenerational Innovation, sponsored by AARP.)

Randal Charlton, 71, TechTown, Detroit: A serial entrepreneur who has worked to revitalize Detroit's economy by leading a business incubator to help new businesses grow.

Nancy Sanford Hughes, 68, StoveTeam International, Eugene, Ore.: Fighting a top killer of children in developing Latin American countries with low-cost, safe, fuel-efficient cookstoves.

Wanjiru Kamau, 69, African Immigrant and Refugee Foundation, Washington, D.C.: Working to ease the transitions of thousands of African immigrants and refugees.

Edward Mazria, 70, Architecture 2030, Santa Fe, N.M.: An architect challenging the building sector – perhaps the largest contributor of greenhouse gases – to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions.

"While Purpose Prize winners are helping to solve a wide range of pressing social problems, they have one thing in common," said Marc Freedman, CEO and founder of Civic Ventures and author of The Big Shift. "They – and millions of others in encore careers – are turning personal passions and decades of experience into invaluable contributions across sectors, continents and generations, often through entrepreneurship."

The winners and 42 new Purpose Prize fellows will be honored at the invitation-only 2011 Purpose Prize awards ceremony on December 1 in Sausalito, Calif. Speakers will include NBC's Jane Pauley and Sherry Lansing, CEO of The Sherry Lansing Foundation and former chair of Paramount Motion Picture Group – both of whom are Purpose Prize judges. The 28-member judging panel chose this year's winners from more than 1,000 nominees.

Funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John Templeton Foundation, The Purpose Prize is a program of Civic Ventures' Encore Careers campaign (, which aims to engage millions of boomers in encore careers combining personal meaning, continued income and social impact in the second half of life.

Profiles, videos and photographs of the winners are online at   

About Civic Ventures (

Civic Ventures is a think tank on boomers, work and social purpose. The organization introduced the concept of encore careers, which combine meaning, continued income and social impact. The Purpose Prize, funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John Templeton Foundation, is a program of Civic Ventures.

SOURCE Civic Ventures