Awesome Summit 2012: It’s Coming!

April 23, 2012

The Institute on Higher Awesome Studies is incredibly proud to present the first-ever Awesome Summit, July 21-23, 2012 in Cambridge, MA! On the 3rd anniversary of the first meeting of the Awesome Foundation, we are having a two-part summit to celebrate, discuss, and hack on our founding principles: peer-to-peer giving, democratizing grants, and making our communities more awesome. Awesome Summit: Assemble (July 21st-22nd) will be a meetup and workathon for Awesome Foundation affiliates ONLY. Representatives from each of our chapters will gather to meet each other, share advice and experiences, and work on shared resources to help spread our model even further. If you’re a member of an Awesome Foundation chapter and would like an invite, please email us. Awesome Summit: Connect (July 23rd) is open to the public and will extend the discussion to the wider community of people who are experimenting in the philanthropy/community development space. Join representatives from tons of organizations like Kickstarter,, and New Urban Mechanics in discussing issues like decentralized organizations and open brands, encouraging engaged donors, and the legal and political infrastructure we need. We want this to serve as a launching point for collaborations between these various organizations, and as a place to discuss the broader questions facing all the new organizations that… read more →

What is awesome?

July 10, 2011

We’ve had an Awesome Foundation here in Sydney for a few months now and over that time, we’ve seen approximately 50 applications for our monthly grant. We get quite a few questions from friends and colleagues about how the Awesome Foundation works, namely: 1) “What happens if you’re funding terrorism?” 2) “What exactly makes something awesome?” The answer to question 1 is that we have an application process where we use common logic, and sometimes checking out the project in question, to ensure we don’t fund terrorism. But at the end of the day, it’s a no strings attached grant to do something awesome, and terrorism isn’t really that awesome. The second question is a bit harder to answer. We all know ‘awesome’ when we see it right? But how exactly do you go about encouraging people to apply for our awesome grant if they’re unaware they might be eligible!?! 9 awesome indicators Rich Cooper, from AF Toronto, has put together a phenomenal list that we think helps define what is awesome. If you’ve got a little side project on the go and you think it’s totally awesome, you should apply here. 1. Newness – Is this idea totally new?… read more →

Awesome Turns Towards News

June 23, 2011

Extra! Extra! The Institute on Higher Awesome Studies is tickled pink to announce that we’ve been awarded a Knight News Challenge grant to start the first ever Awesome Foundation around journalism and news. We’d like you to meet Awesome News Taskforce, a regionally-rooted and topic-based Awesome Foundation that will be nurturing small, awesome innovations in community news in the great city of Detroit. We’re now starting the process of looking for trustees—the 10-15 brilliant people at the core of the News Taskforce who will make monthly decisions on what they think is best for their community. Ideal trustees are innovative, enthusiastic, hard-working, and widely-connected people. In assembling this taskforce, IHAS seeks a balance of diverse professional backgrounds and sectors, genders, races, and ages that reflects the city it intends to serve. If you have suggestions, please let us know!