George A. Lopez, the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, will serve as an evaluating judge for a new competition launched Thursday (June 2) that will award a $100 million grant to a single proposal designed to help solve a critical problem affecting people, places or the planet. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s competition, called 100&Change, is open to organizations working in any field of endeavor anywhere. Applicants must identify both the problem they are trying to solve, as well as their proposed solution. Competitive proposals will be meaningful, verifiable, durable and feasible.
“I am honored to serve as a judge for this bold and significant competition announced by the MacArthur Foundation,” said Lopez. “Their stringent requirement for proposals to address fully both the problem and its solution means big ideas with potential for maximum impact for the common good will be submitted.”
Lopez is a founding faculty member of the Kroc Institute whose research and policy work focuses on economic sanctions, human rights and various aspects of peacebuilding. From October 2010 through July 2011, he served on the United Nations Panel of Experts for monitoring and implementing U.N. sanctions on North Korea. From September 2013 through July 2015, he was vice president of the Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. For 2015-16 he is co-leader of a United Nations University (Tokyo) research project assessing 25 years of United Nations economic sanctions.
“Professor Lopez’s appointment as an evaluating judge in this new competition is a striking example of faculty expertise being applied in ways that are truly world-changing,” said Ruth Abbey, interim director of the Kroc Institute. “We’re very pleased to see one of our own peace scholars be at the forefront of this exciting new venture.”
As a judge for 100&Change, Lopez will evaluate valid proposals randomly assigned to him according to a strict set of criteria designed to favor proposals that maximize measurable impact in their chosen areas. More information about the judges and their evaluation methodology will be shared publicly via the competition website, 100andchange.org. Participants submitting valid proposals will receive feedback from the judges.
100&Change will consider applications from across the United States and around the world. Nonprofit and for-profit organizations can apply, subject to eligibility rules. The competition will not accept applications from individuals or government agencies.
“Solving society’s most pressing problems isn’t easy, but we believe it can be done,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch. “Potential solutions may go unnoticed or under-resourced and are waiting to be brought to scale. Every three years, we plan to award $100 million to help make one of these solutions a reality. Through 100&Change, we want to inspire, encourage and support other people’s ideas, here in our hometown Chicago, across the nation and around the world, about how to address major challenges and enable real progress toward a solution.”
“We believe that 100&Change can have a ripple effect beyond what a single $100 million grant enables,” said Cecilia Conrad, MacArthur’s managing director leading the competition. “Setting audacious goals is inspiring. Clear evidence of impact can encourage other funders to invest in solvable problems more broadly, and applicants who do not receive the $100 million grant will still receive valuable feedback on and attention to their ideas.”
The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions and influential networks building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including over-incarceration, global climate change, nuclear risk and significantly increasing financial capital for the social sector. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program, the Foundation continues its commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy; the strength and vitality of its headquarters city, Chicago; and generating new knowledge about critical issues. More information is at www.macfound.org. For more information about the grant, visit 100andchange.org.