We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.  ~ John W Gardner

Applications are now closed until 2017

The aim of the awards, in line with Stephen’s own approach, is to help create success by finding and nurturing innovative ideas and projects that can lead to practical, sustainable social change. The awards committee is particularly interested in supporting ideas that address social problems at a systemic level.

The heart of the awards is the bringing together of experts that can deliver practical, free support to shortlisted candidates as well as award winners. In addition, funding of up to £20,000 will be made available to support award winners in developing their initiatives. At the shortlist stage the awards will make up to five awards of up to £2,000 to assist candidates to further develop their ideas.

Ideas may come in many forms.  They may be a new-start enterprise or an extension of an organisation’s existing work.  They might be a discrete piece of lobbying work or a high profile campaign; the aim might be to change policy or legislation or to create a new legal form or financial structure, for example.

Who Can Apply?

Anyone or any organisation that has an innovative idea that seeks to address a problem systemically,

Applications Overview

To apply, please prepare a description of your work or idea of no more than two sides in length. We would like to understand what the innovation is and why it is needed, alongside evidence of need and an explanation of the impact you will have, if you are successful. We would also like to know about your track record, what you need for the idea to succeed and how you think the awards’ community may be able to assist you. In addition to the two-sider, you are welcome to provide up to five links to relevant supporting materials.

While you are not bound to any particular presentation format, we like the “Situation, Complication, Solution” approach as it is succinct and structured. Click here for some basic guidance on this.


The awards committee is a committee of the board of the BWB Charitable Incorporated Organisation has delegated responsibility for the awards. of the committee members are Jim Clifford OBE, Sir Stuart Etherington, Philip Kirkpatrick, Lorna Lloyd, Michael Norton OBE and Sir Nicholas Young.

The awards committee is served by a secretariat led by Mona Rahman and Ben Metz.

Awards supporters are everyone who has committed support, financially or pro bono. You can find a list of awards supporters here.

The BWB Charitable Incorporated Organisation is the charity that manages the awards. The trustees are Peter Bennett, Martin Bunch, Anthony Cartmell and Philip Kirkpatrick, Its charity number is 1150321.