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Rome Reports

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The search for innovative ideas that bring the Gospel to today's culture


OSV Institute, the philanthropic arm of Our Sunday Visitor, is searching for innovative ideas that bring the Gospel to today's culture, time and recent generations. 

In the search for improving the inner workings of the Church, OSV Innovation Challenge and Talks were born.

JASON SHANKS
President, Our Sunday Visitor
We realized what we had to do was we had to be a catalyst for innovation in method in the Church. This isn't innovation in Catholic teaching or liturgical innovation. This is really going to the root of the new evangelization as described by St. Pope John Paul II. New in ardor, new in expression, new in method.

OSV Innovation Challenge attracted more than 450 diverse ideas for bettering the way the Church is lived. They then were narrowed down to 12 ideas, targeting three profiles: the entrepreneur, ministers and arts and media. Winners get the prize of having OSV invest in their idea, $100,000 each.

JASON SHANKS
President, Our Sunday Visitor
“We weren't just looking for the idea. We realized we were forming the innovators. So our thought is that there is an entrepeneur, an innovator within everybody. That innovation and entrepreneurship in and of itself is a call to holiness on the path toward sainthood. If you think of Pope Francis talking about accompaniment,t this is really about knowing your audience, knowing your market. How do we tact to bring the Gospel to individuals?”

The outreach goes further, with OSV Innovation Talks, a sort of Catholic TED Talks that also seeks to share new avenues for the faith. 

JASON SHANKS
President, Our Sunday Visitor
“We are trying to create an ecosystem, both from an investors side to a funnel where new ideas are emerging, to understanding the trends, which gets to the needs. And also putting out great content with the OSV Innovation Talks that says we need new approaches. It's not enough to know our faith well, which we strongly encourage. We also need to know, how do we accompany people? How do we reach people on the margins? What approaches are working that we need to double down on and what things are not working that we need to stop doing?”

The goal is to open pathways that had never even been thought up. Themes include helping Catholic fathers, female athletes, Catholic work spaces and more.  

It's a way to view the Church differently than an institution, but as a way for creative community and growth that can only keep going. 

Melissa Butz