How the Edison Awards Work

Program Validation and Judges

The Edison Awards organization does not operate as a secluded group, but is validated by an outside organization, steering committee and panel of more than 2,000 executives. In addition, the Discovery Channel recently announced a joint partnership with the Edison Awards and will promote award nominees. In this section, you'll find a description of the program's vast judging body and its role.

Outside of the Edison Awards officials, the program is validated by the Thomas A. Edison Papers Project out of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. This ongoing project launched in 1978 with the goal of examining and preserving millions of pages of documents chronicling Edison's life.

Furthermore, for judging purposes, all nominations for the Edison Best New Product Award and Edison Green Award are first reviewed by the program's steering committee. This group is also responsible for staying in the know on U.S. innovators, because they are in charge of selecting the Edison Achievement Award winner. Currently, the steering committee, as outlined by the Edison Awards, includes the following members:

  • Sarah Miller Caldicott, Thomas Edison's great-grandniece and co-author of "Innovate Like Edison: The Success System of America's Greatest Inventor"
  • Calvin Hodock, former chairman of the board of the American Marketing Association
  • Dr. Paul B. Israel, director and general editor of the Thomas A. Edison Papers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Dr. M. Krishna Erramilli, professor of marketing and director of IIT Stuart MBA Program at the Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Robert S. Langer, professor in the department of chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Thomas K. Stat, executive director of new business development for IDEO
  • [source: Edison Awards: Steering]

After the committee has reviewed the nominees, the members develop a ballot for the Edison Best New Product Award, which they send to the more than 2,000 members of the Marketing Executive Networking Group, a professional organization. From all entrants, the steering committee also decides which organizations to follow up with to determine the Edison Green Award winner.

Now that you know just who makes up the group of judges, you need to know how a nominee gets in front of the steering committee to begin with. Proceed to the next section to learn about the application process.