One of the purposes of Mensa was to identify and foster intelligence for the betterment of humanity. The Mensa Foundation fulfilled that by assisting intellectually gifted people in the development of their intellectual and social abilities so that they could better benefit society.
In pursuit of both goals, Mensa International and the Mensa Foundation founded an award that recognized the application of Mensans’ intellectual abilities that resulted in tangible benefit to society. This accomplishment was to be innovative in some respect, possibly a single achievement such as an invention or it could have the cumulative effect of several innovative accomplishments, but it had to be shown to have a tangible benefit to a substantial number of people.
Acceptable activities included, for example, new or significantly improved education programs for employees, clients or business associates; programs designed to educate the public, including children, youth and adults; novel philanthropic efforts; and intellectual research and development.
This award has been discontinued.
Dr. Wertheim was recognized with the International Intellectual Benefits to Society Award for his contributions to the field of immunology, including potential breakthroughs in the development of a virtual immune system.
Guilherme Moisés Sampaio, a professor of physics in Brazil, was recognized with the 2019 International Intellectual Benefits To Society Award for his innovative research into the biomedical applications of magnetic nanoparticles.
For her work with Solve Education!, a not-for-profit which uses game mechanics and artificial intelligence in a game-based educational application, Janine Teo of Singapore was recognized with the 2018 International Intellectual Benefits To Society Award.
Using his unique behavior modification training system, over 23,000 people throughout North America and around the world are able to work with electricity safely and more efficiently, without injury.
Italian Mensan Anna Maria Roncoroni has been named the Mensa Foundation's 2013 winner of the International Award for Benefit to Society for her work as an advocate of gifted children's programs, both in Italy and internationally.
British Mensan Melissa Sterry was recognized for her development of the Bionic City, the ultimate sustainable smart city that uses knowledge about Earth's ecosystems to create a metropolis with resilience to extreme meteorological and geological events.
Katerina Havlícková, a member of Mensa Czech Republic, was recognized for her dedication to helping gifted children through implementation of innovative programs.
Nicole Schuster, an autistic member of Mensa Germany, was recognized for her efforts to give autistic people a voice and for her fight for their rights.