Since 1981, Ashoka has been finding and supporting leading social entrepreneurs around the world: men and women with powerful new solutions to today’s most difficult challenges, who possess the skills and the drive to create entirely new patterns in their fields—from education to health to the environment.
To date, we’ve supported more than 3,000 of these people, named Ashoka Fellows, in 70 countries. But a few years ago, we realized that wasn’t enough: we needed more than a few lone heroes working in isolation. We needed all of us, working together to solve problems in our homes, our workplaces, our neighborhoods and our communities. We have seen again and again what happens when you unleash agency in people of every age across every sector by creating opportunities for them to problem-solve.
So we set our sights on a new mission: shaping what we call an Everyone a Changemaker world. Since then, we helped thousands of young people launch their own social ventures through Youth Venture, proving you don’t have to wait to grow up to change the world. We’ve opened the door to anyone with a good idea for solving serious challenges through online competitions on Changemakers.com. We’ve teamed up with colleges and universities with AshokaU to grow the next generation of leaders, tearing down the walls between today’s leading thinkers and doers. We saw that empathy was central to fueling our Fellows’ motivation and imagination, and often determined how effective they were as problem-solvers, team players, and leaders. So we set out to Start Empathy in our schools, our homes, and our communities.
Along the way, we’ve had the chance to work with people of every background and class, in every sector and every field: with business leaders and philanthropists, teachers and college presidents, young people and old, with people who’ve lived the problems they seek to address, and those who are inspired to help them.
Together, we’re working to realize an everyone a changemaker world: one in which every individual has the freedom, confidence, and societal support to address social challenges and drive change.
To learn more about Ashoka, visit www.ashoka.org.