UT System’s Goonewardene to judge new $100 million MacArthur Foundation competition

Julie Goonewardene
Julie Goonewardene
AUSTIN – Julie Goonewardene, Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Strategic Investment for The University of Texas System, will serve as an evaluating judge for a new competition launched today 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.

“Helping individuals and organizations reach their full potential—particularly when their mission is to solve the world’s most critical problems—is what I’m most passionate about,” Goonewardene said. “To say I am humbled to be a part of such a grand and innovative competition is an understatement. However, it is fitting: Texas is known for its size, The University of Texas System is known for its audacious achievements and its ‘Quantum Leaps,’ and 100&Change embodies both scale and impact. Reviewing the competition’s proposals will be inspiring.”

As a judge for 100&Change, Goonewardene will evaluate valid proposals randomly assigned to her. More information about the judges and their evaluation methodology will be shared publicly via the competition website.

Goonewardene spent the first 20 years of her career in the field of information technology. Her accomplishments ranged from implementing enterprise-wide systems to raising capital, growing profits, developing talent, building governing boards and selling her company–Cantilever Technologies. Goonewardene currently runs a $50 million venture fund for the UT System, where she oversees an entrepreneurial network and brings resources to assist companies and startups involving university assets.

“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.”

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.

To participate, applicants must first register on the website by Sept. 2, 2016. Then they must complete a substantive online application, detailing the problem, solution and budget, and post a video pitch. Proposals will be accepted through Oct. 3, 2016.

Semifinalists will be announced in December. Each semifinalist will receive assistance from an expert team to identify and address questions about technical and organizational capacity required to implement each proposed solution, including specific plans to monitor, evaluate and learn during implementation. Each semifinalist will also be asked to show significant, authentic engagement with affected communities.

MacArthur’s Board of Directors will select finalists in the summer of 2017. Finalists will present their solutions during a live event in the fall of 2017, after which the Board will make the final decision about the $100 million grant recipient. 

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical research, and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. With 14 institutions and an enrollment of more than 217,000, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates almost two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $16.9 billion (FY 2016) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With about 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates – and more than 70,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

News Contact Information

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Karen Adler: kadler@utsystem.edu  • 512-499-4360 (direct) • 210-912-8055 (cell)