USD Launches City-Wide Expansion of Social Innovation Challenge

The University of San Diego’s Center for Peace and Commerce, a collaboration of the School of Business Administration and the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, has received a generous contribution from the Moxie Foundation to expand the Social Innovation Challenge (SIC) to other San Diego universities.

The grant will allow students from other universities in San Diego including the University of California, San Diego; San Diego State University; San Diego City College and Point Loma Nazarene University to compete for the “Moxie Prize” of $17,500 in 2014. In addition to this, the Moxie Foundation is providing funding for operations and marketing.

"By opening up the Social Innovation Challenge to more students across San Diego, we can advance the Moxie Foundation's vision of engaging the brightest, most creative people in our region to address the most pressing needs of our community and planet" said Peter Zahn, President of the Moxie Foundation. More schools likely will be added to the competition in future years.

In the Social Innovation Challenge competition, students create transformative ideas to solve social, economic, environmental and other problems in the U.S. and around the world. Since its inception in 2010, the USD Social Innovation Challenge has awarded $84,000 to student ideas for venture creation based on the 4Ps: People, planet, profit and peace. Past student projects have resulted in solutions for homelessness in San Diego, educational tools for autism, development in Africa, volunteerism abroad, and more. To learn more about SIC and 2013 projects go to

In 2014, USD’s Social Innovation Challenge will award $50,000 to USD students and $17,500 to students from the other San Diego universities. “It is imperative that we provide opportunities to fuel new business and entrepreneurial thinking to address poverty, pollution, women’s rights and other pressing global issues,” said Zahn. “We expect to see benefits flow to the underserved and most needy, both locally and globally.”

Nadia Auch, the Center for Peace and Commerce’s Assistant Director and Stephen J. Conroy, PhD, Professor of Economics and Faculty Director for the Center for Peace and Commerce, will continue to administer the SIC.

“We know how excited and energized our USD students have become to participate in the Social Innovation Challenge and I’m sure their peers at other local schools will feel the same way,” Conroy said.

To learn more about the Social Innovation Challenge, go to Students must apply by March 3, 2014 and awards will be announced at a public ceremony at the University of San Diego on May 2, 2014.

The Moxie Foundation is a San Diego-based non- profit philanthropy, which presently funds entrepreneurship incubators and programs at UC San Diego, San Diego State University, and City College of New York. This will be Moxie’s first region-wide entrepreneurship program.

For more information contact Nadia Auch at or (619) 260-4857.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Denise Ward
(619) 260-4659