Nelson Mandela – Graça Machel Innovation Awards

The Nelson Mandela – Graça Machel Innovation Awards is celebrating the 11th year of awarding civil society activists and organisations for their excellence, innovation, and brave risk-taking.

This year, nominations are open for Youth Activists, Individual Activists, Civil Society Organisations, and for the first time ever, we are opening nominations for donors under a new category: Brave Philanthropy.

We want to hear about individuals, organisations, and donors that have inspired you through their activities promoting positive social change.

Is there an activist, organisation or donor in your country, city or community that everyone should know about? We want to celebrate them! 

Submit your nominations (you can also nominate yourself or your organisation) today by clicking on the NOMINATE button below and tell us who you think should receive a Nelson Mandela – Graça Machel Innovation Award.

Nominations will be accepted from 1 Dec 2015 until 17 January 2016

The winners will be notified in the last week of February 2016. The two activist and organisation category winners will receive a grant to the value of $1,500 and a fully-funded trip to attend International Civil Society Week (ICSW) in Bogotá, Colombia from 25-28 April 2016 to receive their award, which will provide an opportunity to network and showcase their work. The Brave Philanthropy winner will be invited to attend ICSW, with the cost of attendance of the conference waived.

All eligible nominees will be posted in the Nomination Gallery where YOU will be able to endorse the candidates that you support in each category!  Nominees will be evaluated by our panel of judges, and the shortlisted five candidates in each category will be announced on 1 February 2016. All shortlisted candidates will receive widespread visibility through our CIVICUS social media channels, and the opportunity for even more endorsements from the public. 


  • Round trip airfare to International Civil Society Week (ICSW) in Bogotá, Colombia from 25-28 April 2016; with accommodation, the majority of meals and a daily stipend included, for the activist and organisation winners.
  • Waived ICSW registration fees for all winners, including the Brave Philanthropy winner.
  • A grant of $1500 for the activist and organisation winners.
  • Award presented during our award ceremony.
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