Ashoka U - Cordes Innovation Awards

The Ashoka U-Cordes Innovation Awards recognize high impact and highly replicable education innovations. Awardees include education pioneers who create and develop social innovation programs related to teaching and curriculum, models of applied learning, and research. More information about how these models are transforming higher education is available on the Ashoka U-Cordes Innovation Award portal here.

The 2017 Ashoka U-Cordes Innovation Awardees will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Innovation:  The model demonstrates creativity, a deep understanding of the levers and barriers in higher education, and addresses a clear opportunity for advancing an entrepreneurial or socially impactful mindset, skillset, and culture for the university context.
  • ReplicationThe innovation may be easily adapted without losing quality. The innovation should be able to spread with relative ease, increasing efficiency and impact with every replication. Replication may be across different universities, disciplines, or with partner organizations.
  • Maturity: There is evidence of refinement and iteration of the model over time, proving that the innovation is at a stage of maturity to effectively share lessons learned and contribute to the field. It is clear that the idea is no longer in the early ideation phase.

Applications for the 2017 Ashoka U Cordes Innovation Awards will open in August 2016.

The 2017 Innovation Awardees will present during a keynote awards ceremony at the Ashoka U Exchange on March 2-4, 2017 in Miami, Florida.  Awardees will be featured on a special section of to showcase their innovation and partnership opportunities.



Cordes Hall of Fame

The Ashoka U – Cordes Innovation Award program was founded in 2011 and featured at the first Ashoka U Exchange at Duke University. To date, Ashoka U and the Cordes Foundation have recognized 35 outstanding curricular, co-curricular, research and applied learning innovation in higher education.

Now, Ashoka U wants to answer the question: How have these award-winning models scaled and impacted the field of social innovation education?

In 2015, Ashoka U and the Cordes Foundation launched the Cordes Innovation Award Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame recognizes top Innovation Awardees that have significantly impacted the way colleges and universities embed social innovation into the core fabric of higher education. The second class of Hall of Fame inductees will be recognized at the 2017 Exchange.